Red Bull tops Buddh 3rd practice

2011-10-29 09:39

NOIDA, India, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Formula 1 World champion Sebastian Vettel was quickest in final practice for the inaugural Indian GP ahead of a qualifying session that could bring Red Bull a record 16th pole start.

The 24-year-old German lapped the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi with the fastest time yet of 1min24.824 at the end of the hour's action on a hot and hazy morning.


Red Bull has started on pole 15 times in the 16 races so far in 2011 and one more would be a record for a single season.

Vettel scored 12 of those poles and is also chasing Briton Nigel Mansell's 1992 record of 14 in a season.

McLaren's Jenson Button, who caught the eye earlier in the week when he lapped the circuit in a spluttering three-wheeled rickshaw, was second-fastest in the session and 0.367sec slower than Vettel.

Red Bull's Mark Webber was third; Lewis Hamilton, seen chatting in the garage before practice with British comedian and McLaren sports-car owner Rowan Atkinson, was fourth on the time sheets.


McLaren's Hamilton has a three-place grid penalty on for failing to respond to warning flags in Friday's first session, during which he was quickest.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso set the fifth-fastest time.

Both championships are already decided, with Vettel and Red Bull retaining their titles for the second year in succession.

Third free practice times
1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min24.824
2 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min25.191
3 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min25.203
4 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min25.288
5 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min25.784
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min26.058
7 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min26.785
8 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min26.873
9 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India 1min26.958
10. Sebastien Buemi (Switzerland) Toro Rosso 1min27.146
11 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min27.217
12 Bruno Senna (Brazil) Renault 1min27.235
13 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1min27.262
14 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Renault 1min27.280
15 Jaime Alguersuari (Spain) Toro Rosso 1min27.387
16 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1min27.749
17 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min27.793
18 Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Williams 1min27.875
19 Jarno Trulli (Italy) Lotus 1min29.355
20 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Lotus 1min29.750
21 Timo Glock (Germany) Virgin 1min30.683
22 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1min30.900
23 Jerome d'Ambrosio (Belgium) Virgin 1min32.851
24 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) HRT 1min33.246