FP3: Some sliding, but no blowouts

Saturday 24-August-2013 11:25

Quite a few drivers were slipping and sliding all over the place during the final Free Practice session at Spa, but thankfully there were no tyre failures.

All eyes were on the compounds after Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso suffered blowouts on Friday, but there were no problems with the tyres on Saturday morning.

With the skies overcast and rain predicted for later in the day, drivers were struggling to get heat into their tyres early in the session and it was only until later on that many of them got comfortable in their cars.

Defending World Champion Vettel followed up his P1 in second practice with another first place, thanks to a 1:48.327 on the medium tyres in the final 10 minutes, and he was followed by Alonso, who was 0.105s slower.

Vettel's Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was third fastest with a 1:48.533 with Jean-Eric Vergne and Felipe Massa completing the top five. Vergne had an excellent session and kept it up with the big boys even on the harder tyres.

Jenson Button, who had issues with his rear wing throughout the session, proved that McLaren could be in for another improved weekend, especially if conditions are wet, as he was sixth fastest.

The Lotusses of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikonen were eighth and 10th respectively while the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (P9) and Lewis Hamilton (P12) had an unhappy morning as they were sliding all over the place, with the latter also going for a spin.

Rosberg and Hamilton, though, were still within one second of Vettel's best time and they will no doubt be able to improve in qualifying as they have showed that they have the pace over one lap.

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:48.327 16 laps
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:48.432 +0.105 14
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:48.533 +0.206 16
4 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:48.776 +0.449 15
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:48.788 +0.461 15
6 Jenson Button McLaren 1:48.882 +0.555 13
7 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:48.930 +0.603 18
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:48.967 +0.640 14
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:48.993 +0.666 16
10 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:49.008 +0.681 17
11 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:49.035 +0.708 15
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:49.046 +0.719 17
13 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:49.122 +0.795 15
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:49.177 +0.850 15
15 Paul di Resta Force India 1:49.226 +0.899 14
16 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:49.471 +1.144 14
17 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:49.478 +1.151 19
18 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m50.418 +2.091 14
19 Charles Pic Caterham 1:51.416 +3.089 15
20 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:51.800 +3.473 18
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:52.221 +3.894 17
22 Max Chilton Marussia 1:53.507 +5.180 18

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Saturday's Shots From Spa

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