Nico Rosberg set the pace once again at Silverstone

Mercedes once again flexed their muscles and finished on top of the time sheets at the conclusion of final practice for the British Grand Prix, with Nico Rosberg once again leading the charge.

There were a few slip ups and mistakes throughout practice as drivers had to adapt to the rising temperatures of the track, which escalated seven degrees by sessions end.

Sergio Perez found himself sitting in the garage for most of the session, as his left rear tyre burst on his McLaren at the exit of Copse, causing the red flag to appear just 15 minutes into the session.

Speculations around the paddock were that it was another delamination, as the new tyres still aren’t being used throughout a full race weekend.

Perez could count himself lucky as the damage from the shredded rubber was isolated to the floor, rather than damaging some of the car’s internals.

Lotus remained persistent with their passive DRS and kept it running on Kimi Raikkonen’s car. The Finn finished down the order in eighth, three places behind teammate Romain Grosjean, who was not running passive DRS. However, there were thoughts that Lotus could be sandbagging a touch to hide the true benefit the passive DRS system brings.

Ferrari still haven’t found the pace required to keep up with rivals Mercedes and Red Bull, as Fernando Alonso could only manage seventh position. Teammate Felipe Massa struggled to set a decent lap time after his incident yesterday and was way down the field in 15th. The Brazilian is also facing another engine change, which will be his fourth this season.

Despite going second-fastest, Lewis Hamilton was feeling unsettled during the session, complaining the car was vibrating and sliding off the track.

Even though it wasn’t qualifying, the Toro Rosso boys were out to prove their worth, constantly bettering each other’s times. Daniel Ricciardo put his STR8 in sixth place with teammate Jean-Eric Vergne further down in 11th.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber had strong outings for Red Bull Racing, although Vettel didn’t get too many flying laps in, as the team spent more than half the session aero testing.

The Force Indias rounded up the top ten, with Adrian Sutil in ninth and Di Resta, four one hundredths of a second behind in tenth.


2013 British Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:31.487   18
2. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:31.633 + 0.146 20
3. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:32.037 + 0.550 20
4. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:32.078 + 0.591 17
5. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:32.391 + 0.904 18
6. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:32.440 + 0.953 19
7. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:32.454 + 0.967 18
8. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:32.459 + 0.972 22
9. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:32.536 + 1.049 17
10. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:32.571 + 1.084 17
11. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:32.580 + 1.093 15
12. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:32.926 + 1.439 18
13. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW35 1:33.133 + 1.646 17
14. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Sauber Ferrari C32 1:33.225 + 1.738 16
15. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:33.273 + 1.786 16
16. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW35 1:33.309 + 1.822 25
17. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C32 1:33.370 + 1.883 19
18. Sergio Pérez MEX McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:33.607 + 2.120 9
19. Charles Pic FRA Caterham Renault CT03 1:34.971 + 3.484 18
20. Jules Bianchi FRA Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:34.990 + 3.503 17
21. Max Chilton GBR Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:36.694 + 5.207 16
22. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT03 1:37.443 + 5.956 18

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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