Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg set the pace, ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third fastest. Rosberg was just 0.065secs ahead of Hamilton, who was told by his engineer he just needed to put his fastest possible lap together to head the field. Hamilton was in turn 0.227secs clear of Alonso, who was 0.274secs ahead of Ricciardo.  McLaren’s Jenson Button was fifth, ahead of world champion Sebastian Vettel, 0.4secs down on Ricciardo.