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Hamilton asserts authority as Ricciardo struggles

Tom Howard

Saturday 14th March, 2015 - 3:29pm

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Lewis Hamilton starred in practice 3 ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton starred in practice 3 ahead of the Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton asserted his authority ahead of Australian Grand Prix qualifying by topping third practice at Albert Park.

The reigning world champion was embroiled in a battle with his team-mate for the quickest time throughout the hour long hit out before posting a head turning 1:27.867s effort on soft tyres.

Rosberg had held the top spot for the majority of third practice before the two Mercedes drivers swapped positions in the final quarter.

Both Hamilton and Rosberg utilised soft tyres towards as the time ticked towards the chequered flag.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel emerged in second spot 0.696s slower than Hamilton with Rosberg almost a second adrift in third.

It proved to be another difficult session for Ricciardo who encountered issues having undergone an engine change yesterday.

The Australian complained of drivability problems on his opening lap before being forced into the pits to try and fix the problem.

His team sent him back out but the RB11 came to halt on pit exit where it was then wheeled back to the pits.

The Perth driver ended the session in 15th spot.

Ricciardo’s team-mate Daniil Kvyat also complained of power issues and was forced back to the pits with just five minutes of running completed.

Williams displayed encouraging pace with Valtteri Bottas in fourth just ahead of Felipe Massa and the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in sixth.

Lotus also impressed with Romain Grosjean seventh and Pastor Maldonado eighth following their mechanical dramas on Friday.

Rookie Carlos Sainz jnr in the Toro Rosso continued his strong start in ninth, while Sauber’s Felipe Nasr rounded out the top 10.

McLaren strulggled for outright pace with Kevin Magnussen 16th and Jenson Button in 17th position.

Meanwhile, Manor F1 is yet to make a track appearance with both cars stranded in the garage.

Result: Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Practice 3

Position Name Team Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:27.867s 11
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:28.563s +0.696s 13
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:28.821s +0.954s 14
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:28.912s +1.045s 14
5 Felipe Massa Williams 1:28.988s +1.121s 18
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.017s +1.150s 13
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:29.481s +1.614s 12
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:29.864s +1.997s 15
9 Carlos Sainz jnr Toro Rosso 1:29.869s +2.002s 19
10 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:29.934s +2.067s 24
11 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:29.952s +2.085s 16
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:30.613s +2.746s 21
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:30.741s +2.874s 14
14 Sergio Perez Force India 1:30.993s +3.126s 17
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:31.185s +3.318s 10
16 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:31.391s +3.524s 14
17 Jenson Button McLaren 1:31.666s +3.799s 13
18 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:32.830s +4.963s 6

 

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