Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2012

Alonso quickest in dry final practice session

2012 Belgian Grand Prix third practice

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Fernando Alonso put Ferrari on top as Spa finally saw dry running in the final practice session. The Ferrari driver set a best lap of 1’48.542.

With much of yesterday’s running disrupted by heavy rain, the teams were eager to make the most of the final hour of dry practice. Within moment of the session beginning the track was busy, several drivers going straight onto runs without doing installation laps.

Bruno Senna led the running early on, followed by the two Marussia drivers as most of the team concentrated on high fuel runs. Mercedes suffered a setback when Nico Rosberg pulled over at Rivage with a technical problem.

The Ferrari drivers came to the fore, Alonso leading the way with a 1’50.690. The F2012s were usually the quickest cars through the speed traps.

Sergio Perez briefly appeared at the top of the times but it was the Red Bull drivers who were quickest as the final ten minutes of the session began. Mark Webber set a 1’49.164, Sebastian Vettel just over a tenth of a second slower.

As the final runs began on the softer medium tyres it was Perez who returned to the top, setting a 1’48.850, with team mate Kamui Kobayashi just 0.013s slower.

But Alonso comfortably beat Perez’s mark by over three tenths of a second. Kimi Raikkonen, who had complained about the balance of his Lotus earlier in the session, was second on a 1’48.683.

The improvements pushed Mark Webber down to seventh place and Sebastrian Vettel ninth.

The McLaren drivers were outside the top ten as the final runs began. Jenson Button moved up to fifth place but was over half a second off Alonso’s best, while Lewis Hamilton could only manage 12th.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’48.54218
29Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’48.6830.14121
315Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’48.8500.30823
414Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’48.8630.32120
53Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’49.0910.54918
66Felipe MassaFerrari1’49.0920.55016
72Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’49.1640.62221
810Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’49.2660.72423
91Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’49.2920.75023
1011Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’49.3820.84022
1118Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’49.5611.01923
124Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’49.6151.07319
137Michael SchumacherMercedes1’49.6211.07926
1412Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’49.6741.13223
1517Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’49.7101.16821
1616Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’49.7761.23422
1719Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’50.0271.48520
1820Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’52.3393.79721
1925Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’52.5664.02420
2024Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’52.6304.08818
2121Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’52.8094.26722
2222Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’53.3834.84122
2323Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’53.5625.02023
248Nico RosbergMercedes1’58.1139.5715

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Fernando AlonsoFerrari2’40.7492’50.4971’48.542-52.20725
2Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault2’46.5801’48.683-57.89730
3Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari2’13.8613’12.9011’48.850-25.01143
4Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari2’11.3892’53.2321’48.863-22.52644
5Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes2’16.8611’49.091-27.7728
6Felipe MassaFerrari1’49.09220
7Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault2’13.1911’49.164-24.02734
8Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault2’38.7011’49.266-49.43532
9Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault2’14.8601’49.292-25.56838
10Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes2’15.8122’51.3331’49.382-26.4336
11Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault2’11.9412’51.6601’49.561-22.3841
12Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes2’16.8271’49.615-27.21226
13Michael SchumacherMercedes2’15.4021’49.621-25.78143
14Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes2’16.7862’59.1251’49.674-27.11238
15Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari2’12.8242’58.2321’49.710-23.11439
16Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari2’12.0042’49.7501’49.776-22.22837
17Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’50.02723
18Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault2’18.1991’52.339-25.8632
19Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth2’17.5192’49.3541’52.566-24.95338
20Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth2’16.4092’52.0761’52.630-23.77938
21Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault2’16.7881’52.809-23.97938
22Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth2’19.5461’53.383-26.16334
23Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’53.56223
24Nico RosbergMercedes2’14.2101’58.113-16.09722
25Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault2’14.66016
26Dani ClosHRT-Cosworth2’19.68912

2012 Belgian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Alonso quickest in dry final practice session”

  1. Ferrari looks good but it seems Lotus sorted out cold weather problem. Also Sauber looks very promising!

    1. Who? Ferrari? But Alonso just said a couple a days ago that they have a bad car. This game is starting to ****** me of. I won’t listen what Alonso will say, ever..

  2. This is going to be great! Guess the lack of practice may help the show, it’s the same from everyone and i’m sure that no one will be heavily hurt by that, but at least the spectators aren’t sure of who is what.

