Red Bull Racing looks set to clean up at this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix, after Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber staged another 1-2 in the third and final practice session before this afternoon’s qualifying.
Vettel headed the timesheets by a considerable margin of over 0.7s to his team-mate, with the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button winding up third- and fourth-quickest overall.
Should conditions remain dry for both qualifying and the race – which seems unlikely given the weather forecasts – then a whitewash for the Milton Keynes team seems inevitable.
Despite overnight rain, weather conditions seem to have improved from yesterday, with bright sunshine and 18ºC (64°F) temperatures ensuring the local fans were kept comfortable as they watched their three native representatives out on track.
The session was largely incident-free, save for an unexpected red flag 20 minutes into the one-hour period, when both Kamui Kobayashi and Vitaly Petrov shot into the Turn 4 gravel trap after each ran over the still-damp kerbing. While Kobayashi was able to limp his Sauber out of the kitty litter with limited damage, it was more terminal for Petrov’s Renault, which suffered considerable front- and rear-end damage after he clobbered the tyre barriers en route to the scene of his accident.
The green flags came out with half an hour’s running still to go, and everyone ran reliably until Adrian Sutil’s Force India slowed and pulled off at the exit of the Campsa corner.
For the rest of the runners, Michael Schumacher’s promising weekend continued with a solid run to fifth overall of the timesheets, and again ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg for the third session running.
The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso sandwiched the seventh-placed Rosberg on the timesheets.
2010 Spanish GP Practice 3 Session Times:
[Original image via GP Update]