Grosjean quickest as problem halts Vettel

2013 Australian Grand Prix third practice

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Romain Grosjean, Lotus, Melbourne, 2013Romain Grosjean put Lotus on top after rain hit the track during the final practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.

But having led both of yesterday’s sessions Sebastian Vettel hit trouble when his car stopped in the dying minutes of the final hour.

All the drivers had hit the track within minutes of the start as teams hurried on with their programmes in anticipation of the incoming rain

The Ferrari pair led the times initially with Fernando Alonso stopping the clocks on exactly 87 seconds. But just before the rain came he was pipped by Romain Grosjean’s Lotus.

Several drivers had switched to the super soft tyres in an attempt to get a run in on those when the rain arrived with less than 15 minutes’ running completed. No one managed a run on the softer tyres before the track was doused, and for the next 20 minutes there was no action at the track.

Felipe Massa broke the silence with 25 minutes remaining, taking to the track on wet weather tyres. Most of the drivers soon followed them, including the four who failed to set a time when the track was dry.

Once the rain stopped the track dried quickly, and with just over ten minutes to go drivers had begun using the intermediate tyres.

Vettel had just gone out on the intermediates when his car came to a stop at turn four. Race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin was quick to tell him to pull over to look after the car.

The slippery track caused several off-track moments for other drivers including Giedo van der Garde and the Sauber pair. But by the end of the session it had dried sufficiently that some teams were considering a switch to slicks.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
18Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’26.92914
23Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’27.0000.0717
34Felipe MassaFerrari1’27.2410.31210
414Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’27.5330.6049
57Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’27.6250.69612
619Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’27.8490.92019
718Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’27.8600.93116
815Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’28.0691.14015
911Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’28.2531.32418
1012Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’28.2531.32420
119Nico RosbergMercedes1’28.4861.55713
121Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’29.8082.8799
132Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’30.0733.14416
1422Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’30.3883.45917
1521Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’30.5983.66920
1620Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’30.9594.03019
175Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’33.2366.3077
186Sergio PerezMcLaren1’33.5276.5988
1916Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’39.23212.30313
2017Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’39.77912.85013
2123Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’42.87215.94313
2210Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’47.24620.3179

Australian Grand Prix combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’27.2111’25.9081’29.808+3.958
2Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’27.6681’26.1721’30.073+3.90165
3Nico RosbergMercedes1’28.0131’26.3221’28.486+2.16456
4Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’27.8771’26.3611’27.625+1.26467
5Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’28.5201’26.6801’26.929+0.24961
6Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’27.5471’26.7481’27.000+0.25258
7Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’27.5521’26.7721’47.246+20.47455
8Felipe MassaFerrari1’27.2891’26.8551’27.241+0.38659
9Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’28.4261’27.4351’28.069+0.63469
10Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’28.9101’28.3111’27.533-0.77864
11Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’30.9691’28.6271’27.849-0.77869
12Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’30.7291’28.9681’27.860-1.10869
13Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’28.7861’28.1871’28.253+0.06671
14Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’30.2031’28.7721’28.253-0.51970
15Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’28.4401’28.2941’33.236+4.94256
16Sergio PerezMcLaren1’28.5971’28.5661’33.527+4.96160
17Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’29.4431’28.8521’39.232+10.3869
18Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’29.9281’29.3861’39.779+10.39371
19Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’31.2631’29.6961’30.388+0.69273
20Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’32.2741’30.1651’30.959+0.79477
21Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’32.3881’32.4501’30.598-1.7949
22Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’32.1761’30.6001’42.872+12.27272

2013 Australian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Lotus/LAT

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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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12 comments on “Grosjean quickest as problem halts Vettel”

  1. David not Coulthard (@)
    16th March 2013, 4:07

    I only watched the last 10 minutes, so…..when did Bianchi set his time?

    1. @davidnotcoulthard presumably when the track was still dry.

      1. David not Coulthard (@)
        16th March 2013, 4:26

        If so then it would be bad news for Marussia fans (and frankly I’m rooting for them in the battle of the backmarkers).

  2. Cautiously optimistic about Ferrari, fingers crossed.

  3. Blast the rain, I wanted to see quali sims. Ah well, quali is almost upon us.

  4. still hard to make more of it really. Sure Lotus keep looking good, Red Bull super fast (what about reliability though?) and Mercedes solid while Sauber, Force India and maybe McLaren will probably be filling the low end of the top 10/lower 10s.
    And hard to tell what conditions are going to be for qualifying.

  5. Apparently a sensor fault was to blame for Vettel’s stoppage so no great drama.

  6. it’s pouring again now in Albert Park with 59 minutes to go…a dramatic qualifying session awaits :-)

  7. is anyone receiving 5 grid penalty’s for gearbox replacements Keith????

  8. Missed this practice. . What happened to Hamilton? 20s off

  9. Hmmm…Maussia within a second of the McLarens?

    Btw I think Caterham should just pack their bags and go home for talking so much.

  10. RBR looks quick. Hope for a trouble free race tomorrow.

Comments are closed.