This was Mercedes’ third pole in succession and two-in-a-row for Rosberg as once again the team from Brackley demonstrated they are without peer over one lap. Sebastian Vettel, third for Red Bull Racing and Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen, fourth, will take comfort from the fact that Mercedes have consistently faded over longer stints this season, proving uncompetitive in the long runs.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa topped the final practice timesheet ahead of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix with a time of 1:21.901 at the Circuit de Catalunya.
The Brazilian just edged Kimi Raikkonen, the Lotus driver ending the one-hour session just six thousandths of a second behind the Ferrari man. Third place went to Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber, who finished the final practice session 0.143 adrift of Massa’s benchmark.
After a quiet morning, Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel rose to the top in the afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya. With the track properly dry and temperatures rising, Vettel wasted no time in exiting the pitlane when the light turned green. He was followed by most of the field, with 19 cars on track within the first five minutes. He started on the experimental hard tyre, others followed with a mix of that and the standard version. Lap times were soon much quicker than those set in the morning, with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg leading the way with a 1:23.801 at the 15 minute mark.