Vettel stays on top in final Austin practice

Vettel stays on top in final Austin practice

17 November 2012 – Sebastian Vettel has remained quickest in final practice ahead of the US Grand Prix. The World Champion, who has topped all three sessions so far at the brand-new Circuit of the Americas, led Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado. Ferrari were caught out by a nine-minute yellow flag period as Sergio Pérez collided with Charles Pic.

As final practice loomed, all teams were particularly cautious about not over-reacting to the changes in temperature. Barely an hour before the session started, the ambient reading in Austin was a chilly -1°C (30°F) and this hour-long period was staged 60 minutes earlier than it is at the European races. Any dramatic setup changes, while allowing a car to better suit the track now, would only have a negative effect by the time qualifying arrived at noon.

A massive 65,000 spectators had attended Friday free practice and more are coming today, as a selection of celebrities and drivers – such as Rubens Barrichello – watched on from the paddock and garages. 20 minutes in, Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa narrowly avoided contact, but the same could not be said for Pérez and Pic. The Mexican, who had already received a reprimand and fine yesterday, dived down the inside of the Frenchman to result in a somewhat unnecessary collision. The stewards will be looking into the matter.

As Hamilton was informed of a small issue, Button went quickest, while Ferrari decided to ignore the cold track and practice pit-stops while preparing tyres. Although this made sense at the time, the strategy back-fired as yellow flags for Jean-Éric Vergne annoyed Felipe Massa and meant both red cars were forced to slow down on some of their quickest runs. The reason for Vergne’s stoppage was broken suspension; it remains to be seen whether this was caused by clouting a kerb or if the issue was a mechanical failure on the Faenza-built Toro Rosso.

Lotus ran new exhausts on the cars of Romain Grosjean and Abu Dhabi winner Kimi Räikkönen, but a suspected gearbox problem for the former could result in a grid penalty. This left Alonso and Nico Rosberg to complete the top five as both HRT drivers missed the 107 percent cut-off by a sizeable margin; should this happen in qualifying, Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan will be banned from starting unless a dispensation is granted by the FIA.

Hamilton demonstrated rapid pace, in the first sector especially, but it was Option tyre-shod Vettel who flew to the fastest lap time of 1:36.490, edging out the McLaren by two and a half tenths of a second. Button had led the way for much of the session, but fell back down to tenth place when rivals fitted the Medium tyres.

Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix will mark the first grid-deciding session for F1 in America since Indianapolis last welcomed the sport back in 2007.


Qualifying for the United States Grand Prix begins at 12 noon local time (GMT -6) and can also be tracked through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 2 December 2016

  2. Sato joins Andretti Autosport for 2017 20:05

    Sato joins Andretti Autosport for 2017

    Takuma Sato will make the switch to Andretti Autosport for 2017, completing the team's four-car line-up. Sato, 39, has raced…

    Indy
  3. 18:02

    New: Follow GPUpdate on Instagram!

    F1
  4. Latifi on top as GP2 post-season test ends 17:56

    Latifi on top as GP2 post-season test ends

    DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi set the pace as GP2's end-of-season test reached its conclusion at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit on…

    GP2
  5. Overview: Candidates to replace Rosberg 15:08

    Overview: Candidates to replace Rosberg

    Following the shock news that Nico Rosberg will retire from Formula 1 with immediate effect, GPUpdate.net looks at the potential…

    F1
  6. Video: Rosberg on his decision to retire 14:02

    Video: Rosberg on his decision to retire

    Nico Rosberg explains why he has decided to retire from Formula 1 after winning the world title.

    F1
  7. Mercedes will 'take time' over replacement 13:47

    Mercedes will 'take time' over replacement

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the manufacturer will "take time" in deciding who will replace Nico Rosberg, who has announced his…

    F1
  8. Wolff applauds 'brave' Rosberg decision 13:45

    Wolff applauds 'brave' Rosberg decision

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has applauded Nico Rosberg's "brave decision" to retire from Formula 1 as World Champion, following a…

    F1
  9. Rosberg retires from F1 as champion 13:20

    Rosberg retires from F1 as champion

    Nico Rosberg has announced that he is to retire from Formula 1, just a few days after beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton…

    F1
  10. Video: Nico Rosberg celebrates in Brackley 13:12

    Video: Nico Rosberg celebrates in Brackley

    Nico Rosberg celebrates his maiden Formula 1 title win at Mercedes' headquarters in Brackley.

    F1
  11. Ecclestone confirms French GP reports 11:58

    Ecclestone confirms French GP reports

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed recent reports that the French Grand Prix is poised to return to the calendar…

    F1
  12. Magnussen 'learned a lot' over Renault stint 10:32

    Magnussen 'learned a lot' over Renault stint

    Kevin Magnussen says he "learned a lot" from Renault over the course of the 2017 season, as he prepares to embark on the next…

    F1
  13. Rosberg visits Mercedes factory in Brackley 09:21

    Rosberg visits Mercedes factory in Brackley

    Nico Rosberg appeared at Mercedes' headquarters in Brackley on Thursday, as part of a packed celebration schedule after…

    F1
  14. 'French GP to return at Paul Ricard in 2018' 09:05

    'French GP to return at Paul Ricard in 2018'

    France could make a surprise return to the Formula 1 calendar at Paul Ricard from the 2018 campaign, in a five-year agreement…

    F1
  15. Marko: Patience Verstappen's only weakness 07:34

    Marko: Patience Verstappen's only weakness

    Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko reckons Max Verstappen's only remaining weakness is an occasional lack of patience…

    F1
  16. Video of the Day: Rosberg opens up on 2016 05:38

    Video of the Day: Rosberg opens up on 2016

    Nico Rosberg opens up on a demanding 2016 season, which resulted in his maiden championship win.

