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.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m34.497s||0.502s||22|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.160s||1.165s||26|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.963s||1.968s||29|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.110s||2.115s||19|
|14||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.294s||2.299s||23|
|17||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.430s||2.435s||21|