Prac Three: Alonso leads the way

Saturday 20-April-2013 10:05

Fernando Alonso set the pace in final practice in Bahrain ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who did not set a medium tyre lap after being caught in traffic.

Final practice got underway with track temperature sitting at 37'C and Felipe Massa lost somewhere in the Bahrain desert as he team informs him over the radio that "unfortunately the GPS on our car is not working."

Esteban Gutierrez was immediately into the action with a 1:42.5. Not a quick lap at all although his next was three seconds faster. The Sauber driver continued lapping while the Caterhams joined the action with Charles Pic taking the P1 slot with a 1:35.911. Giedo van der Garde was up to second as the trio were the only drivers to set times in the first 15 minutes.

It was all-change as the big boys came out to play with Mark Webber taking the P1 slot with a 1:33.875 while Kimi Raikkonen slotted into second place. Romain Grosjean was the next to lead the way, a tenth up on Webber, before lowering the benchmark again.

This time he was down to a 1:33.464 while it was Fernando Alonso who was up to second before the Spaniard was dropped by Sebastian Vettel. The duo were the final two drivers to post times on Saturday morning.

Vettel was the next to lead the way, taking the P1 slot with a 1:33.348 while the top 11 - ending with Jenson Button - were separated by less than a second as the Practice Three hit the halfway mark.

Max Chilton lost some track time as his Marussia team did a "quick KERS change" on his MR02. That "quick" change, though, involved removing the car's floor while word in minutes later was that the Brit's session was over as his "KERS water pump needs to be changed." Problems also for Alonso, who hit the kerb at Turn 2 and was put into a spin. His tyres are covered in gravel and he returns to the pits for a fresh set.

Lewis Hamilton was one of the first to set a time on the medium tyres and climbed to second, sixth-tenths up on his hard tyre best. He was, however, still a tenth down on Vettel's best on the hard Pirellis. Shortly after others ventured out on the medium tyres with Alonso hitting the front with a 1:33.247, Raikkonen improved to third.

As more drivers set times, Webber took third, Hamilton went fifth - and had a "left rear failure" - on his inlap after the session, while Grosjean was third ahead of Sutil and di Resta. Vettel did not set a hot lap on the medium tyres as he was caught out in traffic.

01 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:33.247 12 laps
02 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:33.348 +0.101 15 laps
03 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:33.380 +0.133 19 laps
04 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:33.446 +0.199 21 laps
05 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.455 +0.208 19 laps
06 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:33.464 +0.217 19 laps
07 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:33.596 +0.349 17 laps
08 Paul di Resta Force India 1:33.700 +0.453 15 laps
09 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.764 +0.517 19 laps
10 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:33.922 +0.675 17 laps
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.949 +0.702 20 laps
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:34.117 +0.870 17 laps
13 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:34.282 +1.035 18 laps
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:34.577 +1.330 16 laps
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:34.611 +1.364 17 laps
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:34.678 +1.431 16 laps
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:34.833 +1.586 17 laps
18 Charles Pic Caterham 1:35.816 +2.569 16 laps
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:36.731 +3.484 17 laps
20 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:36.939 +3.692 16 laps
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:37.630 +4.383 7 laps
22 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:39.592 +6.345 29 laps

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