F1: Hamilton fastest in Melbourne final practice

Jack Hunsley

Sep 26, 2010
Hamilton Australia FP3.png

Lewis Hamilton will go into qualifying for the season opening grand prix in Melbourne as the man to beat after pipping Sebastian Vettel to top stop in Free Practice 3.

The Brit’s 1:27.867 effort was enough to keep the Scuderia at bay, whilst a mistake from team mate Rosberg on his fastest effort meant he could only manage 3rd.

The session itself was a fairly routine affair the most part, with a good chunk of the drama coming from drivers missing their braking points, especially down into turn one and turn seven, providing the majority of the action for the spectators.

A spin from Ericsson half way through the session provided some entertainment, after the Swede went too deep into 11 and got onto the grass on the exit of 12.

Unfortunately, for Red Bull at least, the majority of the entertainment came from the truly dismal session they had to endure. Not only has Ricciardo already lost one of his four engines for the season, but both cars were plagued with numerous electronic issues right from the start, which included Daniel Ricciardo stopping at the 200m from the pit exit before being wheeled all the way back to his garage in a somewhat peculiar fashion. As a result the Red Bulls could only manage 15th and 18th when the checkered flag fell.

Right beside them at the back were the two McLarens, who seem destined for the back row of the grid if either Manor don’t show or if they are still sandbagging as badly as they have been this week. As qualifying drew nearer, the inherent lack of pace from the car only became more and more prevalent, especially for a team that secured a double podium finish here last season.

Meanwhile, Giedo van der Garde publicly relinquished his intention to race at the Australian Grand Prix shortly before the session, leading to rumours that some sort of an agreement between the two parties has been made. The details of this arrangement are yet to be made public.

Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix kicks off at 5:00pm local time and 6:00am GMT.

Free Practice 3
  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:27.867
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:28.563
  3. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:28.821
  4. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:28.912
  5. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:28.988
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:29.017
  7. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1:29.017
  8. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1:29.864
  9. Carlos Sainz Jr., Toro Rosso, 1:29.869
  10. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:29.934
  11. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1:29.952
  12. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:30.613
  13. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:30.741
  14. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:30.933
  15. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:31.185
  16. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1:31.391
  17. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:31.666
  18. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1:32.830
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Aug 3, 2014
Wow... we knew McLaren are having troubles but I didn't expect them to have back marker levels of troubling performance. My brain just shifted from poking fun at them to down right worrying about their pace given that they are my long time favorite F1 team. :confused:


May 10, 2013
That was some <snip> fast lap from Hamilton. Kudos to both Lotus for being in Q3, nice result for the Ferrari and I like when I see Massa in front of Bottas ! mark my words, Bottas will never be champion ! he shined a bit last year because of all the misfortune Massa had ! Massa was most of the year faster than Bottas !

Edited by mod - Please keep the swearing out of the forum thanks
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Tri Nguyen

Feb 8, 2015
It is probably game over for Red Bull this season... Ric lost one of his four engines, both RB are only in the backmarkers. McLaren could also stay only down the grid... Good to see Ferrari back on the lead


Oct 6, 2014
It is a very tough week end for Mclaren but also for the next weeks.

Unfortunetly, the V6 causes lot of issues for Renault. The reliability and the adjustement are not here.

Tri Nguyen

Feb 8, 2015
It is a very tough week end for Mclaren but also for the next weeks.

Unfortunetly, the V6 causes lot of issues for Renault. The reliability and the adjustement are not here.
Renault's contract with Red Bull ends after this season, so definently it won't be unusual to see RB signing a new engine supply contract with Ferrari, Mercedes, Honda or any other manufactures.

Terry Rock

Oct 24, 2009
God! I hate that four engine rule.
It's idiotic to have teams worrying about losing engines in a sport with such highly-stressed machinery.
That's one engine for every five races.
It's asinine.
As to the running.... Mercedes still has the car to beat.
What the heck is Renault and their software partners doing?
They seem incapable of overcoming the software mapping issues.
Do they not have an R&D section capable of getting to the heart of this issue?
RBR looked dismal today.
I think Lotus will be the 'Dark Horse' this year.
They always seem to come up with a good chassis.