Formula 1 News

Vettel on top again in Texas

The Circuit of the Americas is quickly becoming a favorite of the German, who keeps dominating. Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado registered second and third best times respectively.
Saturday, November 17, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov 17, 2012 (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel maintained his total domination of practice at the United States Grand Prix on Saturday morning when he topped the times for Red Bull for a third successive session ahead of Sunday's showdown, his 100th race in Formula One.

The 25-year-old German, who needs to outscore nearest rival Fernando Alonso of Ferrari by 15 points to become the youngest triple champion in F1 history, clocked a fastest lap in one minute and 36.490 seconds to emerge fastest.

That was enough to leave him nearly three-tenths of a second clear of nearest challenger Lewis Hamilton who, in his penultimate race weekend with McLaren before joining Mercedes next year, recorded a best time of 1:36.748.

Both men clocked their times in a busy final flurry of activity in the final minutes of the hour-long session run in cold conditions, but in front of a big crowd dressed in winter jackets, at the new Circuit of the Americas 25 kilometres out of downtown Austin.

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado was third fastest for Williams ahead of Alonso, Nico Rosberg of Mercedes and Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari.

Australian Mark Webber was seventh in the second Red Bull ahead of Sergio Perez of Sauber, who crashed into Frenchman Charles Pic's Marussia during the session, Nico Hulkenberg of Force India and Jenson Button in the second McLaren.

Bruno Senna was 11th for Williams ahead of retirement-bound seven-time champion Michael Schumacher of Mercedes, and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus, who was 13th.

The Finn's Lotus team-mate Romain Grosjean was unable to run in the final part of the session on light fuel and softer tyres due toa gearbox failure.

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:36.490 18
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:36.748 0.258 20
3 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:37.001 0.511 21
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:37.180 0.690 21
5 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.247 0.757 24
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:37.262 0.772 27
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:37.298 0.808 18
8 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:37.415 0.925 20
9 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:37.495 1.005 20
10 3 Jenson Button McLaren 1:37.538 1.048 20
11 19 Bruno Senna Williams 1:37.569 1.079 21
12 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:37.760 1.270 21
13 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:37.765 1.275 26
14 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:37.953 1.463 23
15 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:38.547 2.057 23
16 11 Paul di Resta Force India 1:38.653 2.163 22
17 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:38.753 2.263 11
18 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:39.689 3.199 12
19 24 Timo Glock Marussia 1:40.407 3.917 23
20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:40.753 4.263 19
21 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:41.011 4.521 19
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia 1:41.466 4.976 19
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:43.563 7.073 21
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:44.043 7.553 23

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