Saturday, 14 March 2015

Hamilton leads the way in final practice Down Under ahead of qualifying

(© Ben Johnston 2015)

Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the final free practice session ahead of Sunday’s season opener in Australia. The double world champion set a time of 1m 27.867s to end the session just ahead of Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who set a time of 1m 28.563s.

Nico Rosberg, who topped the time sheets on Friday set the third fastest time with a 1m 28.821s just ahead of the Williams Martini Racing Team duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

Kimi Raikkonen ended the morning in sixth place for Ferrari as the SF15-T looked extremely quick around the Albert Park circuit. The Finn set a time of 1m 29.017s.

The Lotus F1 Team duo of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado were seventh and eighth place for the Enstone based outfit with Carlos Sainz Jnr ending the session ninth place for the Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula One Team.

The Sauber F1 Team’s Felipe Nasr was eleventh fastest for the Swiss based outfit who had the legal proceedings against them dropped by former driver Giedo Van Der Garde with the two parties now planning to sit down and discuss the matter next week.

Max Verstappen was 12th fastest in the second Toro Rosso with a time of 1m 29.952s completing 16 laps and ending up just ahead of Marcus Ericsson in the second Sauber.

The Sahara Force India duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez ended the morning session in 13th and 14th place for the Silverstone based outfit on what has already been an extremely busy weekend for the outfit.

It was an extremely disappointing session for the Infiniti Red Bull Racing Team as Daniel Ricciardo came to stop at the exit of the pit-lane with 32 minute’s remaining in the session. The Australian has had to change his engine meaning that before the first race even starts he is now down to three power units for the rest of the season and will have to take an engine penalty at some point soon.

McLaren Honda’s data collecting continued with Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button ending the session in 16th and 17th place respectively completing 27 laps between them.

Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat had his own issues with the RB11 and as a result completed just six laps.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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