Alonso quickest in dry final practice session

2012 Belgian Grand Prix third practice

Fernando Alonso put Ferrari on top as Spa finally saw dry running in the final practice session. The Ferrari driver set a best lap of 1’48.542.

With much of yesterday’s running disrupted by heavy rain, the teams were eager to make the most of the final hour of dry practice. Within moment of the session beginning the track was busy, several drivers going straight onto runs without doing installation laps.

Bruno Senna led the running early on, followed by the two Marussia drivers as most of the team concentrated on high fuel runs. Mercedes suffered a setback when Nico Rosberg pulled over at Rivage with a technical problem.

The Ferrari drivers came to the fore, Alonso leading the way with a 1’50.690. The F2012s were usually the quickest cars through the speed traps.

Sergio Perez briefly appeared at the top of the times but it was the Red Bull drivers who were quickest as the final ten minutes of the session began. Mark Webber set a 1’49.164, Sebastian Vettel just over a tenth of a second slower.

As the final runs began on the softer medium tyres it was Perez who returned to the top, setting a 1’48.850, with team mate Kamui Kobayashi just 0.013s slower.

But Alonso comfortably beat Perez’s mark by over three tenths of a second. Kimi Raikkonen, who had complained about the balance of his Lotus earlier in the session, was second on a 1’48.683.

The improvements pushed Mark Webber down to seventh place and Sebastrian Vettel ninth.

The McLaren drivers were outside the top ten as the final runs began. Jenson Button moved up to fifth place but was over half a second off Alonso’s best, while Lewis Hamilton could only manage 12th.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’48.542 18
2 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’48.683 0.141 21
3 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’48.850 0.308 23
4 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’48.863 0.321 20
5 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’49.091 0.549 18
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’49.092 0.550 16
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’49.164 0.622 21
8 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’49.266 0.724 23
9 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’49.292 0.750 23
10 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’49.382 0.840 22
11 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’49.561 1.019 23
12 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’49.615 1.073 19
13 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’49.621 1.079 26
14 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’49.674 1.132 23
15 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’49.710 1.168 21
16 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’49.776 1.234 22
17 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’50.027 1.485 20
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’52.339 3.797 21
19 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’52.566 4.024 20
20 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’52.630 4.088 18
21 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’52.809 4.267 22
22 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’53.383 4.841 22
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’53.562 5.020 23
24 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’58.113 9.571 5

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2’40.749 2’50.497 1’48.542 -52.207 25
2 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 2’46.580 1’48.683 -57.897 30
3 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 2’13.861 3’12.901 1’48.850 -25.011 43
4 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2’11.389 2’53.232 1’48.863 -22.526 44
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2’16.861 1’49.091 -27.77 28
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’49.092 20
7 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 2’13.191 1’49.164 -24.027 34
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2’38.701 1’49.266 -49.435 32
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 2’14.860 1’49.292 -25.568 38
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 2’15.812 2’51.333 1’49.382 -26.43 36
11 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 2’11.941 2’51.660 1’49.561 -22.38 41
12 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 2’16.827 1’49.615 -27.212 26
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 2’15.402 1’49.621 -25.781 43
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 2’16.786 2’59.125 1’49.674 -27.112 38
15 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2’12.824 2’58.232 1’49.710 -23.114 39
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2’12.004 2’49.750 1’49.776 -22.228 37
17 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’50.027 23
18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 2’18.199 1’52.339 -25.86 32
19 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 2’17.519 2’49.354 1’52.566 -24.953 38
20 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 2’16.409 2’52.076 1’52.630 -23.779 38
21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 2’16.788 1’52.809 -23.979 38
22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 2’19.546 1’53.383 -26.163 34
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’53.562 23
24 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 2’14.210 1’58.113 -16.097 22
25 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 2’14.660 16
26 Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 2’19.689 12

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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29 comments on Alonso quickest in dry final practice session

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

    Ferrari looks good but it seems Lotus sorted out cold weather problem. Also Sauber looks very promising!

    • sorin (@) said on 1st September 2012, 11:52

      Who? Ferrari? But Alonso just said a couple a days ago that they have a bad car. This game is starting to ****** me of. I won’t listen what Alonso will say, ever..

  2. xeroxpt (@) said on 1st September 2012, 11:14

    This is going to be great! Guess the lack of practice may help the show, it’s the same from everyone and i’m sure that no one will be heavily hurt by that, but at least the spectators aren’t sure of who is what.

  3. Zecks (@zecks) said on 1st September 2012, 11:15

    Ah boy it’s good to be back watching F1! I think alonso is on for pole, but he will struggle in the race. A Lotus win is on the cards

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st September 2012, 11:18

      A Lotus win is on the cards

      The same way it was “on the cards” in Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, Canada, Valencia, Great Britain, Germany and Hungary?

      Wishful thinking.

      • +1

        They say the same thing every race.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st September 2012, 11:35

          If Lotus happen to win tomorrow, it won’t be because they set a fast lap time in the final practice session of a disrupted weekend. It will be because they have finally sorted out their race management and strategy, which have been sorely lacking all year long. They have been tipped as race winners since April (at least), but have consistently failed to live up to expectations, so I’m more inclined to believe the historical precedent as being more representative of their performance as a team rather than a single lap time set by one driver.

      • tmekt (@tmekt) said on 1st September 2012, 11:35

        Common factor with first wins is that they really are first. Just because something didn’t happen in the past doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.

        Let’s just watch the qualification before declaring anything “wishful thinking”

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 1st September 2012, 11:40

          Just because something didn’t happen in the past doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.

          Jenson Button hasn’t won a race at Spa before. But hey, it didn’t happen in the past, so it can happen tomorrow.

          Felipe Massa hasn’t been on the podium since Korea in 2010. But hey, it didn’t happen in the past, so it can happen tomorrow.

          Caterham haven’t scored a single point since they joined the sport. But hey, it didn’t happen in the past, so it can happen tomorrow.

          Do I need to go on?

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st September 2012, 11:36

        But at least Kimi looks to have gotten on top of their troubles getting the tyres to work in colder weather here, so it might be their time has come. That said, its hard not to see Ferrari is genuinly fast when both of them are in the top 6.

      • … but here is different PM, as Kimi likes Spa. Remember 5times visit and 4 wins and was even hunting for that elusive 2008 win until the rain set-in.

        BTW, I am not a big fan of Kimi coming from his behaviour in Monaco GP after crashing-out instead of going for a DE-BRIEFING! He went onto his Yacht celebrating while the race was still on. :(

  4. I wonder if this is a sign for things to come or just typical practise jumbling. I’m favouring Räikkönen for the win and Vettel for pole.

  5. Guccio (@concalvez00) said on 1st September 2012, 11:20

    And these Alonso fans still thinks Alonso has the 10th faster car

  6. Scottie (@scottie) said on 1st September 2012, 11:23

    I can’t wait to watch the race! 4 ferraris in the top 6 places is impressive, and with Webbers grid penalty, it looks like it’s going to be a jumbled grid a bit…

    going to be a fantastic race!

  7. I’ve heard some talk of Raikkonen disagreeing with his engineer over the radio, does anyone know what was said?

  8. I’m one of the biggest Alonso’s fans. And without a doubt I can tell you all that the Ferrari looks really fast. It seems to me that the upgrade they brought to this race has made them go a step foward. Massa and Alonso set up fast times lap after lap and you could tell they didn’t had to struggle with the car to do pretty decent times. Te cars looks fast and well balanced. It seems that since the car was te same since the upgrades put in Barcelona , all this months probably the two months they have been working on these upgrades will take them from having the slowest car of the top 4 teams to their level or just a bit in front of them. Go Alonso!!

  9. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 1st September 2012, 11:39

    Going to be keeping an eye on the Marussias in qualifying to see if they really are that close to Caterham now.

  10. Sorry for the typos , the iPhone sometime put another words that the one you intended when you make a mistake

  11. Wow! JB is Half a second faster than his team mate!! Am I seeing a possible WCC for McLaren this season?….. Still hopping.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 1st September 2012, 12:17

      JB is always strong when it doesn’t matter. He has been fastest in FP3 twice this year, but has off his teammate’s pace when it actually counts.

      Wouldn’t get your hopes up on JB if I were you

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st September 2012, 12:18

    Strange seeing such close times during an FP session, the top 10 covered by 1s. It’s like qualifying. Sauber are a pleasant surprise up there.

  13. John H (@john-h) said on 1st September 2012, 12:23

    Ferrari clearly have the slowest car on the grid again, well according to Fernando ;)

  14. Master firelee (@master-firelee) said on 1st September 2012, 13:07

    Damn I forgot to enter my predictions! arghh!

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