Abu Dhabi GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

Them Again

Sebastian Vettel., Abu Dhabi GP 2013

Sebastian Vettel., Abu Dhabi GP 2013 

 © Active Pictures

Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber continued to top the times in Abu Dhabi as they posted the first and second quickest laps in Free Practice 3. Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg wound up third and fourth.

The ambient .air temperature at the start of the 60-minute session was 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was also117 degrees Fahrenheit (47 degrees Celsius).

Team Lotus drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean were the first out on the track.

10 minutes into the session, Charles Pic (Caterham) posted the first lap time: a leisurely 1:50.512. About five minutes later Raikkonen posted a 1:44.026. Then Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) lowered that to a 1:44.117.

The drivers were using Pirelli's medium compound slick with the white sidewalls.

20 minutes into the session, and a number of drivers has done installation laps but no flying laps including Mark Webber (Red Bull), Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg, and McLaren's Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. In the next five minutes most of them started to trickle out onto the track.

Meanwhile, Vettel had lowered his time to a 1:43.795 and Raikkonen his to a 1:43.949.

29 minutes into the session, Webber posted a 1:43.823 on his first flying lap.

At the midpoint of FP3 the top six were: Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Grosjean and Valtteri Bottas (Williams.) Everybody was still running the medium tires at this stage.

With 25 minutes remaining, everybody was on track except Perez.

With 22 minutes remaining, Rosberg was now on top with a 1:43.784 ahead of Hamilton who had turned a 1:43.785. A minute later, Vettel was back in front with a time of 1:43.541. Rosberg responded with a 1:43.465.

With 19 minutes remaining, it was busy out there with only Alonso, Hamilton and Rosberg in the pits.

With 17 minutes remaining, Vettel was on another flyer but pitted at the end of the lap. Jules Bianchi spun his Marussia and clipped the wall.

Everybody now pitted to get their cars set up for qualifying simulation runs. With 13 minutes to go, the top six were: Rosberg, Webber, Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen and Grosjean.

With 10 minutes remaining, a few drivers returned to the track with Pirelli's soft compound slicks fitted to their cars. More drivers followed them out.

Button got things rolling with 1:41.956. Hulkenberg then posted a 1:42.055.

With 5 minutes remaining, Hamilton was fastest at 1:41.580. Everybody was on the track now except Bianchi.

With 3 minutes remaining, Vettel retook first with a 1:41.351.

After the checkered flag came out, Webber crossed the line with a 1:41.571, but Vettel was even quicker with 1:43.349.

Hamilton, Rosberg, Grosjean, Button, Hulkenberg, Gutierrez, Raikkonen and Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) rounded out top 10.

Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter