Vettel pulls ahead in final practice

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Sebastian Vettel went fastest today in final practice ahead of qualifying. The German was also fastest earlier on in the session on medium tyres. Nico Rosberg appears to be the closest competitor as Lewis Hamilton struggles with the balance of his Mercedes car.

Free practice three is usually centered around qualifying performance, but again this initially put a Mercedes in front. Nico Rosberg set the early pace on the medium tyre, but about halfway through the session was improved by both Red Bull Racing drivers. Lewis Hamilton meanwhile struggled badly with the balance of his car, reporting "I'm impossible to drive the car, I have huge oversteer". The team responded by various set-up changes and moving some weight rearward.

Before the first cars switch to soft tyres, Vettel is on top of the timesheet, ahad of Webber, Rosberg, Grosjean, Hamilton, Alonso, Raikkonen, Massa, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Button, Sutil, Di Resta, Perez, Bottas, Gutierez, Vergne, Maldonado, Pic, Van der Garde, Chilton and Bianchi.

Ferrari are the first to switch to the soft tyre with less than 12 minutes to go in the session. Alonso goes a little more than a second faster than on the mediums, posting the fastest time in 1:30.621. Rosberg and Webber beat that time while Massa went just 0.012s slower.

Vettel came out a little later and eventually ended up 6 tenths up on everybody.

Results

Pos.NoDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:29.517-19
29Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:30.1930.67619
32Mark WebberRed Bull Racing-Renault1:30.2110.69418
43Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:30.6211.10416
54Felipe MassaFerrari1:30.6391.12217
67Kimi RäikkönenLotus-Renault1:30.6711.15419
710Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:30.7441.22720
88Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:30.7811.26418
911Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1:30.9661.44920
1015Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1:31.0091.49218
115Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:31.3261.80922
1212Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:31.4051.88820
1314Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1:31.7332.21621
1418Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Ferrari1:31.8552.33818
156Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes1:31.8552.33823
1619Daniel RicciardoSTR-Ferrari1:31.8982.38119
1716Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1:31.9692.45220
1817Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1:32.0362.51923
1920Charles PicCaterham-Renault1:33.2303.71319
2022Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1:33.4703.95322
2121Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1:33.9644.44721
2223Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1:34.6835.16620


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