Russian GP: Mercedes 1-2-3-4-5-6 in final practice

Nico Rosberg
Nico Rosberg

A huge crash that sent Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. to the hospital on a stretcher (he is conscious and moving) ended final practice for the Russian GP 25 min. early before all drivers could put in a top time. After yesterday's rain washout, and now losing much of the third practice, some teams, such as Ferrari, are sucking wind before qualifying.

Sainz lost the car under braking for Turn 13 and hit the outside wall on corner entry, then plowed through the run off area and into the barriers.

"Is he okay?" his teammate Max Verstappen asked. "We don't know – we lost power to the car," said his Toro Rosso engineer.

Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso in the barriers

The FIA decided not to restart the session as marshals and medics continued to attend to Sainz who appeared to give a thumbs-up on the stretcher.

Sainz was airlifted to hospital to have further checks, with his participation in the remainder of the race weekend now very much in doubt.

Meanwhile, Toro Rosso team manager Franz Tost says he suspects the accident was caused by driver error, rather than a car or tire failure.

Nico Rosberg turned the fastest lap before the red flag ahead of five other Mercedes powered cars. Either you have Mercedes power or you are nowhere some would say, but the truth of the matter is some drivers put in times on Super-Soft tires early and others never had a chance because of the red flags.

Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari is an example – down in 16th on the harder soft tires and still running a heavy fuel load. That combined with cold ambient temperatures and we certainly did not see what everyone's real speed is.

Results

Pos Driver Car Time Behind Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes/Mercedes 1:38.561 0.000s 15
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:39.287 0.726s 17
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes/Mercedes 1:39.363 0.802s 13
4 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:39.616 1.055s 14
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:39.875 1.314s 14
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:39.917 1.356s 14
7 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:40.581 2.020s 12
8 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1:40.767 2.206s 13
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:41.200 2.639s 11
10 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:41.229 2.668s 14
11 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1:41.358 2.797s 15
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari/Ferrari 1:42.297 3.736s 11
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1:42.371 3.810s 14
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:42.450 3.889s 14
15 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1:42.683 4.122s 19
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari/Ferrari 1:42.686 4.125s 11
17 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1:43.089 4.528s 16
18 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:43.347 4.786s 14
19 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1:46.767 8.206s 19
20 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1:47.249 8.688s 18

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