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GP Malaysia 2015 (Training 3): Rosberg faster than Hamilton

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GP Malaysia 2015 (Training 3)
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M ercedes has the competition in the third free practice for GP Malaysia 2015 trimmed. Nico Rosberg set the fastest time on the Pirelli medium tire in the dress rehearsal for qualifying. The Mercedes driver lapped the 5.543-kilometer circuit in Sepang in 1: 39.690 minutes.

With that, he beat his team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.184 seconds. The world champion still seems to have difficulties with his Silver Arrow. The onboard recordings showed how the Brit struggled at the steering wheel of the F1 W06. Especially on the hard tires. Proof of this: a harsh brakes in turn nine.

Ferrari first pursuer of Mercedes

Behind the two Mercedes drivers, Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel occupied positions three and four. Ferrari is the first pursuer of the Silver Arrows in Malaysia. However, it is doubtful whether the Italians can also challenge Mercedes. At least not on a fast lap. The distance from Raikkonen was over half a second (+0.555 seconds). Vettel, in turn, was missing 21 thousandths from his Finnish stable rivals.

Williams seems to be the third force. There is also a close relationship between the two drivers in the FW37. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were only a touch of 15 thousandths apart in fifth and sixth. Williams is 0.701 and 0.716 seconds short of the top spot respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo landed seventh in the Red Bull. The Australian set his fastest time on Medium around a quarter of an hour before the end of the session. Then he shifted his program to a long run. On Friday, Red Bull had to struggle with tire wear a little more than the team would have liked.

McLaren-Honda in the back third

In addition, the Australian had to adjust to the RB11 with a lot of gasoline on board. The three-time GP winner was only able to cover eight laps in the second training session because of a problem with the MGU-K electric drive. Ricciardo's garage neighbor Daniil Kvyat only made it to 13th place.

The two Toro Rosso lined up in eighth and ninth place. In the order of Carlos Sainz before Max Verstappen. Marcus Ericsson completed the Top10 in the Sauber. His stable mate Felipe Nasr finished 17th. Romain Grosjean just missed the top ten places in the Lotus. For this he beat his teammate PastorMaldonado, who finished twelfth, by nearly four-tenths.

Force India and McLaren-Honda were scrambling for positions in the back third of the field. And probably for the last free place in the second qualifying section in the afternoon. In the third free practice session, Nico Hülkenberg had the upper hand in front of Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez. Jenson Button only came in 18th place. Unsurprisingly, the Manor pilots paused at the end of the field. About seven seconds behind.

Slower times due to high temperatures

Like the days before, the weather was hot the drivers vigorously. The air temperature was 34 degrees, the asphalt strip sweated at 60 degrees. The external conditions are a tough test for Pirelli soles. The medium mix goes to its knees early in the high temperatures, and even the hard tires wear out quickly. Liability problems included.

Therefore, several pilots rode out in the third free practice. Roberto Merhi spun on turn nine, Nasr slid through the gravel on turn 11 and Perez took off through the grass (turn nine). The spectators also got to see a lot of people who brake.

Incidentally, Rosberg's fastest time is around six tenths slower than the fastest lap of FP3 from last year. In 2014, Rosberg set the record in 1: 39.008 minutes in the third training session. The difference is probably the murderous temperatures.

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