MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in Saturday’s pre-qualifying practice session for the season-opening Formula One Australian Grand Prix, well clear of his rivals.
Rosberg was 1.4 seconds faster than the next-best driver, Jenson Button of McLaren, around the Albert Park street circuit.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third fastest, narrowly ahead of Rosberg’s teammate Lewis Hamilton, while four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull was down in 12th place, 2.8 seconds off the pace and complaining on his radio about his car’s “drivability.”
Despite dark clouds around Melbourne, rain held off for the practice session but was forecast to arrive later Saturday and may affect qualifying.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.