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Button fastest as Lotus looms

2012-06-23 12:45

READY FOR THE WIN?Button, shown after winning the 2012 Australian Grand Prix, set the fastest time in the third and final practice session at the Valencia street circuit ahead of Sunday's European Grand Prix.

Jenson Button topped the times for McLaren during Saturday morning's final practice for Sunday's European Grand Prix.

The 32-year-old, 12th fastest on Friday, clocked a time of 1min38.562 seconds towards the end of the session closely followed by Lotus duo Frenchman Romain Grosjean and Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

Grosjean set the pace early on and looked likely to end the session on top before the 2009 champion, hoping to revive his world championship title bid after a string of disappointing results, shaved 0.093 seconds off his best time.


Nico Hulkenberg of Force India was fourth fastest ahead of Paul Di Resta of Force India and Sauber driver Sergio Perez.

Veteran Michael Schumacher was seventh fastest followed by Canadian race winner Lewis Hamilton in the second McLaren.

A more encouraging performance from Ferrari's Felipe Massa saw him finish the session ninth quickest while his team-mate double champion Fernando Alonso could only climb as high as 12th.

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado was tenth fastest.

Last year's Valencia race-winner Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull could only manage the 13th best time while his team-mate Mark Webber ended up 19th fastest after spending most of the session in the pits, his car in pieces and his team frantically trying to fix his car ahead of qualifying.

Third free practice times from the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Spain:

1. Jenson Button (McLaren) 1min38.562
2. Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 1min38.655
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 1min38.759
4. Nico Huelkenberg (Force India) 1min38.819
5. Paul Di Resta (Force India) 1min38.892
6. Sergio Perez (Sauber) 1min39.084
7. Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) 1min39.141
8. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1min39.178
9. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1min39.318
10. Pastor Maldonado (Williams) 1min39.357
11. Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) 1min39.358
12. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 1min39.395
13. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1min39.434
14. Bruno Senna (Williams) 1min39.543
15. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 1min39.946
16. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1min40.037
17. Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) 1min40.134
18. Heikki Kovalainen (Caterham) 1min40.681
19. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1min41.282
20. Vitaly Petrov (Caterham) 1min41.931
21. Pedro de la Rosa (HRT) 1min42.758
22. Charles Pic (Marussia) 1min42.815
23. Narain Karthikeyan (HRT) 1min42.943
24. Timo Glock (Marussia) 1min43.124

First practice session times
Second practice session times

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