Canadian GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

Canadian Club

Lewis Hamilton, Canadian GP 2014

Lewis Hamilton, Canadian GP 2014 

 © The Cahier Archive

Lewis Hamilton was in a club of his own during Free Practice 3 for the Canadian Grand Prix. He was the only driver to turn a lap below the 1 minute 16 second mark as he posted a 1:15.610 in his Mercedes. Felipe Massa split the Mercedes teammates by setting the second fastest time – 1:16.086 – in his Williams. Nico Rosberg wound up third with a 1:16.120. Both Mercedes drivers set their times on Pirelli’s soft tire while Massa used the super soft.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Centigrade.) The sky was blue and there was zero percent chance of rain.

Pastor Maldonado was the first out in his Lotus when the green lights signaled that the pit exit was open. Most of the rest of the field soon followed him out to do their installation laps. The drivers were using Pirelli’s soft compound tires with the yellow sidewalls.

McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen posted the first time of the session – 1:18.325 – as he was out doing laps when most of the other drivers were waiting in the garages. The only other driver to set a time in the early going was Marcus Ericsson who clocked a 1:23.937 in his Caterham.

15 minutes into the session, Esteban Gutierrez spun his Sauber into the wall at Turn 4. As his car, which had damage to the left rear, was in a tricky place to be retrieved, the session was red flagged so that the crews could hook the car up to a crane and lift if off the track.

19 minutes into the session, the track was opened for business again. A number of drivers (but not yet Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo) were setting times, and 24 minutes into the session Sergio Perez topped the charts with a 1:18.179 in his Force India.

25 minutes into the session, Kimi Raikkonen posted a 1:17.416, but his Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso topped that with a 1:17.259. Then Lewis Hamilton turned a 1:16.760 in his Mercedes. Williams teammates Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were fifth and sixth behind the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

28 minutes into the session, Massa popped up to second with a 1:17.167. Bottas was moving up as well.

29 minutes into the session, Vettel went off track and continued at the hairpin.

Midway through FP3 the top six were: Hamilton, Massa, Bottas, Alonso, Rosberg and Raikkonen.

With 28 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg jumped to the front with a time of 1:16.128 just after Hamilton had improved to a 1:16.186. Massa was third with a 1:16.804.

The Red Bull duo got up to seventh (Ricciardo) and eighth (Vettel) as Rosberg improved to a 1:16.120.

With 25 minutes remaining in the session, Magnussen spun off at Turn 1 and continued.

With 24 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton set the bar at 1:15.610.

With 20 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo moved into fourth with a 1:17.111.

The drivers were still on the soft compound Pirellis, but the time was coming for them to switch to the super soft tires and do some qualifying simulations.

With 19 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen was the first to try the super softs. He set a 1:16.528 which put him third in the standings.

Meanwhile, Ericsson, Perez and Romain Grosjean (Lotus) had spun at Turn 8.

With 14 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen had another go on the super softs. Just about everybody else was in the garages preparing for their qualifying sims.

With 12 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso went out on the super soft tires. He set a 1:16.488 for third place.

And now the super soft runs began in earnest with both Mercedes boys on track.

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton turned a slower lap than his best on the soft tires. Massa got down to a 1:16.413 and thirds place, and then Ricciardo moved to fifth with a 1:16.504

With 3 minutes remaining in the session, neither Mercedes driver had improved his time but Massa took over second place with a 1:16.086.

The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Hamilton, Massa, Rosberg, Alonso, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Bottas, Toro Rosso teammates Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne, and Vettel.

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