Practice 3: Vettel on top

2012-05-12 12:54

BARCELONA, Spain - Red Bull's Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel wrapped up the practice sessions ahead of Spanish Grand Prix in ominous form with the fastest time during the final session.

Vettel, winner at the Circuit de Catalunya in 2011, lapped in bright sunshine with a best time of 1min 23.168 seconds after being second in both Friday stints.

Championship leader Vettel is chasing his second win in a row, after his victory in Bahrain, and his team's third in succession in Barcelona.


Team mate Mark Webber won the 2010 race, traditionally one of the most predictable on the calendar, from pole.

In the past 21 years only one driver, Michael Schumacher from third place with Ferrari in 1996, has ever won at the circuit without being on the front row of the grid.

Webber, on pole for the past two years, was fourth fastest behind second-placed William's Pastor Maldonado and Sauber's Japanese Kamui Kobayashi.

Maldonado had looked like taking the honours until Vettel popped in a quick lap in the final seconds, pushing him off the top of the timing screens.

Ferrari's Home favourite Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest, behind Sauber's Sergio Perez, in an upgraded car he hopes will put him among the contenders for the race on May 13.

McLaren's Jenson Button, fastest on May 11, and Lewis Hamilton were eighth and 16th respectively although the latter could have been quickest of all had he not been blocked.

Lotus' Romain Grosjean failed to set a lap due to a fuel pressure problem.

HRT's Narain Karthikeyan finally got out of the garage and completed 24 laps, more than anyone else, after completing none during the first practice sessions.

Third practice session times ahead of the 2012 Spanish F1 GP at Catalunya:

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1min23.168       
2 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1min23.336
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1min23.350
4 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1min23.578
5 Sergio Perez Sauber 1min23.742
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1min23.807
7 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1min23.833
8 Jenson Button McLaren 1min23.909
9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1min23.936
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1min24.070
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min24.179
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1min24.323   
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1min24.331
14 Bruno Senna Williams 1min24.409
15 Paul di Resta Force India 1min24.599
16 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1min24.778
17 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1min24.825
18 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1min25.911
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1min26.587
20 Charles Pic Marussia 1min27.469
21 Timo Glock Marussia 1min27.689
22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1min28.207
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1min28.373
24 Romain Grosjean Lotus       

Second practice session times:

1 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min23.399
2 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min23.563
3 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min23.771
4 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min23.909
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min23.918
6 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min23.964
7 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min24.065
8 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min24.080
9 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1min24.214
10 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min24.365
11 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min24.418
12 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1min24.422
13 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min24.468
14 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min24.600
15 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min24.688
16 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min24.733
17 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min24.769
18 Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams 1min25.047
19 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1min26.296   
20 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham 1min26.740
21 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 1min27.314
22 Charles Pic (France) Marussia 1min27.664
23 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 1min28.235
24 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT

First practice session times:

1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1min24.430 seconds
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1min24.808s
3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1min24.912s
4 Jenson Button McLaren 1min24.996s
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1min25.120s
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1min25.187s
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1min25.217s
8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1min25.252s
9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1min25.285s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1min25.339s
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1min25.367s
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1min25.433s
13 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing    1min25.539s
14 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1min25.607s
15 Sergio Perez Sauber 1min25.918s
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1min26.226s
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1min26.297s
18 Jules Bianchi Force India 1min26.630s
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1min27.475s
20 Timo Glock Marussia 1min28.267s
21 Alexander Rossi Caterham 1min28.448s
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1min28.633s
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT    1min29.107s
24 Dani Clos HRT 1min31.618 7.188s

Stay with Wheels24 for the Spanish Grand Prix weekend