Australian GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

Williams on top again

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg 

 © The Cahier Archive

The Williams-Toyota team was fastest again in the third session in Melbourne and the signs are that the car may be as quick as it has seemed thus far, although the ever-cautious Williams team continues to play things down, worrying that the pace of the Brawn cars may be better over longer runs. There was some question about what the car is now called after Sir Richard Branson referred to "the Virgin BGP001". This caused some amusement in the paddock, as in the race a Virgin F1 car might not go all the way...

In fact changing the name of the car is not that simple as it would need everyone to agree and the Brawn team's performance has not won it many friends thus far.

As it turned out, Jarno Trulli was second fastest in his Toyota, the Italian just 0.003s slower than Rosberg and there were one and a halt tenths between the Italian and Jenson Button's Virgin-branded Brawn.

Felipe Massa gave Ferrari a ray of sunshine with fourth place, the first of the non-diffuser cars, while Kazuki Nakajima in the second Williams was fifth ahead of Rubens Barrichello in the second Brawn.

Mark Webber has his Red Bull-Renault in seventh place, well ahead of the Renault works cars, which is going to take some explaining when next the team management visit Renault World Headquarters in Paris. Timo Glock was eighth in the second Toyota and was ahead of the two BMW Saubers and the two McLarens. The Bimmer team had Robert Kubica ahead of Nick Heidfeld, while Heikki Kovalainen was faster than World Champion Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel had a couple of off track moments in his Red Bull, which meant that he could not keep up with Webber.

Adrian Sutil was once again the faster of the Force Indias and he had the two Toro Rossos and Fernando Alonso's Renault between him and his team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella.

Down at the back was the second Renault driven by Nelson Piquet Jr, while Kimi Raikkonen ended up slowest of all in his Ferrari after an adventure on the grass.

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