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Rosberg fastest in final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix

March 25, 2012

© Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

TV Notes

A late run from Nico Rosberg was enough to propel the Mercedes pilot to the top of the timesheets in the final practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Despite spending the opening third of the session garage bound with an oil leak, Rosberg still managed some solid running, completing 16 laps before the chequered flag flew.

Indeed, Rosberg missed precious little action. Spitting rain at the very beginning of practice made the circuit surface somewhat treacherous for a time, as McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton found to his cost thanks to wild slide at the difficult turn fourteen.

Rosberg’s best time – 1:36.877 – was a clear half-second quicker than next man Sebastian Vettel, with the reigning champion heading a gaggle of eight cars, all covered by a further four-tenths. Vettel nabbed just clear of Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and both Lotus’.
Jenson Button (McLaren) rounded out the top six, some five-hundredths clear of Williams’ Pastor Maldonado, who set some impressive times on the Pirelli hard compound tyres. The Venezuelan was fastest for a time, before eventually being demoted by the end of session runners.

Michael Schumacher assumed 8th, three-quarters-of-a-second shy of Rosberg; however the veteran stayed ahead of Hamilton (9th) who managed only a single fast lap following his earlier spin. Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi ended the session 10th in his Ferrari-powered C31 machine.

Pos Driver                Team                  Time               Laps 
 1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m36.877             16 
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m37.320s  + 0.443   15 
 3. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m37.338s  + 0.461   12 
 4. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1m37.356s  + 0.479   13 
 5. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m37.382s  + 0.505   13 
 6. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m37.404s  + 0.527   12 
 7. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1m37.455s  + 0.578   13 
 8. Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m37.663s  + 0.786   15 
 9. Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m37.776s  + 0.899    8 
10. Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m37.977s  + 1.100   17 
11. Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1m38.091s  + 1.214   20 
12. Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m38.178s  + 1.301   15 
13. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m38.246s  + 1.369   17 
14. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m38.285s  + 1.408   16 
15. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m38.423s  + 1.546   13 
16. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m38.640s  + 1.763   11 
17. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1m38.794s  + 1.917   18 
18. Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m39.20$s  + 2.332   16 
19. Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1m39.704s  + 2.827   15 
20. Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1m40.189s  + 3.312   14 
21. Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1m41.901s  + 5.024   14 
22. Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1m42.007s  + 5.130   14 
23. Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1m42.464s  + 5.587   14 
24. Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m43.378s  + 6.501   17
^Notes compiled from live updates and team releases
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