Rosberg moves ahead in final practice

Rosberg moves ahead in final practice

10 May 2014 – Nico Rosberg set the standard during Saturday morning's final practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver clocked a 1:25.887 with Pirelli's Medium compound tyre to comfortably outpace team-mate Lewis Hamilton, although the latter's best effort crucially came on the harder rubber.

Amid further clear skies and hot temperatures, the drivers spent the majority of the session attempting to learn more about degradation levels on the Prime tyre, with plenty taking to the radio to voice their concerns.

When the switch to the softer step arrived, it was Rosberg who stole a march, having been able to complete an error-free lap in clean air.

Hamilton had looked set to move to the front of the field, but backed out and returned to the pits after a sloppy final sector. This left a misleading gap of 0.869 seconds between the Silver Arrows duo.

Fernando Alonso was 1.3 seconds off the pace in third, just ahead of former team-mate Felipe Massa.

After a dismal start to the 2014 season, Romain Grosjean gave Lotus something to feel positive about by classifying fifth, with Kevin Magnussen, Daniel Ricciardo and Jenson Button occupying places six to eight.

The Frenchman's team-mate, Pastor Maldonado, also made the top ten positions, slotting his E21 in front of reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who did his best to recover from his lack of mileage on Friday.

Kimi Räikkönen experienced a quiet morning en route to 14th, over a second back on Ferrari team-mate Alonso.

There was little drama throughout the 60-minute session, although plenty of drivers took to the gravel traps.

Max Chilton beat Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi to 19th before sliding off at Turn 5 with 10 minutes to run. The pair again outpaced Caterham rivals Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson, who continued to struggle.

Saturday's qualifying session in Barcelona gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +2)

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