British GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

Ferrari closes gap to Red Bull in final Silverstone practice

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel 

 © The Cahier Archive

Red Bull Racing topped the final session of free practice at Silverstone ahead of qualifying for round 10 of the Formula 1 World Championship.

Sebastian Vettel lapped in 1:30.958, with Mark Webber, who set the pace on the opening day, just four hundredths slower. Vettel had to back off on his final run when the Red Bull's nose was knocked askew on one of the new Silverstone layout's numerous bumps, which have attracted comment from a number of drivers.

Ferrari know the importance of a strong result at Silverstone after losing out through the Valencia Safety Car debacle and Fernando Alonso (1:31.101) got close to the Red Bulls on the softer compound Bridgestone tyre. Team mate Felipe Massa was just eight hundredths slower than his double world champion team mate as Ferrari showed signs of offering the stiffest challenge to Red Bull.

Nico Rosberg (1:31.240) raised Mercedes hopes with fifth fastest time ahead of Robert Kubica's Renault (1:31.519). The Pole was a little off the pace on the first day as Renault raised the ride height to prevent bottoming over the bumps but went a bit too far and had to come back on set-up.

With McLaren reverting to standard diffuser specification after finding lack of balance with its blown diffuser on the first day, Lewis Hamilton went round in 1:31.549 for the seventh fastest time of the session, a hundredth faster than Michael Schumacher's Mercedes.

Pedro de la Rosa continued Sauber's improved performances with a time just four thousandths behind Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello's revised Williams (1:31.559) was also well in touch, just three hundredths further adrift.

Jenson Button, who has never enjoyed the best of fortune at his home Grand Prix could be faced with a tough task to get his McLaren into Q3. His 1:31.703s lap was only good enough for 12th quickest, just behind Vitaly Petrov's Renault, with all those drivers quicker than Button running a blown diffuser apart from team mate Hamilton and De la Rosa.


Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter