sport

P3: Rosberg heads Hamilton

Nico Rosberg was fastest in final practice for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday morning ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg, who currently holds a four-point lead over Hamilton in the drivers' standings, lapped the 4.655km Circuit de Catalunya in a time of 1:25.887s to go 0.869s faster than the Briton.

However, Hamilton, who is chasing his fourth straight win in Barcelona this weekend, failed to complete a qualifying practice run after getting out of shape towards the end of his only attempted flying lap.

As such, his time of 1:26.756s was set on the prime, hard compound tyre, with the fact that he still ended the session placed P2 fully indicating that the Silver Arrows' dominance is here to stay for now.

Fernando Alonso was next up for Ferrari, with the Spaniard about 1.3s off Rosberg's time, with Felipe Massa a fraction behind his former team-mate in the Williams.

Both enjoyed better sessions that their respective new team-mates, with Valtteri Bottas 11th fastest overall while Kimi Raikkonen was down in 14th place well over a second slower than Alonso.

Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, struggled to get into the top ten, although there was the suggestion that the World Champion, who missed most of Friday's running after an electrical problem intervened, was held up on his flying lap.

Vettel wound up tenth fastest, just over a tenth down on Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Elsewhere, Lotus's revival gathered pace with both Romain Grosjean (fifth) and Pastor Maldonado (ninth) in the top ten, while McLaren managed the same as Kevin Magnussen took sixth, two places ahead of Jenson Button.

With qualifying underway at 1pm BST and Rosberg desperate to halt Hamilton's momentum, the German can take some comfort from the fact that he was also quicker when cars took to the track on the orange-walled hard tyre early on.

He improved by 0.6s after subsequently heading out on mediums with about 15 minutes to go but Hamilton never appeared happy with his own lap.

Having fought oversteer at the Turn 14 chicane, he chose instead to abort, with Mercedes then deciding to concentrate on their qualifying preparations.