Sebastian Vettel has thrown his and Red Bull’s hat into the ring as a threat to taking victory at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, after the German went quickest in the final qualifying session in the lead up to qualifying later today. Vettel lapped three-tenths of a second faster than yesterday’s pace-setter Fernando Alonso, while Nico Rosberg made it three difference constructors in the top three positions.
Dark clouds hovered above the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve for the entire session, but the drivers were spared any of Mother Nature’s surprises as track conditions remained dry for the whole hour’s duration. One driver who couldn’t get an ounce of luck if he tried is Mark Webber, who was rooted to pit lane after his Red Bull developed a KERS-related battery problem.
Behind the top-three, Felipe Massa continued to show his promising pace with the fourth-fastest time, ahead of the McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton who completed the top six. Muchael Schumacher was seventh-fastest and just 0.019 seconds off Hamilton’s fastest lap of the session, while Vitaly Petrov and the Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta completed the top ten.
As again with the previous sessions on this semi-street circuit, drivers continued to explore the track’s limited run-off areas. Both Toro Rossos struggled with a lack of rear grip, with Rubens Barrichello, Pedro de la Rosa and Lewis Hamilton all taking trips across the grass during the session.
Just as the chequered flag was unfurled to mark the end of the session, de la Rosa – standing in for the unwell Sergio Pérez – slapped the Turn 4 wall after apparently suffering a right-rear puncture in his Sauber.
2011 Canadian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Session Times:
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Renault RB7||1:13.381||21|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 0.320||21|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP W02||+ 0.538||29|
|4.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 0.575||20|
|5.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||+ 0.954||18|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||+ 1.088||16|
|7.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP W02||+ 1.107||23|
|8.||Vitaly Petrov||Renault R31||+ 1.536||23|
|9.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 1.836||18|
|10.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 1.862||17|
|11.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 1.931||19|
|12.||Nick Heidfeld||Renault R31||+ 1.969||22|
|13.||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 2.757||17|
|14.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 2.764||19|
|15.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 2.855||21|
|16.||Rubens Barrichello||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 3.057||21|
|17.||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 3.325||22|
|18.||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus Renault T128||+ 3.712||21|
|19.||Jarno Trulli||Lotus Renault T128||+ 4.142||24|
|20.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 5.529||20|
|21.||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 5.692||19|
|22.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 5.832||22|
|23.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 7.094||19|
|24.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Renault RB7||no time|