Hamilton heads close final practice session in Melbourne

2012 Australian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Melbourne, 2012Lewis Hamilton headed the times in an exciting final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix.

Just over a second covered the top 13 drivers at the end of the final hour of running.

Mercedes looked quick from the moment they took to the track at the start of the final practice session – although their drivers had trouble keeping the car on the track to begin with.

Nico Rosberg ran wide at turn one and Michael Schumacher took to the gravel at turn three. But it didn’t keep them from leading the early running.

Red Bull appeared to be keeping some performance in reserve. But just as they were beginning to show some of the RB8′s real potential, Sebastian Vettel spun into the gravel, bringing his session to an end.

He wasn’t the only one of the top drivers in trouble. Schumacher spun into the gravel at turn nine with five minutes remaining.

Romain Grosjean had just gone quickest at the time. Once the yellow flags came back in, Hamilton pumped in a 1’25.681 to head the times by less than a tenth of a second.

Mark Webber made it three different teams in the top three, taking third ahead of Jenson Button and the two Mercedes.

The Ferrari drivers struggled. Felipe Massa had his second spin of the weekend and Fernando Alonso had the F2012 by the scruff of the neck trying to wring a lap time out of it.

Both Marussia drivers lapped within 7% of the quickest time, which bodes well for their chances in qualifying. But the HRTs were around a second and a half away from that target.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.681 18
2 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’25.758 0.077 21
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’25.900 0.219 20
4 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.906 0.225 17
5 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.929 0.248 23
6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’26.078 0.397 14
7 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’26.211 0.530 12
8 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’26.470 0.789 17
9 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.632 0.951 20
10 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.723 1.042 17
11 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.733 1.052 15
12 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’26.737 1.056 19
13 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.755 1.074 21
14 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’27.029 1.348 23
15 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’27.119 1.438 20
16 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’27.323 1.642 19
17 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’27.428 1.747 22
18 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’28.023 2.342 19
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’28.341 2.660 19
20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’28.702 3.021 11
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’30.728 5.047 13
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’31.225 5.544 14
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’33.114 7.433 12
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’33.261 7.580 13

2012 Australian Grand Prix


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33 comments on Hamilton heads close final practice session in Melbourne

  1. Herberto said on 17th March 2012, 5:30

    Mclaren, RB and Mercedes fighting for pole.
    Lewis Hamilton for P1.

  2. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 17th March 2012, 5:35

    Qualifying will start in 30 minutes. I can wait! My predictions for the grid is:

    1. Rosberg
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton
    4. Button
    5. Webber
    6. Schumacher
    7. Raikkonen
    8. Perez
    9. Alonso
    10. Grosjean

    Red Bull and Mclaren are strong. Mercedes is very, very fast. I’m optimistic about their chances this year. Renault are decently good. As a fan of them back in 2002-2008 I’m very worried about Ferrari.

  3. west (@west) said on 17th March 2012, 5:41

    mcLaren look very strong, mercedes in the mix, red bull no idea, ferrari looks in a mess, lotus surprise,

  4. Bigbadderboom (@bigbadderboom) said on 17th March 2012, 5:49

    Well here we go again, the Bigbadderboom predictor kiss of death!! Can’t see Ferrari i Q3 Vettel is looking hassled, both McLaren boys looking comfortable, innovative Mercs looking very quick! So now watch my predictions return next to 0 poits :)

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