Russian GP: Rosberg tops shortened FP3 as Sainz has huge crash

Nico Rosberg topped a shortened final practice for the Russian Grand Prix, in a session which was cut short following a big accident involving Carlos Sainz.

The session came to a halt with 20 minutes to go after Sainz appeared to lose control of his car on the approach to Turn 13.

The car impacted against the barriers and it was buried below them.

Practice was first red-flagged and then race control announced it would not be restarted.

The Spaniard was taken to the medical centre but he was conscious and speaking. 

Rosberg set the pace with a time of 1:38.561 on the super-soft tyres, finishing over seven tenths clear ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The early finish meant several drivers did not complete a qualifying simulation.

Following yesterday's fruitless session, it was a busy start to the day, with most drivers jumping on the track right away as the lights turned green.

The only driver who did not set a time right away were Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who stayed in their garage longer than their rivals.

Bottas was the early pace-setter by some margin, the Williams driver nearly three seconds clear of the rest of the field at the 10-minute mark despite using the soft tyres.

The super-softs made an early appearance with the Red Bull cars, but neither Ricciardo nor Kvyat set competitive times with them as the team appeared to focus on longer runs.

Massa made it a Williams 1-2 at the top of the times 15 minutes into the session, just three tenths behind his teammate, as Max Verstappen spun his Toro Rosso at the final corner.

At the time, the Williams duo were two seconds ahead of their closest rival.

Bottas went even quicker before the halfway point, setting a best time of 1:40.275 to open the gap to Massa to nearly seven tenths.

The Finn's dominance came to an end moments later, however, with Rosberg setting a new benchmark of 1:38.941 with a run on super-softs. The Mercedes driver went quicker on his next lap, lowering his best to a 1:38.561 before Sainz's accident.

1 Nico Rosberg  Mercedes 1:38.561 1:38.561 15
2 Valtteri Bottas  Williams 1:39.287 +0.726 17
3 Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes 1:39.363 +0.802 13
4 Sergio Perez  Force India 1:39.616 +1.055 14
5 Felipe Massa  Williams 1:39.875 +1.314 14
6 Nico Hulkenberg  Force India 1:39.917 +1.356 14
7 Jenson Button  McLaren 1:40.581 +2.020 12
8 Pastor Maldonado  Team Lotus 1:40.767 +2.206 13
9 Fernando Alonso  McLaren 1:41.200 +2.639 11
10 Felipe Nasr  Sauber 1:41.229 +2.668 14
11 Daniil Kvyat  Red Bull Racing 1:41.358 +2.797 15
12 Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari 1:42.297 +3.736 11
13 Romain Grosjean  Team Lotus 1:42.371 +3.810 14
14 Marcus Ericsson  Sauber 1:42.450 +3.889 14
15 Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso 1:42.683 +4.122 19
16 Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari 1:42.686 +4.125 11
17 Max Verstappen  Toro Rosso 1:43.089 +4.528 16
18 Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull Racing 1:43.347 +4.786 14
19 Roberto Merhi  Manor 1:46.767 +8.206 19
20 Will Stevens  Manor 1:47.249 +8.688 18


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Russian GP
Sub-event Saturday practice
Track Sochi Autodrom
Article type Practice report