Formula 1 News

Vettel fastest in final practice

The defending champion fights back and leads the last session with healthy a three tenths of a second over Alonso and half of a second over Button.
Saturday, July 30, 2011

BUDAPEST, July 30, 2011 (AFP) - Defending drivers' world champion and current runaway leader Sebastian Vettel topped the times for Red Bull in Saturday morning's third and final free practice session ahead of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

After seeing Briton Lewis Hamilton dominate both free sessions on Friday, the 24-year-old German reacted with a committed and more fluent performance that lifted him clear of nearest rival two-times champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Alonso, who was 30 on Friday, was three-tenths of a second off the pace set by the flying German who clocked a best lap of one minute and 21.168 in the closing seconds.

Hamilton's McLaren team-mate and fellow-Briton Jenson Button was third fastest, one-tenth off the pace set by Alonso with Australian Mark Webber fourth in the second Red Bull.

Brazilian Felipe Massa was fifth for Ferrari ahead of German Nico Rosberg in the leading Mercedes and Hamilton, down in seventh and 1.4 seconds off the pace set by Vettel, in his McLaren.

Hamilton, however, was unable to clock a clear flying lap on super-soft tyres and a low fuel load in the closing minutes when he was clearly left frustrated. "Brakes didn't work," he snapped over the team radio as he flat-spotted his tyres on one effort to record a fast time.

Germany's seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, 42, was eighth in the second Mercedes ahead of Russian Vitaly Petrov of Renault - backed by a massed army of travelling support - with Briton Paul Di Resta 10th in the leading Force India car.

Button was fastest early in the session, but it was not long before Vettel took over showing more determination than recently and he topped the times for the rest of the session either side of a fast lap by Alonso.

Red Bull team chief Christian Horner said: "He's had a remarkable first 10 races, picking up six wins, three seconds and a fourth."For sure he wants to win more Grands Prix, but on races you can't win, you need to take second or the third or fourth. It all adds up. It's almost impossible to maintain strike rate he's been achieving."

Here are the times:

HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX PRACTICE 3 TIMES (FP3)
POS No. DRIVER TEAM TIME GAP LAPS
1 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:21.168 17
2 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:21.469 0.301 13
3 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.639 0.471 14
4 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:21.645 0.477 18
5 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:22.002 0.834 14
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:22.534 1.366 22
7 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.667 1.499 14
8 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:23.037 1.869 19
9 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:23.175 2.007 19
10 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:23.276 2.108 18
11 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:23.281 2.113 13
12 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:23.375 2.207 18
13 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:23.626 2.458 25
14 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:23.663 2.495 17
15 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:23.894 2.726 17
16 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:23.966 2.798 18
17 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:23.998 2.830 15
18 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:25.061 3.893 19
19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:25.141 3.973 20
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:25.501 4.333 20
21 25 Jerome d'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:26.955 5.787 20
22 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:26.991 5.823 19
23 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:27.174 6.006 16
24 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:27.713 6.545 20

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