Saturday, September 22, 2012

Practice Three: Vettel secure the hat-trick

Sebastian Vettel edged Lewis Hamilton in final practice, a session that saw several drivers, including Sergio Perez, Mark Webber and Vitaly Petrov, smack the barriers

With the track temperature sitting at 33'C, Practice Three got underway with Kamui Kobayashi getting the ball rolling as he crossed the line with a 1:56.339 before losing out to his team-mate Sergio Perez, who was over three seconds quicker.
The runs from the Sauber drivers sparked a flurry of activity with Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg both having a turn at the front while there were problems for Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard missed out on the early running as his Ferrari are up on jacks as his team worked on the left side of the car.
Perez was the first to brush the barriers, hitting them with rear right of his Sauber. The Mexican driver - rather tentatively - headed back into the pits have damaged the car's wishbone.
Lewis Hamilton hit the front only to lose out to his team-mate Jenson Button. This started a brief McLaren battle with the duo trading blows before Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel got involved.
Timo Glock's practice came to a halt just before the halfway mark as stopped his Marussia down a slip road after complaining that his throttle was sticking.
Finally out on track Alonso shot to the top of the timesheets before he was overhauled by Sebastian Vettel, the first driver into the 1:49s. All times to date had been set on the harder of the two Pirelli compounds, the softs.
Bruno Senna was the first driver out on the super soft tyres and improved to second, 1.1s better than his previous best in what was a clear indication of the different in speed between the two tyres. Problems for Webber, who smacked the wall, causing a right rear puncture.
No such problems for Vettel, who put the super softs on for the final ten minutes and bettered his P1 time by 1.6s! Alonso and Massa moved up behind the German as they started their super soft tyres, prompting others to venture out on the red-branded tyres for the final few minutes of FP3.
Vitaly Petrov brought the session to a premature end as he crashed at the final corner, hitting the barrier not once but twice before his Caterham came to a halt in the pit lane entrance forcing race control to throw the red flags with two minutes remaining.
The drivers headed back into the pits, avoiding Petrov's car, and the clock counted down with Vettel assured of a third P1.
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:47.947 15 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:48.272 0.325 15 laps
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:48.623 0.676 11 laps
4 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:48.859 0.912 16 laps
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:48.865 0.918 17 laps
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:49.458 1.511 13 laps
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1:49.684 1.737 15 laps
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:49.699 1.752 16 laps
9 Bruno Senna Williams 1:49.715 1.768 14 laps
10 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:49.981 2.034 14 laps
11 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:50.110 2.163 12 laps
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:50.524 2.577 10 laps
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:50.664 2.717 16 laps
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:50.777 2.830 15 laps
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:50.840 2.893 15 laps
16 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:51.012 3.065 15 laps
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:51.059 3.112 17 laps
18 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:51.272 3.325 10 laps
19 Charles Pic Marussia 1:52.290 4.343 16 laps
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:53.781 5.834 12 laps
21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:54.326 6.379 14 laps
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:54.421 6.474 14 laps
23 Timo Glock Marussia 1:54.630 6.683 9 laps
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:54.875 6.928 14 laps

Source: Planet-F1

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