Sebastian Vettel was again fastest during the shortened third practice session. Mark Webber was again second while Fernando Alonso set the third fastest time.
At first the session got delayed by 15 minutes due to the fog preventing the medical helicopter to take off in case of an emergency. The FIA subsequently announced another 15 minutes of delay, but then backtracked and started the session 20 minutes after the scheduled time.
Teams were worried about the delay, as it also meant shortening the session with the same amount of time. Both Whitmarsh and Lauda said during the wait that it was worrying as they still need to find out how they can make the soft tyre work and last long enough to qualify on it and start the race with it.
As soon as the light went green, lots of drivers got on with the job an immediately started a few laps with the medium tyres. Both Lotus drivers were out a bit later, while Sebastian Vettel skipped the medium tyre running and used the soft tyre for his first flying lap of the day, 10 minutes into the session.
By the halfway point, still only both Red Bulls and Massa have done runs on the soft tyres. In fact at Ferrari, Massa has come in after one flying lap, allowed the tyres to cool down somewhat in the pits and left again with the same set, clearly simulating the combination of a qualifying lap together with the first laps in the race.
At about the same time, Nico Hulkenberg clipped the shoe of his rear jack man when he entered the pits. Clearly the mechanic was a little bit too eager to get the car lifted and was surprised that Hulkenberg passed so close to him. No harm done however as he picked up his shoe again and could get on with the job.
With 10 minutes left nearly everybody goes for the softer tyre. So far, that softer tyre has proven about a second faster than the medium.
Red Bull's times were set though, and only the cars behind managed to improve their times. Alonso ended up as the closest competitor while Nico Hulkbenberg is again in the mix as 4th fastest.
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:25.332||-||16|
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:25.892||0.560||14|
|7||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.438||1.106||15|
|8||9||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG||1:26.441||1.109||19|
|10||10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:26.557||1.225||17|
|14||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.847||1.515||17|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:28.498||3.166||16|