  3. Ah boy it’s good to be back watching F1! I think alonso is on for pole, but he will struggle in the race. A Lotus win is on the cards

    1. A Lotus win is on the cards

      The same way it was “on the cards” in Bahrain, Spain, Monaco, Canada, Valencia, Great Britain, Germany and Hungary?

      Wishful thinking.

      1. +1

        They say the same thing every race.

        1. If Lotus happen to win tomorrow, it won’t be because they set a fast lap time in the final practice session of a disrupted weekend. It will be because they have finally sorted out their race management and strategy, which have been sorely lacking all year long. They have been tipped as race winners since April (at least), but have consistently failed to live up to expectations, so I’m more inclined to believe the historical precedent as being more representative of their performance as a team rather than a single lap time set by one driver.

      2. Common factor with first wins is that they really are first. Just because something didn’t happen in the past doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.

        Let’s just watch the qualification before declaring anything “wishful thinking”

        1. Just because something didn’t happen in the past doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all.

          Jenson Button hasn’t won a race at Spa before. But hey, it didn’t happen in the past, so it can happen tomorrow.

          Felipe Massa hasn’t been on the podium since Korea in 2010. But hey, it didn’t happen in the past, so it can happen tomorrow.

          Caterham haven’t scored a single point since they joined the sport. But hey, it didn’t happen in the past, so it can happen tomorrow.

          Do I need to go on?

      3. But at least Kimi looks to have gotten on top of their troubles getting the tyres to work in colder weather here, so it might be their time has come. That said, its hard not to see Ferrari is genuinly fast when both of them are in the top 6.

      4. … but here is different PM, as Kimi likes Spa. Remember 5times visit and 4 wins and was even hunting for that elusive 2008 win until the rain set-in.

        BTW, I am not a big fan of Kimi coming from his behaviour in Monaco GP after crashing-out instead of going for a DE-BRIEFING! He went onto his Yacht celebrating while the race was still on. :(

        1. Kimi likes Spa

          So do a lot of other drivers.

          Remember 5times visit and 4 wins and was even hunting for that elusive 2008 win until the rain set-in.

          He cheated to win in 2009.

  4. I wonder if this is a sign for things to come or just typical practise jumbling. I’m favouring Räikkönen for the win and Vettel for pole.

  5. And these Alonso fans still thinks Alonso has the 10th faster car

  6. I can’t wait to watch the race! 4 ferraris in the top 6 places is impressive, and with Webbers grid penalty, it looks like it’s going to be a jumbled grid a bit…

    going to be a fantastic race!

  7. I’ve heard some talk of Raikkonen disagreeing with his engineer over the radio, does anyone know what was said?

    1. Early on he urged them to make the car “softer” – after that they changed tyre pressure.

  8. I’m one of the biggest Alonso’s fans. And without a doubt I can tell you all that the Ferrari looks really fast. It seems to me that the upgrade they brought to this race has made them go a step foward. Massa and Alonso set up fast times lap after lap and you could tell they didn’t had to struggle with the car to do pretty decent times. Te cars looks fast and well balanced. It seems that since the car was te same since the upgrades put in Barcelona , all this months probably the two months they have been working on these upgrades will take them from having the slowest car of the top 4 teams to their level or just a bit in front of them. Go Alonso!!

  9. Going to be keeping an eye on the Marussias in qualifying to see if they really are that close to Caterham now.

    1. Would be nice if they did, that would bring a bit more excitement and tension into Q1

    2. @keithcollantine That would be one hell of a step up and an exciting one at that, especially without KERS.

  10. Sorry for the typos , the iPhone sometime put another words that the one you intended when you make a mistake

  11. Wow! JB is Half a second faster than his team mate!! Am I seeing a possible WCC for McLaren this season?….. Still hopping.

    1. JB is always strong when it doesn’t matter. He has been fastest in FP3 twice this year, but has off his teammate’s pace when it actually counts.

      Wouldn’t get your hopes up on JB if I were you

  12. Strange seeing such close times during an FP session, the top 10 covered by 1s. It’s like qualifying. Sauber are a pleasant surprise up there.

  13. Ferrari clearly have the slowest car on the grid again, well according to Fernando ;)

    1. We will see in Qualy.

  14. Damn I forgot to enter my predictions! arghh!

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