|< Prev||Next >|
Sebastian Vettel finished on top of the time sheets in FP3 at the Canadian Grand Prix with a super quick lap of 1.14.442 seconds to confirm Red Bull's pace this weekend. Fernando Alonso continued to go faster in his rapidly improving Ferrari to go 2nd fastest just 0.006 s off Vettel's best lap. Lewis Hamilton, Mark Webber and Pastor Maldonado rounded off the top 5 in what was a considerably quicker final session of practice ahead of the Qualifying session later in the day.
Montreal basked in dry and sunny conditions for this vital one hour practice session. As all the teams focused on chassis set â€“up and tyre evaluation on Friday, this session offered a glimpse of the true pecking order for this race weekend. The signs were ominous for Ferrari's rivals as the Maranello based team seemed to be on the pace, despite running heavy fuel loads. The McLaren of Hamilton blazed the entire grid away to be on top of the timesheets in both sessions on Friday.
As the one hour session began, the entire pack was out to complete their installation laps. This session was of supreme significance for the McLaren of Jenson Button who spent the majority of Friday confined to his garage. The session's first bit of action was an ill-fated one for the Mercedes team as Nico Rosberg stopped at the exit of turn 7. The German complained over his radio saying he felt the clutch slipping in his Mercedes. The German was bitterly disappointed as this could upset the Qualifying fortunes of his quick Mercedes.
Kamui Kobayashi set the first time of the session with a 1.17.376 lap. The McLaren of Button blazed past the time set by Kobayashi to go on top with a 1.16.297 lap. Kobayashi, who has earned the reputation of being one of the most fearless driver's on track in his short time in Formula One, went even quicker. Button was on the pace and posted a 1.15.833 lap to control proceedings in this session.
Jean Eric-Vergne wrecked his session by crashing hard into the barriers at turn 2. The Frenchman returned back to the pits, but his mechanics have a tough task to fix his damaged Toro Rosso in time for Qualifying. Sebastian Vettel who ran FP2 on the soft tyres, leapt to the top of the leader board, with a fast 1.15.022 lap. The Ferraris immediately replied with Fernando Alonso going second behind Vettel and teammate Felipe Massa 3rd.
After the end of Friday's practice sessions, Alonso said he was pleased with the performance of his Scarlet Ferrari. With Massa continuing his resurgence, this weekend could only get better for the Ferrari team. Massa is feeling a lot more confident in his Ferrari since Monaco and this is a clear indication that Ferrari has improved the car. Alonso improved swiftly to go fastest on track, but was beaten by long term nemesis Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton led the field with a 1.14.712 lap to reclaim the top spot he had held most of Friday.
With dark horses Lotus still chasing their first win of the season, the team completed the majority of its running on the softer- tyres on Friday. Romain Grosjean on the super-soft tyres went 3rd fastest and demoted Vettel to 4th place.
Vettel went ahead of Hamilton with a 1.14.711 on the super-soft tyres; incidentally the lap was only 0.001 second up on Hamilton. It was getting really close out on track with less than 15 min left. Alonso in his Ferrari was just 0.026 seconds down on the pace setting Red Bull of Vettel. Michael Schumacher in the solitary Mercedes on track was 4th with a 1.14.796 lap. The top 4 were covered by a slender 0.085 seconds.
The last ten minutes of action saw both the Ferraris out on track fitted with the super-soft tyres. Alonso was flying on track and went fastest on with a 1.14.448 lap, 0.263 s quicker than Vettel's previous best. Nico Hulkenberg also on the super-soft tyres improved dramatically from 15th into 7th place for Force India. The track was a hive of activity with just minutes remaining, as Vettel replaced Alonso at the top of the order, with a lap just six-thousand's of a second quicker than the Spaniard. This was how the session ended, with Mark Webber and Pastor Maldonado making a late charge to end in the top 5.
The Qualifying session promises further thrills and spills, as McLaren have looked fast all weekend and the Mercedes with their super DRS have a real shot at pole position. The Ferraris are not to be left out, as Alonso could spring a surprise. The Red Bulls definitely have pace to burn, with the Lotus team the dark horse as always.
FP3 Top 5:
1) Vettel 1.14.442
2) Alonso 1.14.448
3) Hamilton 1.14.712
4) Webber 1.14.724
5) Maldonado 1.14.755
- 10/06/2012 22:38 - McLaren Wrap: Hamilton reigns supreme in Canada, Button a miserable 16th
- 10/06/2012 22:30 - Canadian GP: Good race for Lotus as Rookie Grosjean finishes 2nd, Raikkonen comes home in 8th place
- 10/06/2012 00:19 - Vettel powers to Pole at Canadian GP, Hamilton & Alonso lead chasing pack