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Singapore GP 2014

SEPTEMBER 20, 2014

Practice 3 Report - Where are they?

Fernando Alonso, Singapore GP 2014
© Active Pictures

 

Where are they? They being Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton who usually are at the top of the time sheets. At the end of Free Practice three they were third and sixth respectively. Fastest of all was Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, while Daniel Ricciardo claimed second in his Red Bull. Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) was fourth and Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) was fifth.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Centigrade.)

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was first in line at the pit exit when FP3 began, but Marussia driver Max Chilton merely drove around him to be first out on the track.

Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) set the early pace by clocking a 1:51.985, and his teammate Jenson Button was second with a 1:52.102.

But this was early in the session and the likes of Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton had yet to do a flying lap.

11 minutes into the session, Button went quickest with a 1:51.487, but Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo beat that with a 1:50.762.

14 minutes into the session, Sebastian Vettel, who had missed most of FP2 because his engine lost oil pressure, posted a 1:50.393 in his Red Bull. At the same time Button spun and continued at Turn 14.

Hamilton and Rosberg, Ferrari teammates Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, Williams teammates Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas had yet to set lap times.

16 minutes into the session, Ricciardo answered his teammate's time by going back on top with a 1:49.588.

Toro Rosso teammates Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne were third and fourth at this stage. Then, 19 minutes into the session, Vergne moved into third place.

The drivers were running Pirelli's soft compound tire with the yellow sidewalls.

25 minutes into the session, Rosberg popped to the top with a 1:48.575. Hamilton, who had earlier nearly spun off, moved into second with a 1:49.337.

At the midpoint of FP3 Bottas was now fourth behind Ricciardo, while Alonso was fifth and Massa sixth. Raikkonen was seventh and Vettel eighth. The Toro Rosso duo rounded out the top 10.

With 25 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo grabbed second with a 1:49.226.

So far the drivers were using the soft compound tires, but the time was coming to try the super softs and do qualifying simulations.

With 20 minutes remaining in the session, the top 10 remained the same. But then Vettel jumped up to third.

It was time for super softs and many of the drivers were in the garages.

With 15 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg headed out on the super softs with the red sidewalls. He had done a 1:48.575 on the softs. Now he posted a 1:47.488.

With 10 minutes remaining in the session, Nico Hulkenberg, who had been 14th in his Force India, did a 1:48.450 on the super softs and jumped to second.

Ricciardo and Alonso were doing their runs now. Alonso topped the charts with a 1:47.299 and Ricciardo took second with a 1:47.350.

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Massa grabbed fourth place and Bottas fifth.

With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton slid into fourth with a 1:47.738.

With 5 minutes remaining in the session, only Alonso was in the pits. The order was Alonso, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Hamilton, Massa, Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari.)

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel, who was 16th, jumped to fifth. Then Vergne claimed fourth.

Rosberg, third, and Hamilton, sixth, were in the pits with a couple of minutes to go and stayed there.

The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Alonso, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Vergne, Vettel, Hamilton, Massa, Bottas, Raikkonen, Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) and Hulkenberg.