2013 Australian GP: Practice 3

2013-03-16 07:47

MELBOURNE, Australia — Sebastian Vettel's dominance during practice sessions came to a halt as his Red Bull suffered hydraulic failure during the third practice session ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

The three-time defending world champion set the fastest times in both practice sessions on March 16, raising the prospect of continued dominance in 2013's opening race.

During thrid practice he steered off the track and parked the car. His team was overheard on the radio warning him not to shift gear as there was a hydraulic problem.


Vettel, who gives a name to his car each season, calmly removed the steering wheel from "Hungry Heidi" and made his way back to the garage.

Rain hit the Albert Park circuit 15 minutes into the third and last practice session, meaning times were of only academic interest.

Lotus' Romain Grosjean was fastest before the rain began pouring down, ahead of Ferrari pair Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, although most drivers did not set meaningful times.

Grosjean's best was more than a second slower than Vettel's fastest time on March 15 2013.

Cars emerged later on wet, then intermediate tires, eager to test out their wet-weather settings as further rain was forecast for later in the day, raising the chances of a wet qualifying session.

The forecast for race day March 17 is for cool, cloudy but dry weather. However Melbourne is renowned for its fickle climate and rapid changes in conditions.

The first set of practice times had indicated that the Red Bulls would once again be the early-season pacesetter, with Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus providing their closest competition. McLaren, which has a more innovative design that will take time to fully adjust to, was well off the pace and more likely to be fighting the likes of Force India and Sauber.

2013 Australian Grand Prix: Third Practice

1 Romain Grosjean, France, Lotus 1:26.929
2 Fernando Alonso, Spain, Ferrari 1min27.000
3 Felipe Massa, Brazil, Ferrari 1min27.241
4 Paul di Resta, Britain, Force India 1min27.533
5 Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, Lotus 1min27.625
6 Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, Toro Rosso 1min27.849
7 Jean-Eric Vergne, France, Toro Rosso 1min27.860
8 Adrian Sutil, Germany, Force India 1min28.069
9 Nico Hulkenberg, Germany, Sauber 1min28.253
10 Esteban Gutierrez, Mexico, Sauber 1min28.253
11 Nico Rosberg, Germany, Mercedes 1min28.486
12 Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Red Bull 1min29.808
13 Mark Webber, Australia, Red Bull 16, 1min30.073
14 Jules Bianchi, France, Marussia 17, 1min30.388
15 Giedo van der Garde, Netherlands Caterham 1min30.589
16 Charles Pic, France, Caterham  1min30.959
17 Jenson Button, Britain, McLaren  1min33.236
18 Sergio Perez, Mexico, McLaren  1min33.527
19 Pastor Maldonado, Venezuela Williams 13 1min39.232
20 Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Williams 1min42.779
21 Max Chilton, Britain, Marussia 1min42.872
22 Lewis Hamilton, Britain, Mercedes 1min47.246

First practice
Second practice

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Formula 1 season – fresh reports every day.