Practice 3: Vettel peaking at the right time
29 October, 2011
Oct.29 (PVM) World champion Sebastian Vettel was second fastest in both practice sessions during practice the opening day of the Indian Grand Prix weekend, however with a couple of hours to go for the first ever qualifying at Buddh International Circuit the Red Bull driver put in a commanding last lap to end the FP3 at the top of the timing screens.
Vettel’s time of 1 minute 24.824 seconds was almost a second quicker than the best time set the previous day in practice two, and 0.367 faster than second best Jenson Button in the McLaren.
Mark Webber was third fastest, fractionally quicker than Lewis Hamilton who ended fourth on the timing sheets. Less than half a second separated the four top times, suggesting a two way team battle for the top step of the Buddh podium: Red Bull versus McLaren.
Slightly down on the leading quartet, make that a second adrift, were the Ferrari pair of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa who were fifth and sixth respectively.
Raising their game for their inaugural home grand prix are Force India, with Paul Di Resta showing strong pace setting the seventh best time and Adrian Sutil ninth fastest.
Splitting the Force India pair was eighth quickest Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes GP, with team mate Michael Schumacher tenth and making it six Mercedes powered cars in the top ten.
Red Bull have started on pole 15 times in the 16 races so far this year and one more would be a record for a single season.
Vettel has taken 12 of those poles and is also chasing Briton Nigel Mansell’s 1992 record of 14 in a season.
Both championships have already been decided, with Vettel and Red Bull retaining their titles for the second year in succession.
Saturday, 29 October – Practice 3
|7||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.785||1.961||19|
|9||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.958||2.134||19|