Sebastian Vettel went fastest in the final minutes of FP3 when the drivers all fitted super soft tyres for a qualifying simulation run. Romain Grosjean was a surprise second fastest, less than 2 tenths behind the Championship leader.
With the sun still out, FP3 kicked off with the track at 34°C and ambient around 30°C.
The cars are out early for a verification lap and it's Adrian Sutil a few minutes later who records the first times lap. 15 minutes into the session, it makes for 8 drivers on the timing screen with Di Resta the only one below 1:50. Along with Force India, it's Williams, Caterham, Marussia and Sauber that provide the on track action.
It took a little longer for the top teams to come out, but by the halfway mark Webber leads the timesheet, ahead of Vettel, Hamilton, Grosjean, Rosberg, Alonso, Button, Perez, Ricciardo and Vergne. All drivers so far have run on the medium tyre.
Meanwhile, Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil found out it's no use going wide on the entry of some corners, as going off the racing line and over the white lines puts one in the marbles, reducing the braking power. Both managed to keep their cars on track, but the hefty oversteer under braking will surely make them think twice next time around.
Those positions stayed roughly the same until the last minute qualifying simulations. Grosjean is the first to switch to the supersoft but is soon followed by Vettel, Alonso and nearly the entire field.
The Frencham records a 1:44.364, topped by 2 tenths by Vettel. Rosberg is one tenth slower while Webber is also slower, although he got stuck behing Alonso and Hulkenberg during that flying lap.
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:44.173||-||15|
|3||9||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:44.741||0.568||18|
|4||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:44.906||0.733||14|
|5||10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:44.921||0.748||14|
|16||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:46.879||2.706||16|
|18||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:47.249||3.076||19|
|19||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:48.931||4.758||17|