    F1
  17. Thursday 1 December 2016

  18. 17:02

    Photos: Rosberg visits Mercedes factory

    F1
  19. Albon fastest on second Yas Marina test day 16:08

    Albon fastest on second Yas Marina test day

    Alexander Albon topped the times for ART Grand Prix on the second day of GP2's end-of-season test at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina…

    GP2
  20. F1 stewards aim for 'better consistency' 15:32

    F1 stewards aim for 'better consistency'

    Formula 1 stewards are looking at holding regular de-brief meetings to review Grands Prix in an attempt to achieve "better…

    F1
  21. ExxonMobil becomes Red Bull fuel partner 14:14

    ExxonMobil becomes Red Bull fuel partner

    Red Bull has announced ExxonMobil as its new fuel, lubricant and motor oil partner for the 2017 season, replacing Total, which…

    F1
  22. Video: Toto Wolff on Mercedes' season 13:16

    Video: Toto Wolff on Mercedes' season

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff discusses the manufacturer's continued Formula 1 success in 2016, the tense showdown between Nico…

    F1
  23. Wolff: Malaysia failure cost Hamilton title 11:12

    Wolff: Malaysia failure cost Hamilton title

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has conceded that Lewis Hamilton's engine failure at the Malaysian Grand Prix, while on course for…

    F1
  24. Stroll relieved Canadian GP is secured 10:12

    Stroll relieved Canadian GP is secured

    Lance Stroll says that it will be "a dream come true" to take part in his home Grand Prix in Canada next season, after the event…

    F1
  25. Evans calls time on GP2 after four seasons 09:04

    Evans calls time on GP2 after four seasons

    New Zealander Mitch Evans has called time on his GP2 Series career after four seasons, in order to fully focus on his new…

    GP2
  26. European F3 set to return to Britain in 2017 09:02

    European F3 set to return to Britain in 2017

    Britain is set to reclaim a season-opening slot on the 2017 European Formula 3 calendar. European Formula 3 last visited the…

    F3
  27. Rosberg: Hamilton 'one of the best ever' 07:26

    Rosberg: Hamilton 'one of the best ever'

    Nico Rosberg has paid tribute to Lewis Hamilton, describing him as "one of the best ever" drivers in Formula 1 history, after…

    F1
  28. Video of the Day: Rosberg's title celebrations 05:42

    Video of the Day: Rosberg's title celebrations

    Nico Rosberg celebrated his maiden title win with Mercedes partner Petronas in Malaysia this week.

    F1
  29. Wednesday 30 November 2016

  30. 18:02

    Overview: Formula 1's confirmed 2017 roster

    F1
  31. FIA announces revised 20-race F1 calendar 17:42

    FIA announces revised 20-race F1 calendar

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has presented a revised 20-race calendar for the 2017 season, with the German Grand Prix…

    F1
  32. Marciello tops first day of post-season test 16:26

    Marciello tops first day of post-season test

    Raffaele Marciello topped the first day of GP2's post-season test at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit, driving for former team…

    GP2
  33. 14:02

    Photos: Rosberg celebrates title in Malaysia

    F1
  34. Rosberg proud to emulate father's success 12:11

    Rosberg proud to emulate father's success

    Nico Rosberg says "one of the most emotional parts" of clinching a maiden Formula 1 title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was…

    F1
  35. Arrivabene: Podium 'a boost for whole team' 11:32

    Arrivabene: Podium 'a boost for whole team'

    Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene reckons Sebastian Vettel's podium at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will serve as a boost to the…

    F1
  36. Nasr's situation 'not ideal', says manager 10:17

    Nasr's situation 'not ideal', says manager

    Felipe Nasr's manager has admitted that Banco do Brasil's decision to terminate its sponsorship deal with Sauber is a blow…

    F1
  37. Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Abu Dhabi 09:02

    Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Abu Dhabi

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net's race-by-race series, Story Behind the Shot, continues throughout…

    F1
  38. Overview: Rosberg's path to the 2016 F1 title 07:46

    Overview: Rosberg's path to the 2016 F1 title

    Nico Rosberg was crowned 2016 World Champion after a whirlwind 21-race battle with Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.…

    F1
  39. Video of the Day: Verstappen on Abu Dhabi 05:16

    Video of the Day: Verstappen on Abu Dhabi

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen reviews his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and answers some questions posed by fans.

    F1
  40. Tuesday 29 November 2016

  41. 17:04

    Photos: Pirelli group tyre test at Yas Marina

    F1
  42. Pirelli concludes 2017 test programme 17:03

    Pirelli concludes 2017 test programme

    Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has completed its planned pre-2017 test programme after Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull conducted…

    F1
  43. Vettel: Rosberg deserves F1 world title 15:22

    Vettel: Rosberg deserves F1 world title

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel says that Nico Rosberg is a "deserved" champion after his compatriot clinched the 2016 world title…

    F1
  44. Wehrlein: Manor 'unlucky' to miss out on 10th 14:24

    Wehrlein: Manor 'unlucky' to miss out on 10th

    Pascal Wehrlein believes that Manor was "unlucky" not to finish the 2016 Constructors' Championship in 10th position, ahead of…

    F1
more news