Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013

Vettel leads close final practice session

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix third practice

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2013Sebastian Vettel led the times at the end of a close final practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel produced a lap of 1’36.435 on medium tyres in the final minutes of practice. He stayed out for another run on the softer tyres and found more time in the first sector before the tyres began to drop off.

Second fastest was Lewis Hamilton who set his time several minutes earlier. He returned to the track for another run at the end of the session but picked up front-right tyre damage, the rubber breaking up as he returned to the garage.

Behind him Adrian Sutil and Mark Webber were covered by four-hundredths of a second. Paul di Resta backed up his team mate’s pace with the sixth-fastest time.

Kimi Raikkonen was fifth-quickest with a lap of 1’36.806, some eight tenths of a second fastest than his team mate. Romain Grosjean ended the session 14th but aborted his best lap when he understeered wide at turn eight when he caught a Caterham. He had been quick up to that point setting the fastest first sector time.

McLaren had an encouraging session with Jenson Button seventh-quickest, less than four tenths of a second off the pace. He also set the quickest time on hard tyres with a 1’37.521.

The Ferraris languished towards the bottom of the top ten with Felipe Massa half a second off Vettel’s time.

Pastor Maldonado was 11th for Williams despite a slide at turn four. Nico Hulkenberg ran a long stint on hard tyres during the session before a late switch to mediums moved him up to 12th.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’36.435 20
2 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’36.568 0.133 17
3 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’36.588 0.153 19
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.613 0.178 20
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’36.806 0.371 19
6 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’36.807 0.372 18
7 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’36.822 0.387 16
8 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’36.946 0.511 14
9 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’36.949 0.514 25
10 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.302 0.867 14
11 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’37.359 0.924 11
12 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’37.538 1.103 12
13 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.685 1.250 23
14 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’37.690 1.255 14
15 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’37.936 1.501 16
16 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.294 1.859 17
17 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.376 1.941 16
18 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’38.425 1.990 15
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’38.995 2.560 18
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’39.717 3.282 21
21 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’40.209 3.774 18
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’40.495 4.060 18

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.104 1’36.588 1’36.435 -0.153 68
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’37.840 1’37.574 1’36.568 -1.006 67
3 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’37.003 1’36.569 1’36.806 +0.237 62
4 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’37.769 1’37.788 1’36.588 -1.181 46
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’36.935 1’37.026 1’36.613 -0.322 64
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’37.771 1’36.661 1’36.946 +0.285 62
7 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’37.773 1’37.571 1’36.807 -0.764 63
8 Jenson Button McLaren 1’38.173 1’37.865 1’36.822 -1.043 61
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.588 1’37.448 1’36.949 -0.499 76
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.319 1’36.985 1’37.302 +0.317 50
11 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’37.915 1’37.206 1’37.690 +0.484 57
12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’38.673 1’38.801 1’37.359 -1.314 54
13 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’38.830 1’37.838 1’37.538 -0.3 50
14 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.054 1’38.068 1’37.685 -0.383 71
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’39.208 1’39.660 1’37.936 -1.272 63
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.204 1’38.645 1’38.294 -0.351 56
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.284 1’38.738 1’38.376 -0.362 64
18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.567 1’38.904 1’38.425 -0.479 62
19 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’41.163 1’40.757 1’38.995 -1.762 65
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’40.996 1’39.508 1’39.717 +0.209 65
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’40.728 1’40.768 1’40.209 -0.519 67
22 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’41.513 1’41.438 1’40.495 -0.943 59

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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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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13 comments on “Vettel leads close final practice session”

  1. All of a sudden , Mclaren looks good…

    1. rather – not horribly off the pace – at least on the Hards they were very solid, so I guess they could even try for qualifying on them in Q3 (if they get in there)

    2. not quite, track evolution.

  2. Looks like its tight again, and the race order might be slightly different than last round. Looking good for an entertaining race but tough for predictions!

  3. even though it’s early days i think the people criticizing sutil may feel a bit embarrased, soon (hopefully) bianchi will be his team mate next year for FI (unless they get a better drive)

  4. If Mclaren can set such fast times while having problems, then I wonder how fast the car can really be if they’ve sorted out their handling issues. This also confirms my belief that they have mainly a setup problem with the car, not saying they aerodynamics of the car doesn’t need refinement though.

  5. Lotus were not running the new exhaust in FP3, well at least not the titanium version of it.

  6. I am so happy to see the Force Indias up there. Sutil and Di Resta had solid pace in Australia and they seem strong again. I hope they keep up the good work. It feels good to have a new team among the big dogs.
    Also, it is shocking how quickly Keith managed to put this results with a comment and a picture, just after minutes of the session. I am truly impressed.

    1. Really nice to see Force India moving forward.

  7. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
    23rd March 2013, 6:34

    boy, the tyre brings too much uncertainty for prediction championship!
    Kimi abused his first prime, but then rather consistent although not being fastest. Mercedes looked super until Lewis damaged the tyre (again). Red Bull is still the fastest but who knows their long pace? Ferrari seems faded, McLaren already found the pace (the ride not improving much though). and Force India sneaks a chance for being in podium tomorrow.
    less wheel to wheel racing and more strategical stuffs tomorrrow, for sure.

    1. @Adityafakhri ferrari will surely go quicker in qualy..they had better times in FP2

  8. I am enjoying the progress being made by Force India. It is encouraging to see new teams progressing to the front and some front runners struggling to maintain their positions . It is quite good for the sport cos I find it sometimes boring to watch the big 3 continuously slug it out for the championship year in year out. I hope FI maintain their current pace and even progress further through out the entire championship.

  9. the tires suck.

Comments are closed.