Sebastian Vettel has continued to set the practice pace at the Singapore Grand Prix in Saturday evening’s third and final hit-out before tonight’s all-important qualifying session around the twisty Marina Bay circuit.
But the Red Bull Racing driver could face some competition for qualifying honours, with Romain Grosjean falling less than two-tenths short of toppling the German from top spot in the one-hour session.
With much of the session dedicated towards fine-tuning the car set-up on longer runs – a point at which Vettel’s teammate, Mark Webber, was the quickest driver – the switch to the Super Soft Pirelli tyres brought Vettel back to top spot. The two-time defending winner posted a 1:44.173, while Grosjean got a lot closer than anyone else has been able to, lapping just 0,191 seconds adrift.
Webber fell to fourth-fastest in the final reckoning, sandwiched between the Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.
Fernando Alonso finished sixth-quickest in his heavily upgraded Ferrari, which was still over a second off Vettel’s ultimate pace. The McLaren pair of Sergio Pérez and Jenson Button were just behind the Spaniard, sandwiching Nico Hülkenberg, who took his Sauber eighth-fastest.
Felipe Massa brought the sister Ferrari inside the top-ten for the first time all weekend, although his appointed replacement, Kimi Räikkönen, only finished the session twelfth-fastest, with his final flying lap interrupted by traffic.
2013 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Session Times:
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:44.173||15|
|2.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:44.364||+ 0.191||16|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:44.741||+ 0.568||18|
|4.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:44.906||+ 0.733||14|
|5.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:44.921||+ 0.748||14|
|6.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:45.257||+ 1.084||13|
|7.||Sergio Pérez||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:45.500||+ 1.327||12|
|8.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:45.876||+ 1.703||19|
|9.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:45.890||+ 1.717||13|
|10.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:45.935||+ 1.762||13|
|11.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:46.084||+ 1.911||15|
|12.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:46.147||+ 1.974||13|
|13.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW35||1:46.339||+ 2.165||17|
|14.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:46.358||+ 2.185||16|
|15.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW35||1:46.660||+ 2.487||17|
|16.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:46.879||+ 2.706||16|
|17.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:46.893||+ 2.720||13|
|18.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:47.249||+ 3.076||19|
|19.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Renault CT03||1:48.931||+ 4.758||17|
|20.||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault CT03||1:49.037||+ 4.864||18|
|21.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:49.182||+ 5.009||21|
|22.||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:49.982||+ 5.809||20|
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