Barcelona Day 3: Rosberg heads mixed session

Nico Rosberg headed a mostly wet session

Nico Rosberg headed a mostly wet session

Nico Rosberg unseated Sebastian Vettel off the top of the timesheets in Barcelona today, as the weather again made for unpredictable conditions.

Rain in the morning forced most teams to start on extreme wet tyres. The track dried out during the day, and the final few hours allowed slick the use of slick tyres.

Rosberg focused on KERS and tyre development today, as well as qualifying simulations. He was 3 tenths ahead of Vitaly Petrov, who completed work on a new suspension and exhaust layout.

Lewis Hamilton was 3rd, and was an entire second ahead of Pastor Maldonado in 4th. The Williams driver caused one of several red flags today, as he spun in the treacherous conditions.

Mark Webber was 5th, and Jarno Trulli 6th, as the Lotus suffered yet another water leak, limiting him to only 48 laps. Sergio Perez was another rookie to have  spin, and was delayed with rear wing problems, but still managed 7th.

Adrian Sutil was 8th. He led Sebastien Buemi, who shared his Toro Rosso with Daniel Ricciardo, who was back in 13th. Felipe Massa caused two red flags, ran off track several times, and finished a lacklustre 10th. Timo Glock was 0.09 seconds behind in 11th.

Hispania tested 2006 Midland test driver Giorgio Mandini today. He did 39 laps, and was 5 seconds off the pace in 12th. Narain Karthikeyan was last, 7.5 seconds off the pace.

Rosberg was happy with today’s progress:

"It was interesting running with the intermediates this morning and, although the 
warm-up is tricky, we definitely improved our understanding of the tyres. Our long 
runs this afternoon included some aero work in preparation for our next upgrade 
package before going into lower-fuel, new-tyre running at the end of the day. We 
made good progress in understanding the car and the tyres, and the reliability was 
solid once again."

Times from Barcelona Day 3:

Pos  Driver              Team                  Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1.23.168             92
 2.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault               1.23.463   0.295     93
 3.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1.23.858   0.690     93
 4.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Cosworth     1.24.815   1.647     60
 5.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1.24.995   1.827     139
 6.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus-Renault         1.25.454   2.286     48
 7.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1.25.557   2.389     115
 8.  Adrian Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  1.25.720   2.552     102
 9.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.26.155   2.987     31
10.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1.26.508   3.340     123
11.  Timo Glock          Virgin-Cosworth       1.26.598   3.430     97
12.  Giorgio Mondini     Hispania-Cosworth     1.28.178   5.010     39
13.  Daniel Ricciardo    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1.28.329   5.161     42
14.  Narain Karthikeyan  Hispania-Cosworth     1.30.722   7.554     32

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