Sebastian Vettel has yet again gone quickest in practice for the Indian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has continued to dominate proceedings at this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, yet again finishing atop the timesheets at the end of each of the event’s free practice sessions. The German is an almost unbackable favourite to claim pole position in this afternoon’s qualifying session.

The defending race-winner posted his fastest lap time of this morning’s one-hour session a little past its halfway point, and from that moment on, no one could come close to toppling him from top spot.

Having shown consistent race pace with heavier fuel loads yesterday, McLaren proved that it could challenge to avoid a Red Bull Racing front-row lockout by getting Jenson Button into second-fastest, just under two-tenths of a second off Vettel’s best.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished up fourth-fastest in the sister McLaren, with the pair sandwiching Mark Webber on the timesheets. Webber claimed the position on his final run on soft tyres, although his session was interrupted with a spin at the final corner.

Kimi Räikkönen finished the session fifth-quickest in his Lotus, while Bruno Senna managed sixth overall. The Brazilian showed excellent pace on the harder Pirelli times, going third-quickest overall in his Williams.

The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finished further down the order than most would have expected, although the Italian team was concentrating on a specific program during the session, which included each of the drivers helping the other with slipstreaming down the track’s long back straight.

Rounding out the top ten were Nico Hülkenberg, Michael Schumacher and Romain Grosjean, who complained of a lack of grip and stability in his Lotus’ handling.

2012 Indian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:25.842   20
2. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:26.034 + 0.192 17
3. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:26.108 + 0.266 18
4. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:26.151 + 0.309 21
5. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:26.209 + 0.367 22
6. Bruno Senna BRA Williams Renault FW34 1:26.214 + 0.372 24
7. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:26.521 + 0.679 15
8. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:26.531 + 0.689 21
9. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:26.652 + 0.810 21
10. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:26.664 + 0.822 21
11. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:26.691 + 0.849 13
12. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW34 1:27.140 + 1.298 18
13. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:27.162 + 1.320 21
14. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:27.193 + 1.351 22
15. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:27.229 + 1.387 21
16. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:27.374 + 1.532 21
17. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:27.711 + 1.869 20
18. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C31 1:27.983 + 2.141 19
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Caterham Renault CT01 1:29.035 + 3.193 20
20. Vitaly Petrov RUS Caterham Renault CT01 1:29.237 + 3.395 20
21. Timo Glock DEU Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:29.617 + 3.775 20
22. Charles Pic FRA Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:30.298 + 4.456 20
23. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:30.824 + 4.982 22
24. Pedro de la Rosa ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:30.873 + 5.031 22

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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.