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Advantage Rosberg in FP3

NEWS STORY
10/05/2014

Based on yesterday's evidence, everyone can afford to take it easy today as Lewis Hamilton is virtually untouchable. Not only was his pace awesome in both sessions, it was clear that there was lots more in reserve.

And when we say 'everyone' can take it easy that includes teammate Nico Rosberg, whose mood clearly darkened every time Hamilton crossed the line.

Whilst Daniel Ricciardo attempted to keep the Mercedes duo honest, Red Bull's efforts were not helped by the fact that following an electrical (ERS) issue in FP1, Sebastian Vettel was unable to take part in FP2.

Ricciardo did his bit - as ever - but the Red Bull, despite being widely tipped for a good result here courtesy of the track characteristics suiting Adrian Newey designed cars, was unable to get within spitting distance of Hamilton.

McLaren impressed, particularly in the opening session, but Jenson Button said not to read too much into this.

Both Ferraris were up there - albeit over 1.5s off the pace - but Luca di Montezemolo's expression said it all, there is not going to be a magic revival at Maranello anytime soon.

Lotus, Toro Rosso and Force India dominated the midfield with Williams continuing to fall behind. Sauber and Caterham merely looked all at sea.

Air temperature this morning is 22 degrees C, while the track temperature is 21 degrees. It is bright and sunny.

Tyre choices this weekend are hard and medium whilst the two DRS zones are on the main straight and on the shorter back straight between Turns 9 and 10.

Needless to say, Hamilton was strong on both compounds on short and long runs.

Poor old Jean-Eric Vergne picked up a ten-place grid penalty - and his team a thirty thousand euro fine - for the incident which saw him lose his right-rear wheel shortly after leaving the pits.

Vergne leads the way when the lights go green, the Frenchman followed by Chilton, Hulkenberg, Sutil, Ericsson, Bianchi and Kvyat. Vettel, keen to make up for lost time, is another early riser.

Five minutes into the session all but Massa and Magnussen have been out. Rosberg clams that his DRS isn't working - though TV evidence says he's wrong - whilst Hamilton complains that his steering isn't straight.

Nice to see Peter Sauber back in the paddock, the popular Swiss still smiling despite the current problems his team is facing.

Finally on track, Magnussen posts the first time of the day, his 1:29.959 reflecting the error made in the final chicane. Next time around the Dane improves to 29.115.

Ericsson goes second (of two) with a 35.759. However, moments later he is demoted when Vettel posts 29.299.

Another smiling face in the Sauber garage, this one belonging to 'affiliate driver' Simona de Silvestro.

Raikkonen goes quickest with a 28.595, the Finn momentarily hidden in a cloud of smoke left behind when Ericsson gets into trouble at T1.

Maldonado runs wide but still manages to go third with a 29.019. The Venezuelan looking quite strong yesterday.

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