Merc back on top…is it enough?

Perhaps things have been restored to normal or Mercedes has re-found its pace but Nico Rosberg led the final practice session on Saturday morning by edging teammate, Lewis Hamilton, by two tenths and his nearest non-Mercdes rival by a half second…but is it enough?

Perhaps the surprise in FP3 was the lack of pace from the Ferrari’s and the resurgence of the Red Bull squad amongst the front runners but then this circuit does reward a Newey-designed car.

Perhaps the bigger question is, does Mercedes have enough pace to fend off the Red Bull and Ferrari threat? Is there some in reserve that the team were not showing during practice?

With wet sessions for FP1 and 2, all of the setup had to be done in the third session and Mercedes could be running a program of measured changes given their struggles in Singapore but time will tell. If the Mercedes pace isn’t what it was pre-Monza, then I am more apt to believe the tire pressure issue was a much bigger exploit than originally revealed but I get ahead of myself because I do think order will be restored in qualifying.

1Nico RosbergMercedes1m33.995s19
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m34.292s0.297s20
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m34.497s0.502s22
4Valtteri BottasWilliams/Mercedes1m34.797s0.802s27
5Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1m34.934s0.939s25
6Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m35.082s1.087s16
7Max VerstappenToro Rosso/Renault1m35.160s1.165s26
8Sebastian VettelFerrari1m35.222s1.227s16
9Romain GrosjeanLotus/Mercedes1m35.602s1.607s20
10Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault1m35.963s1.968s29
11Nico HulkenbergForce India/Mercedes1m36.110s2.115s19
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1m36.174s2.179s15
13Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1m36.199s2.204s19
14Daniil KvyatRed Bull/Renault1m36.294s2.299s23
15Pastor MaldonadoLotus/Mercedes1m36.307s2.312s21
16Fernando AlonsoMcLaren/Honda1m36.360s2.365s18
17Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m36.430s2.435s21
18Felipe NasrSauber/Ferrari1m36.919s2.924s24
19Will StevensMarussia/Ferrari1m39.653s5.658s24
20Alexander RossiMarussia/Ferrari1m39.819s5.824s22
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