Prac Three: Massa pips Raikkonen

Saturday 11-May-2013 11:04

Felipe Massa put in a late charge on the medium Pirellis to edge Kimi Raikkonen by 0.006s in final practice for the Spanish GP.

The weekend's final practice session got underway in sunlight although there were some dark clouds off in the distance. Mercedes were quickly into the action with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg running from the get-go. They posted a 1:28.3 and a 1:29.4 respectively in what was a slow and heavy-fueled start to the session for the Mercs.

Their times were easily beaten with Esteban Gutierrez putting his Sauber on top after the first 15 minutes. However, at that stage only five drivers had set times.

Sebastian Vettel headed out shortly after and easily jumped to the front, a full second up on Gutierrez's best. The drivers were all using the hard Pirellis in the opening stint of final practice.

As more drivers ventured out, Vettel began to fall down the order as first Kimi Raikkonen and then Romain Grosjean set the pace. The Frenchman, whose E21 was scrapping the ground in several places around the circuit, posted a 1:23.042.

It was all change, though, as Fernando Alonso hit the front with a 1:23.006 while Felipe Massa slotted into fourth place behind the Lotus drivers and ahead of the Red Bulls. That was the top six at the halfway stage.

There were problems at McLaren with Sergio Perez, slowest of all by seven seconds, reporting an issue at the front of his MP4-28 before heading back into the pits. Replays showed a piece of his car came flying off moments before he reported the problem. McLaren opted not to run their new front wing in FP3 having only debuted it for a few brief minutes on Friday.

Problems also for Nico Hulkenberg whose Sauber C32 was eating his rear tyres. After just 10 laps on the hard tyres, the German reported to his team that the "rears have gone."

The final 20 minutes saw the drivers switch to the faster medium compound tyres with Alonso posting a 1:22.254, which was eight-tenths up on his best on the hard tyres. Hamilton slotted into second place, half a second down on the Spaniard.

Raikkonen was the next to top the timesheets while Webber climbed to second, 0.137s down on the Finn. However, they were both dropped as Massa crossed the line 0.006s up on Raikkonen with a 1:21.901.

1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.901 13 laps
2 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:21.907 0.006 14 laps
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:22.044 0.143 17 laps
4 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:22.069 0.168 13 laps
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:22.229 0.328 17 laps
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:22.254 0.353 15 laps
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1:22.574 0.673 11 laps
8 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:22.729 0.828 17 laps
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.740 0.839 24 laps
10 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:22.759 0.858 15 laps
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:22.839 0.938 26 laps
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:23.151 1.250 13 laps
13 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:23.371 1.470 21 laps
14 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:23.373 1.472 13 laps
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:23.385 1.484 17 laps
16 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:23.388 1.487 18 laps
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:23.660 1.759 16 laps
18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:23.767 1.86 17 laps
19 Charles Pic Caterham 1:24.775 2.874 18 laps
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:24.793 2.892 16 laps
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:25.135 3.234 17 laps
22 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:25.250 3.349 18 laps

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