Vettel quickest in final Sepang practice
23 March 2013 – Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the third and final practice session at Sepang on Saturday afternoon, producing a time of 1:36.435 on a late Medium tyre run. The Red Bull driver led Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by 0.133 seconds, while Force India's Adrian Sutil recovered from his Friday issues to complete the top three.
However, despite demonstrating strong one-lap pace, the Red Bull drivers' tyre degradation woes continued. Amid scorching early air and track temperatures of 34°C (93.2°F) and 46°C (114.8°F), both men had several off-track excursions during their respective Hard tyre runs and will head into qualifying with lingering concerns.
After a substantial spell in his Ferrari garage, Massa managed to deliver the eighth fastest time of the session. The Brazilian, whose engine received attention in the early stages, wound up just ahead of Nico Rosberg, with team-mate Fernando Alonso a little over three tenths back after stating his intentions to claim a front row start.
At the back of the order, Charles Pic put Caterham ahead of main rivals Marussia, with the Frenchman lapping comfortably quicker than fellow countryman Jules Bianchi. This left Giedo van der Garde and Max Chilton at the foot of the timing screens.
Saturday’s qualifying session at Sepang gets underway at 4pm local time (GMT +8) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net Live Report feature