Nico Rosberg has topped the timings again, this time with his teammate close in tow. It couldn’t get much better for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, taking the top two spots in Saturday practice in what effectively is their home race – both the team’s main factory in Brackley and engine centre in Brixworth are within close vicinity to the Silverstone Circuit.
Rosberg’s 1:31.487s put him 0.146s ahead of local hero Hamilton, and over half a second quicker than his closest rivals Red Bull Racing who filled up the next two spots. That’s a good cushion to have going into qualifying proper later in the day, especially when both Nico and Lewis appeared to be quickest on both tyre options.
Lotus showed some real pace here for the first time this week, Frenchman Romain Grosjean putting up the fifth fastest time just behind the Red Bull pair but ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo who has been impressive all week. Excellent timing, that, considering he’s one of the top candidates to succeed the retiring Mark Webber next year.
Alonso and Raikkonen are close behind, with the two Sahara Force India drivers completing the top 10. McLaren again appear to be in dire form, number one driver Jenson Button only twelfth fastest and new signing Perez a lowly eighteenth after a tyre blowout and a spin.
It all looks good so far for the Mercedes AMG Petronas team, at least for qualifying. The race tomorrow will the real acid test, however, as both Red Bulls and Alonso’s Ferrari look hugely quick and consistent through their long runs yesterday. Come back again for the qualifying update right here.