United States GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report
It really was no surprise as Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber topped Free Practice 3 for the United States Grand Prix.
The ambient air temperature at the start of the 60-minute session was 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius.)
As in FP2, Heikki Kovalainen was first out in the Lotus.
Jules Bianchi set the first time, a 1:43.098 in his Marussia. And Daniel Ricciardo set the second time, a 1:40.098 in his Toro Rosso.
12 minutes into the session, Ricciardo had lowered the best time to a 1:38.810, but then Adrian Sutil beat that with a 1:38.559 in his Force India. Sutil then improved to a 1:38.289.
15 minutes into the session, only 10 drivers had set times as guys like Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Ferrari teammates Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa remained in the pits.
16 minutes into the session, Nico Rosberg posted the second best time, a 1:38.625, in his Mercedes.
18 minutes into the session, Mark Webber topped the list with a 1:38.158 in his Red Bull.
20 minutes into the session, Romain Grosjean (Lotus) beat that with a 1:37.829 only to see Vettel turn a 1:37.684. Vettel went even faster with a 1:37.433. Webber was now third after clocking a 1:37.972.
At this time all the drivers were running the hard compound Pirelli slicks.
At the midpoint of FP3 the top six were: Vettel, Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber), Grosjean, Jenson Button (McLaren,) Webber and Sergio Perez (McLaren.) All but Perez were below the 1 minute 38 second barrier.
With 22 minutes remaining in the session, Valtteri Bottas slotted his Williams into second place with a time of 1:37.759 as Webber moved into third with a 1:37.790.
With 20 minutes remaining in the session, only five drivers were on the track. The rest were in the pits having their cars prepared for qualifying simulation runs on the medium compound tires. One of drivers out there was Webber who improved to a 1:37.626.
With 15 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was in the pits.
With 13 minutes remaining in the session, Bianchi was the first to head out on the softer tires. Perez was next out, and more drivers followed him on track.
With 8 minutes remaining in the session, Button took over second with a 1:37.621. Sutil moved into fourth with a 1:37.748.
With 6 minutes remaining in the session, only three drivers were in the pits as Hulkenberg topped the list with a 1:37.356.
With 5 minutes remaining in the session, every driver was on track.
With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Webber went second quickest at 1:37.418.
With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Hulkenberg improved to a 1:37.272 as Grosjean went third best with a 1:37.431.
With 1 minute remaining in the session, Vettel turned a 1:36.733 to snatch first place. Webber improved to a 1:36.938 to take second place. And at the very end of the session Hamilton moved up to third with a 1:37.064.
The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Button, Rosberg, Perez, Bottas and Sutil.