Alonso quickest at Hockenheim as rain returns

2012 German Grand Prix third practice

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hockenheim, 2012Fernando Alonso made the most of a mainly dry final practice session to head the times before the rain returned.

Following yesterday’s wet running the drivers were eager to make the most of dry conditions at the start of practice. By the end of the first half-hour most drivers had already logged more than ten laps.

Nico Rosberg led the way initially, reeling off a sequence of rapid laps in his Mercedes. Felipe Massa came close to beating his time before encountering traffic.

Some drivers preferred to use the soft tyres earlier in the session, such as Bruno Senna and Mark Webber, who took turns at the top of the times.

Shortly afterwards their team mates Pastor Maldonado and Sebastian Vettel traded fastest times, Vettel ending up 0.012s to the good with a 1’16.652.

Alonso beat that with a 1’16.124 on soft tyres but a few minutes later Lewis Hamilton was fractionally faster on the mediums – beating Alonso’s time by just 0.033s. Alonso returned to the track on soft tyres later and reclaimed the top spot by 0.077s.

The drivers explored the limits of the Hockenheimring’s run-offs, particularly at turn one where driver after driver ran wide onto the tarmac apron. Romain Grosjean was warned to stop going off at the corner only to run wide there once again.

Massa was also among the many drivers to run wide and he had an especially rough ride when he understeered off at turn 12, bouncing over gravel and grass.

Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button were among those who had not set quick times earlier in the session. They left the pits in the final ten minutes but now the rain returned with a vengeance. Schumacher was able to improve his time but Button slid wide at turn eight and ended up slowest of all.

The drivers returned to the pits as the rain hardened into a downpour and the clock ticked down the final minutes.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.014 14
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.091 0.077 21
3 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.202 0.188 21
4 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’16.238 0.224 27
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’16.447 0.433 19
6 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’16.475 0.461 18
7 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’16.664 0.650 18
8 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.771 0.757 15
9 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.807 0.793 25
10 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’16.930 0.916 23
11 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’16.962 0.948 26
12 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’17.033 1.019 26
13 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’17.148 1.134 24
14 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.238 1.224 26
15 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’17.266 1.252 22
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.419 1.405 23
17 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’17.491 1.477 26
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’18.366 2.352 21
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’18.818 2.804 23
20 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’19.778 3.764 22
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.235 4.221 22
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.318 4.304 9
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’20.741 4.727 22
24 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’20.914 4.900 25

Combined German Grand Prix practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’17.370 1’31.207 1’16.014 -1.356 55
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.093 1’30.617 1’16.091 -1.002 59
3 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.413 1’28.402 1’16.202 -1.211 75
4 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’18.831 1’29.327 1’16.238 -2.593 63
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’20.122 1’28.877 1’16.447 -3.675 67
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’18.339 1’27.902 1’16.475 -1.864 63
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.595 1’28.516 1’20.914 +4.319 68
8 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’18.020 1’27.476 1’16.664 -1.356 52
9 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’17.995 1’29.719 1’16.771 -1.224 52
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.226 1’29.785 1’16.807 -1.419 71
11 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’30.291 1’16.930 -13.361 45
12 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’18.130 1’28.420 1’16.962 -1.168 67
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’17.599 1’28.495 1’17.033 -0.566 65
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’30.437 1’17.148 -13.289 38
15 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.709 1’28.513 1’17.238 -1.471 79
16 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’17.382 1’32.777 1’17.266 -0.116 60
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’19.039 1’29.364 1’17.419 -1.62 83
18 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’17.915 1’27.564 1’17.491 -0.424 77
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’19.963 1’30.331 1’18.366 -1.597 71
20 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’18.422 28
21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’19.674 1’32.241 1’18.818 -0.856 69
22 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1’18.972 21
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’21.138 1’42.566 1’19.778 -1.36 54
24 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.169 1’30.090 1’20.318 +0.149 48
25 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.539 1’30.220 1’20.235 -0.304 56
26 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’32.349 1’20.741 -11.608 39
27 Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1’21.740 27

2012 German Grand Prix

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9 comments on Alonso quickest at Hockenheim as rain returns

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 21st July 2012, 11:10

    Again the gap between the option and the prime looks little…another the option=necessary evil weekend?
    I can’t calculate exact pole time for prediction championship, it’s too changeable. Well, at least it’s almost certain that the race would be dry, so there’s no compromised or gamble setup this weekend. Just need sweet balancing…

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 21st July 2012, 11:28

      Interesting because we saw that with Fernando & Jenson at Silverstone in FP3 as well. Nice to see Sauber & Williams in the mix too, hope the conditions remain constant for quali, though it’s probably unlikely, If you ask me I think we’ve had enough rain shadowing practice & qualifying to an extent.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st July 2012, 11:13

    Its nice that everyone now got a bit of time to see what their new bits do. But its hard to tell who is fast and who isn’t with the varying time when they set their fastest laps.

    I just hope it won’t be too wet in the afternoon, only a bit slippery. And see some superb slippery track driving in qualifying! A Regenmeister pole would be apt here wouldn’t it :-)

  3. Nickpkr234 said on 21st July 2012, 11:13

    where can I see Buttoms interview of what happen in the car that feel so nice and is great and how confortable he is to WDC ?

    Good job Perez

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 21st July 2012, 11:18

      where can I see Buttoms interview of what happen in the car that feel so nice and is great and how confortable he is to WDC ?

      I’m having a little trouble understanding exactly what you mean by this, but I think the gist of it is that you are criticising Button for claiming he is comfortable in the car and can get back into the championship fight, only to set the slowest time of the session?

      If so, I suggest you re-read the article. Keith makes it pretty clear that Button did not emerge from the pits until late in the session, and by the time he did so, adverse weather had set in, thus limiting his ability to set a competitive lap time. He ran wide – as many other drivers did – on what was set to be his fastest lap, thereby casting him to the bottom of the pile by the end of the session.

      • james2488 (@james2488) said on 21st July 2012, 11:59

        equally the fact that JB is bottom suggest there are other variables that have affected his time, at the same time JB is just not gd enough with a unbalanced car, when he has the perfect car he is great, when theres a problem u might as well put luca badoer in for a session, therefore he will never to a great driver until he finds away to do well whatever he has got, like alonso

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