Practice 3: Alonso quickest before torrential downpour

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 20 July 2012.

Fernando Alonso was fastest at the end of FP3 in Germany

Jul.21 (GP247) With handful of minutes left in the final free practice session of the German Grand Prix weekend, the heavens opened up and torrential rain fell over Hockenheim after a dry 60 minutes session which saw Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso top the timing sheets.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 20 July 2012.Alonso’s best time came around the 40 minute mark, when he bolted on a set of the yellow band Pirelli soft tyres on the Ferrari F2012 – featuring a newly tweaked front wing  – and promptly went faster than any one has been all weekend with his time of 1 minute 16.014 seconds. Team mate Felipe Massa was eighth fastest.

Next up was Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren, interestingly the Briton having set his time on a set of the harder silver band Pirelli PZero tyres which appear better suited to the MP4-27 than the softer option. Team mate Jenson Button did very few laps and appears to be having a torrid time with the set-up on his car, and despite notching up 25 laps ended the session slowest of all. Something is amiss in the Button camp…

Continuing to show good pace in the Sauber was Sergio Perez who ended the session third fastest, a  half second up on teammate Kamui Kobayashi who ended the session ninth.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd10, German Grand Prix, Practice, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday 20 July 2012.The Red Bull duo finally showed their hand (or at least part of it) with Mark Webber fractionally faster than teammate Sebastian Vettel, fifth and sixth respectively on the timing sheets.

Both Williams drivers ended the session in the top ten with Pastor Maldonado seventh fastest and Bruno Senna tenth.

Heavy clouds lingered on the horizon as FP3 began at 11:00 am local, with some teams predicting a rain free session, others expecting rain mid-way through the hour, but in the end it fell right at the very end of the session.

If the deluge that was witnessed at the very end of the morning practice is anything to go by, then for sure qualifying will be rain affected. Watch this space…

Subbed by AJN.

 

German Grand Prix Free Practice 3 – Saturday, 21 July 2012

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:16.014 14
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.091 0.077 21
3 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:16.202 0.188 21
4 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:16.238 0.224 27
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:16.447 0.433 19
6 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:16.475 0.461 18
7 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:16.664 0.650 18
8 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:16.771 0.757 15
9 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:16.807 0.793 25
10 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:16.930 0.916 23
11 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:16.962 0.948 26
12 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:17.033 1.019 26
13 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:17.148 1.134 24
14 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:17.238 1.224 25
15 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:17.266 1.252 22
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:17.419 1.405 23
17 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.491 1.477 26
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:18.366 2.352 21
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:18.818 2.804 23
20 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:19.778 3.764 22
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:20.235 4.221 22
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:20.318 4.304 9
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:20.741 4.727 22
24 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:20.914 4.900 25