Prac Three: Webber finishes on top


Mark Webber concluded his final practice session in Formula One with a pace-setting time as once again the rain dominated proceedings in Brazil.

As the rain came down at the Interlagos circuit, Esteban Gutierrez got the timesheets going with a 1:34.837. However, not everyone was able to get out early as Heikki Kovalainen was forced to wait as Lotus worked on his car having discovered an engine issue.

The Sauber rookie continued lapping, putting in seven in total, to lower the benchmark to a 1:34.129 before he headed back into the pits. He was the only driver to set a time in the first 30 minutes or to have even done some decent running.

Marussia duo Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi made their mark shortly after with the Frenchman taking the P1 slot with a 1:33.412. However, with the teams all wary of damaging their wet tyres – especially as they only have three sets for the weekend – running was very limited.

Bianchi lost out to Valtteri Bottas, who posted a 1:32.722 before he in turn was beaten by Sebastian Vettel and his 1:31.857. The German was then edged by Lewis Hamilton while Gutierrez climbed to second as 11 drivers made their mark with 20 minutes remaining and improving track conditions.

Mark Webber was the first out on the intermediate tyres with ten minutes to go and hit the front with a 1:29.493, almost half a second up on Hamilton’s wet tyre best. Webber then lowered his benchmark time to a 1:27.891.

And although several drivers followed him out on the inters, the Aussie’s time stood as the chequered flag fell. Romain Grosjean was second, 0.304s down, while Heikki Kovalainen was third quickest ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg.

Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa all opted not to set times.

01 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:27.891 5 laps
02 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:28.195 +0.304 5 laps
03 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:28.595 +0.704 6 laps
04 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:28.600 +0.709 12 laps
05 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:28.830 +0.939 15 laps
06 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:28.921 +1.030 5 laps
07 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:29.215 +1.324 21 laps
08 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:29.686 +1.795 10 laps
09 Paul di Resta Force India 1:29.736 +1.845 6 laps
10 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:29.913 +2.022 8 laps
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.980 +2.089 8 laps
12 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:29.988 +2.097 9 laps
13 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:30.635 +2.744 9 laps
14 Charles Pic Caterham 1:30.837 +2.946 14 laps
15 Max Chilton Marussia 1:30.972 +3.081 10 laps
16 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:31.154 +3.263 14 laps
17 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:31.857 +3.966 4 laps
18 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:32.731 +4.840 4 laps
Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2 laps
Felipe Massa Ferrari 2 laps
Jenson Button McLaren 1 lap
Nico Rosberg Mercedes 4 laps

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Qualifying Day At Interlagos