Vettel edges Maldonado for fastest time in final practice

2012 Spanish Grand Prix third practice

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Barcelona, 2012Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

He produced a lap of 1’23.168 to beat Pastor Maldonado to the fastest time of the session.

Lewis Hamilton looked on course for a quick time but had to back off when he caught Kimi Raikkonen and Narain Karthikeyan at the chicane.

The Saubers also looked quick during the session. Sergio Perez led the early running on hard tyres, setting a 1’24.554 in his Sauber.

His time was beaten by Nico Rosberg shortly after the halfway point in the session, the Mercedes driver one of the first to use the soft tyres, lapping in 1’24.070. He was beaten first by the Toro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne, and then Perez returned to the top of the times with a 1’23.742.

Perez’s time was eventually beaten by team mate Kamui Kobayashi before Maldonado took over at the top in the final minutes.

Mark Webber was fourth-fastest for Red Bull ahead of Perez and Fernando Alonso, the Ferrari driver 0.639s off the pace in the revised Ferrari.

Vergne, Jenson Button, Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg completed the top ten, which contained cars from eight different teams.

Romain Grosjean hit trouble early in the session when he stopped with a loss of fuel pressure at La Caixa. The Lotus was returned to the garage with 20 minutes of the session remaining.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’23.168 13
2 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’23.336 0.168 19
3 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’23.350 0.182 19
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’23.578 0.410 16
5 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’23.742 0.574 22
6 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’23.807 0.639 15
7 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’23.833 0.665 14
8 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’23.909 0.741 13
9 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’23.936 0.768 16
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’24.070 0.902 24
11 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’24.179 1.011 16
12 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’24.323 1.155 17
13 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.331 1.163 15
14 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’24.409 1.241 18
15 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’24.599 1.431 15
16 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’24.778 1.610 15
17 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’24.825 1.657 17
18 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’25.911 2.743 20
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’26.587 3.419 20
20 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.469 4.301 18
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.689 4.521 16
22 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’28.207 5.039 24
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’28.373 5.205 13
24 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault Not ime 2

Spanish Grand Prix combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’24.808 1’23.563 1’23.168 -0.395 69
2 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’26.297 1’24.468 1’23.336 -1.132 77
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.912 1’24.214 1’23.350 -0.864 88
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’24.996 1’23.399 1’23.909 +0.51 75
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’25.539 1’24.065 1’23.578 -0.487 73
6 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’25.918 1’24.422 1’23.742 -0.68 73
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.607 1’23.771 1’24.070 +0.299 85
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’24.430 1’24.600 1’23.807 -0.623 68
9 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.367 1’24.733 1’23.833 -0.9 70
10 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.252 1’23.909 1’24.778 +0.869 67
11 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’25.285 1’23.918 1’23.936 +0.018 77
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’25.217 1’23.964 55
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’25.187 1’24.080 1’24.825 +0.745 68
14 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’25.433 1’24.418 1’24.179 -0.239 72
15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’25.339 1’24.365 1’24.323 -0.042 63
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.226 1’24.769 1’24.331 -0.438 76
17 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’25.047 1’24.409 -0.638 60
18 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’24.688 1’24.599 -0.089 45
19 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’25.120
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’27.475 1’26.740 1’25.911 -0.829 75
21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’26.296 1’26.587 +0.291 56
22 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1’26.630
23 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’28.267 1’27.314 1’27.689 +0.375 64
24 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’28.633 1’27.664 1’27.469 -0.195 70
25 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’28.207 26
26 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’29.107 1’28.235 1’28.373 +0.138 58
27 Alexander Rossi Caterham-Renault 1’28.448
28 Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1’31.618

2012 Spanish Grand Prix

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27 comments on Vettel edges Maldonado for fastest time in final practice

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th May 2012, 11:12

    Well, that just makes qualifying and the race even harder to predict.

    Not that I’m complaining.

  2. Ken (@myxomatosis) said on 12th May 2012, 11:15

    I’m pretty certain that Hamilton’s first timed lap would have been the fastest of all if it weren’t for the traffic hold up.

    S1 – Vettel – 23.0
    – Hamilton – 22.9
    S2 – Vettel – 31.3
    – Hamilton – 31.3
    S3 – Vettel – 28.7
    – Hamilton – 29.2

    All that Hamilton needed to do was to match Vettel’s S3 time and he would have been fastest.

  3. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 12th May 2012, 11:16

    We are in for an epic qualifying

  4. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 12th May 2012, 11:26

    Top 10 separated by 1s? Nice. Such variation across the field this year. It’s hard to look at one single FP session and draw conclusions but you start to notice trends a few races in. Things are still wildly unpredictable.

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 12th May 2012, 11:33

    What is this? I can’t expect anything!

  6. timi (@timi) said on 12th May 2012, 11:34

    Well wow! Very very happy the Williams is looking pretty nifty around this track. It’s never nice to see a team, with so much great racing history, do as badly as they did last year. But it seems they’ve really buckled down and built pretty good car.

    I would love for Q3 to be only RBR, Ferrari, Mclaren, Lotus and Williams. Talk about F1 legacy!!

  7. Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 12th May 2012, 11:37

    FP3 just demonstrated how much the tyres are going to have an influence on the grid for tomorrow’s race & a true, meaningful test for a driver – to extract the most of the tyres on that one lap. A midfield runner may well be starting on the front row for the race – So unpredictable. Looking forward to quali!

  8. Jake (@jleigh) said on 12th May 2012, 11:51

    Apparently Hamilton has been called to the stewards for impeding MS. Strange for a practice session

  9. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 12th May 2012, 12:08

    Seems like Massa is in for some trouble in Q1. He will be slow as usual and then slower cars will come out on softs thus forcing Massa (as well as a few others) to use up their softer tires.

    I won’t be surprised if we see a surprise elimination in Q1

  10. Eric Morman (@lethalnz) said on 12th May 2012, 12:26

    it is now a Lotto as to who can get the best outa their tires.
    certainly makes for a great spectacle, but hard if your supporting one particular team/driver over others,
    so close are the lower teams to the top 4 that now you could even choose one of them to win.
    looking forward to a Fantastic Race.

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