Hamilton fastest as Vettel lands in gravel

Hamilton fastest as Vettel lands in gravel

17 March 2012 – McLaren's Lewis Hamilton set the pace during the third and final practice session of the weekend in Melbourne, posting a time of 1:25.681 to eclipse Romain Grosjean by 0.077 seconds. Mark Webber completed the top three at the wheel of his Red Bull, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel ended his morning in the gravel.

With Friday's two practice sessions severely hindered by adverse weather conditions, this morning was all about fine-tuning setups ahead of qualifying. Much clearer skies raised the air temperature to almost 20°C (68°F), leading Mercedes to promptly make its ambitions clear. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher climbed to the top of the order with ease, but both men suffered a series of off-track excursions, the latter ultimately spinning out at Turn 9 as the session drew to a close.

Webber enjoyed a late surge to go third quickest in front of an expectant home crowd, but his team-mate endured a much more challenging session. Having struggled to get to grips with his Renault-powered machine 24 hours ago, reigning Champion Vettel put two wheels on the grass verge on the entry to Turn 6 and could do nothing to stop his car from spiralling out of control. The mistake saw him slip down to seventh, with Jenson Button, Rosberg and Schumacher all improving soon after.

Pastor Maldonado cut out his mistakes to place Williams inside the top ten, although the misfortune appeared to transfer over to the other side of the garage when Bruno Senna span wildly at the penultimate corner. Sergio Pérez and Daniel Ricciardo quietly racked up the miles en route to ninth and tenth in the standings, with the latter just doing enough to outpace Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Éric Vergne.

Notable omissions from the fastest ten runners were Kimi Räikkönen and both Ferrari men. The Finn, who has been struggling to cope with an inconsistent steering system this weekend, wound up almost a full second adrift of fellow Lotus pilot Grosjean, with his car visibly nervous in the acceleration zones. However, the situation was worse for Fernando Alonso (16th) and Felipe Massa (18th), who found it difficult to keep the F2012 on-track from the offset.

Caterham, Marussia and HRT completed the order in their respective pairs, with Kovalainen the fastest of the six, just three tenths behind Massa's Ferrari. Charles Pic closed the gap to team-mate Glock during his second day with Marussia's new car, while Pedro de la Rosa completed 12 laps to edge ahead of Narain Karthikeyan.


Saturday's all-important Qualifying session starts at 5pm local time (BST +11) and can also be tracked through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 30 January 2015

  2. 19:54

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  3. Ricciardo to debut Red Bull RB11 in Jerez 19:51

    Ricciardo to debut Red Bull RB11 in Jerez

    Red Bull has confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo will debut the squad's new Renault-powered RB11 at Jerez on Sunday. The...

    F1
  4. Ferrari confident over improved power unit 15:48

    Ferrari confident over improved power unit

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison says that a significant amount of the squad's efforts over the winter period have...

    F1
  5. Filippi joins CFH for road/street courses 14:58

    Filippi joins CFH for road/street courses

    CFH Racing has confirmed that Italian driver Luca Filippi will race for the squad in the 10 road/street courses in this...

    Indy
  6. Video: Interview with Maurizio Arrivabene 12:14

    Video: Interview with Maurizio Arrivabene

    Newly-appointed Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene previews the new Formula 1 season.

    F1
  7. Arrivabene: No 'magic' for Ferrari revival 12:11

    Arrivabene: No 'magic' for Ferrari revival

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene says that nobody has the magic to suddenly improve Ferrari's performances, though...

    F1
  8. Video: Ferrari showcases SF15-T 11:39

    Video: Ferrari showcases SF15-T

    Take a tour of the new Ferrari SF15-T, which will be used by the team in this year's championship.

    F1
  9. Vettel sure Ferrari heading in right direction 11:32

    Vettel sure Ferrari heading in right direction

    Sebastian Vettel says he is sure Ferrari is heading in the right direction but urged caution at the unveiling of the squad's...

    F1
  10. 11:17

    Photos: Ferrari unveils new SF15-T

    F1
  11. Ferrari reveals SF15-T in online launch 11:04

    Ferrari reveals SF15-T in online launch

    Ferrari has become the latest squad to unveil its 2015 challenger after revealing its SF15-T, which will be raced by world...

    F1
  12. 09:40

    Photos: Sauber presents C34 in Hinwil

    F1
  13. Ericsson, Nasr aim to return Sauber to points 09:20

    Ericsson, Nasr aim to return Sauber to points

    Sauber duo Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr say that their aim this year is to return the Swiss team to the points-paying...

    F1
  14. Sauber unveils striking new C34 09:05

    Sauber unveils striking new C34

    Sauber has presented its new-look C34 during an online launch, ahead of the car's public debut in Spain this weekend, as it...

    F1
  15. IndyCar Brasilia season opener cancelled 07:25

    IndyCar Brasilia season opener cancelled

    IndyCar has announced that its planned season opener in Brazil in March has been cancelled, although no reason has been...

    Indy
  16. Video: Boullier on McLaren-Honda reunion 07:24

    Video: Boullier on McLaren-Honda reunion

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier talks about McLaren's latest engine partnership with Honda.

    F1
  17. Boullier: McLaren restructure starting to pay off 07:23

    Boullier: McLaren restructure starting to pay off

    McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier believes that the recent structural changes at the team are showing signs of paying...

