Rosberg, Hamilton on top in Spain as Verstappen impresses
Nico Rosberg went fastest as Mercedes topped the time sheets with a one-two in practice three at the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, while Max Verstappen continued to make an impact after being elevated to Red Bull's senior team.
World championship leader Rosberg recorded a time of one minute 23.078 seconds at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton 0.126secs slower.
Rosberg, who has won all four races of the season so far, was denied a chance to go faster when a sensor problem forced him to return to the pits during his second run on super soft tyres.
Sebastian Vettel, who set the fastest times through sector one and two but was unable to match Rosberg in sector three, went third quickest overall (1:23.225), but he was separated from his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen (1:24.110) by the Red Bull duo of Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.
Verstappen has been elevated from Toro Rosso to replace the incident-prone Daniil Kvyat and helped his team to finish in the top six in practice three for the first time this season with a time of 1:23.719, 0.097 quicker than Ricciardo.
With a point to prove following his demotion, Kvyat (1:24.553) managed the ninth-fastest lap, followed by the improving McLaren of Fernando Alonso, who has been in the top 10 in all three practice sessions in Spain this weekend.
1 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1:23:078
2 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:23.204
3 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:23.225
4 Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing) 1:23.719
5 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing) 1:23.816
6 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:24.110
7 Valterri Bottas (Williams) 1:24.356
8 Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:24.472
9 Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 1:24.553
10 Fernando Alonso (McLaren) 1:24.555