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