    F1
  18. FIA President Todt awarded Palme d'or 05:34

    FIA President Todt awarded Palme d'or

    FIA President Jean Todt has been awarded the International Automobile Festival's Palme d'or for his achievements in...

    F1
  19. Video of the Day: Ferrari working on SF15-T 05:07

    Video of the Day: Ferrari working on SF15-T

    Watch Ferrari staff members working on the new SF15-T, which will be unveiled on Friday morning.

    F1
  20. Thursday 29 January 2015

  21. Mercedes completes F1 W06 shakedown 16:07

    Mercedes completes F1 W06 shakedown

    Mercedes has released pictures of its new Formula 1 challenger, the F1 W06 Hybrid, after shaking it down at an icy...

    F1
  22. Button: McLaren motivation higher than ever 13:35

    Button: McLaren motivation higher than ever

    Jenson Button says McLaren's motivation to succeed is higher than ever ahead of the 2015 season. McLaren released...

    F1
  23. Alonso admits pre-season 'won't be easy' 12:46

    Alonso admits pre-season 'won't be easy'

    Fernando Alonso has admitted that McLaren's pre-season "won't be easy", as the team embarks on its latest engine partnership...

    F1
  24. 12:10

    Photos: The new McLaren MP4-30

    F1
  25. Video: McLaren unveils 2015 challenger 12:09

    Video: McLaren unveils 2015 challenger

    McLaren has presented its new Honda-powered MP4-30, ahead of its track debut at Jerez on Sunday.

    F1
  26. McLaren presents Honda-powered MP4-30 12:04

    McLaren presents Honda-powered MP4-30

    McLaren has unveiled its new Honda-powered MP4-30, to be driven by an all-World Champion driver line-up of Fernando Alonso...

    F1
  27. Video: Sauber's new C34 is fired up 09:47

    Video: Sauber's new C34 is fired up

    Sauber has fired up its new Ferrari-powered C34 ahead of pre-season testing, which gets underway at Jerez on Sunday. While...

    F1
  28. Nato switches to GP2 with Arden 09:46

    Nato switches to GP2 with Arden

    Norman Nato has moved over from Formula Renault 3.5 to GP2 with Arden for 2015. The Frenchman, 22, spent the past two...

    GP2
  29. Video: Back to the Future, McLaren style 09:27

    Video: Back to the Future, McLaren style

    Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button step into a McLaren time machine.

    F1
  30. Barnhart returns as IndyCar race director 09:25

    Barnhart returns as IndyCar race director

    Brian Barnhart has returned to the position of IndyCar race director for the 2015 season. Barnhart will lead the...

    Indy
  31. Video of the Day: Yamaha presents 2015 bike 05:12

    Video of the Day: Yamaha presents 2015 bike

    Yamaha presented its new YZR-M1 for the 2015 MotoGP season in Madrid on Wednesday.

    MotoGP
  32. Wednesday 28 January 2015

  33. Feature: Ricciardo, Kvyat ready to lead Red Bull 16:07

    Feature: Ricciardo, Kvyat ready to lead Red Bull

    Red Bull was the team to beat between 2010 and 2013, enjoying four double title-winning seasons. But with the departure of...

    F1
  34. Video: Räikkönen gets seated in the SF15-T 13:43

    Video: Räikkönen gets seated in the SF15-T

    Ferrari has released a video of Kimi Räikkönen in the new SF15-T, which will be launched on Friday.

    F1
  35. 12:23

    Photos: Yamaha unveils new MotoGP bike

    MotoGP
  36. Yamaha presents 2015 bike in Madrid 12:20

    Yamaha presents 2015 bike in Madrid

    Yamaha became the first MotoGP team to unveil its 2015 bike in Madrid on Wednesday. Riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge...

    MotoGP
  37. Force India elects to skip Jerez test 11:16

    Force India elects to skip Jerez test

    Force India has opted against attending the first pre-season test at Jerez with its 2014 machine, and will instead focus its...

    F1
  38. Malja graduates to FR3.5 with Strakka 11:00

    Malja graduates to FR3.5 with Strakka

    Gustav Malja will make the step up to Formula Renault 3.5 with Strakka Racing for 2015. The Swede, 19, has spent the past...

    FR 3.5
  39. Williams signs Lynn as development driver 10:16

    Williams signs Lynn as development driver

    Williams has signed GP3 champion Alex Lynn as its development driver for the 2015 season. Lynn's primary role will be to...

    F1
  40. Kvyat out to emulate team-mate Ricciardo 10:01

    Kvyat out to emulate team-mate Ricciardo

    New Red Bull recruit Daniil Kvyat believes that he can emulate the achievements of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo after stepping...

    F1
  41. Renault makes 'fundamental' engine changes 09:54

    Renault makes 'fundamental' engine changes

    Renault says it has made "fundamental changes" to its Formula 1 engine over the winter period, as it bids to close in on...

    F1
  42. Ricciardo eyes 'proper title fight' in 2015 09:14

    Ricciardo eyes 'proper title fight' in 2015

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo hopes he can challenge Mercedes' dominance and enjoy a "proper title fight" during the 2015...

    F1
  43. Ferrari: Guidelines for new SF15-T simple 08:35

    Ferrari: Guidelines for new SF15-T simple

    Ferrari Technical Director James Allison says the guidelines for the new SF15-T were clear as its predecessor was simply...

    F1
more news