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Japanese GP 2011

OCTOBER 8, 2011

Practice 3 Report - Button quickest again in final Suzuka practice

Jenson Button, Japanese GP 2011
© The Cahier Archive

Jenson Button (1:31.255) set the quickest time in the final period of free practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, having also topped both Friday sessions.

Button, however, stopped before the end of the session so that McLaren could carry out some set-up modifications ahead of qualifying.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton (1:31.762) was second fastest but it would still be a brave man who bet against anything other than the continuation of Red Bull's 100% pole position record in 2011.

Sebastian Vettel (1:32.122) looked to be carrying more fuel en route to third quickest lap, fractionally quicker than Fernando Alonso's Ferrari (1:32.279). Mark Webber was fifth quickest (1:32.401) in the second Red Bull, two hundredths ahead of Felipe Massa with the second Ferrari.

Webber took a new engine for FP3, his sixth Renault of the permitted eight, but then had the beginning of his session delayed by an electronics problem.

The Mercedes drivers were next, Michael Schumacher (1:32.725) marginally quicker than Nico Rosberg (1:32.878). Vitaly Petrov (1:33.058) put the first Renault ninth, with Adrian Sutil (1:33.424) 10th with the first Force India.

The session was red-flagged after 24 minutes when Bruno Senna lost his Renault on the exit of Spoon Curve.

"I was pushing hard, the car felt okay but then I put a wheel on the exit kerb, it bottomed out and spat me into the wall," Senna explained.

The tethered left front wheel went under the chassis, leaving the Renault boys with a busy lunch time ahead of qualifying.