Indian GP: Vettel quickest again in final practice

    The world champion continued his dominant form in the final practice session before qualifying.

    Published On Oct 27, 2012 06:24:00 PM


    Indian GP: Vettel quickest again in final practice

    Sebastian Vettel continued his and Red Bull's perfect start to the Indian Grand Prix weekend by once again setting the pace in the final practice session.

    The German hit the front 25 minutes into the session and was never then displaced, despite being one of the last to switch onto soft rubber.

    Having struggled for one-lap pace, McLaren did at least have the comfort of getting closer than it was able to in second practice, when Vettel enjoyed a commanding gap of more than six tenths of a second over the field.

    Jenson Button got to within 0.192s of the German at the top of the timesheets, while Lewis Hamilton was fractions down the road in fourth.

    The two silver arrows were split by the second Red Bull of Mark Webber, who captured third late on on his soft tyre run.

    Kimi Raikkonen sealed fifth in the final minutes, while the impressive Bruno Senna - who had run third before the field switched to softs – ended sixth fastest.

    In contrast to McLaren, Ferrari struggled more, although it also stuck to its own individual programme, waiting until the session's halfway mark to post its first times and then playing with drafting shortly afterward.

    Fernando Alonso, looking to respond to Vettel's run of three straight wins, could only finish seventh fastest, six tenths down on Vettel.

    Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, Mercedes' Michael Schumacher and the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean rounded out the top 10.

    The session has begun slowly, with the first laptimes only being set a quarter of the way into the hour.

    Raikkonen was the first to post a time, immediately going fastest with a 1m27.686s that kept him top until Webber and then Vettel went out.

    Nico Rosberg was also out early, but quickly hit problems as he ran through the gravel while shadowing the second Lotus of Romain Grosjean.

    Even as he did, Grosjean was on his radio complaining of a lack of balance and grip, a problem echoed down the pitlane.

    Sergio Perez was also struggling with a nervous Sauber and could only manage 13th fastest at the flag, five places up the road from team-mate Kamui Kobayashi.

    That put him behind Felipe Massa and Pastor Maldonado in the second Ferrari and Williams respectively.

    Paul di Resta was seventh before the field switched to soft rubber, but found himself dropping down the order and eventually wound up 14th, just ahead of Nico Rosberg and the two Toro Rossos.

    Daniel Ricciardo had the edge in the STR intra-team battle, ending the session three tenths faster than Jean-Eric Vergne.

    Heikki Kovailainen and Caterham were meanwhile best of the rest.

    Rosberg's trip across the gravel and Webber's spin at the final turn were the only moments in a realtively-incident free session.

    Pos  Driver              Team/Car              Time       Gap       Laps
     1.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      1m25.842s            20
     2.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      1m26.034s  + 0.192s  17
     3.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1m26.108s  + 0.266s  18
     4.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1m26.151s  + 0.309s  21
     5.  Kimi Raikkonen      Lotus-Renault         1m26.209s  + 0.367s  22
     6.  Bruno Senna         Williams-Renault      1m26.214s  + 0.372s  24
     7.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               1m26.521s  + 0.679s  15
     8.  Nico Hulkenberg     Force India-Mercedes  1m26.531s  + 0.689s  21
     9.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1m26.652s  + 0.810s  21
    10.  Romain Grosjean     Lotus-Renault         1m26.664s  + 0.822s  21
    11.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1m26.691s  + 0.849s  13
    12.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Renault      1m27.140s  + 1.298s  18
    13.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1m27.162s  + 1.320s  21
    14.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  1m27.193s  + 1.351s  22
    15.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1m27.229s  + 1.387s  21
    16.  Daniel Ricciardo    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m27.374s  + 1.532s  21
    17.  Jean-Eric Vergne    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m27.711s  + 1.869s  20
    18.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        1m27.983s  + 2.141s  19
    19.  Heikki Kovalainen   Caterham-Renault      1m29.035s  + 3.193s  20
    20.  Vitaly Petrov       Caterham-Renault      1m29.237s  + 3.395s  20
    21.  Timo Glock          Marussia-Cosworth     1m29.617s  + 3.775s  20
    22.  Charles Pic         Marussia-Cosworth     1m30.298s  + 4.456s  20
    23.  Narain Karthikeyan  HRT-Cosworth          1m30.824s  + 4.982s  22
    24.  Pedro de la Rosa    HRT-Cosworth          1m30.873s  + 5.031s  22

    Copyright (c) Autocar India. All rights reserved.



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