British GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report
Team By Team But Not That Team
The order at the end of Free Practice 3 was team-by-team for the top four. Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo were the quickest, followed by Lotus drivers Pastor Maldonado. Rain and a wet track throughout the session kept several drivers from setting lap times including Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton from THAT team – Mercedes – that usually dominates. They ended up last and second last.
The ambient temperature at the start of the session was degrees 61 Fahrenheit (16 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 21 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Centigrade.)
It had been drizzling earlier in the morning but that stopped at FP3 began. The track, however, was still wet enough to warrant the drivers using Pirelli's intermediate or extreme rain tires.
First out: Adrian Sutil in his Sauber. But because the track was still wet many drivers remained in the pits.
But by 10 minutes into the session everyone had done at least one installation lap.
16 minutes into the session, Marcus Ericsson clocked the first timed lap of 1:57.091 while his Caterham teammate followed him over the line to record a 1:59.947.
Nico Rosberg told the Mercedes crew that the track was too dry for the intermediate tires.
18 minutes into the session, Daniil Kvyat topped the times with a 1:56.404 in his Toro Rosso.
25 minutes into the session, Kevin Magnusson (McLaren) upped the ante to 1:53.911. Now the rain was increasing but Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) turned a 1:52.631
Midway through FP3 the top six were: Ricciardo, Magnussen, Romain Grosjean (Lotus), Pastor Maldonado (Lotus), Kvyat, Jenson Button (McLaren), Ericsson, Jules Bianchi (Marussia) and Kobayashi. They were also the only 10 drivers who had posted a time in the first 30 minutes.
With 28 minutes remaining in the session, Grosjean crossed the start line sideways as he turned a 1:53.566 to go into second place.
With 24 minutes remaining in the session, Sebastian Vettel clocked a 1:52.522 to take over first place from his Red Bull teammate.
With 23 minutes remaining in the session, the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had yet to set a lap time.
With 18 minutes remaining in the session, Sutil. Bianchi and Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) were the only drivers out on the wet track.
With 17 minutes remaining in the session, Bianchi went straight off at Turn 15 and tapped into the tire barriers. Sutil had gone off at the same section just a little bit earlier.
With 12 minutes remaining in the session, Fernando Alonso was relaxing in the Ferrari garage with no intention of going out on the wet track. Like the Mercedes and Williams drivers, he had done some install laps but had not set a lap time.
With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Kvyat moved up to fifth place. There were only half a dozen drivers on track in the final minutes.
The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Vettel, Ricciardo, Maldonado Grosjean, Sutil, Kvyat, Magnussen, Button, Valtteri Bottas (Williams) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari).