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Turkish GP 2011

MAY 7, 2011

Practice 3 Report - Vettel hits the front in Turkey

Sebastian Vettel, Turkish GP 2011
© The Cahier Archive

World Champion Sebastian Vettel (1:26.037) topped the final session of free practice for the Turkish Grand Prix despite failing to do any dry weather running on Friday due to his accident exiting Istanbul Park's Turn 8.

Mercedes continues to look a bigger threat with Michael Schumacher (1:26.038) setting the second quickest time. Mark Webber ran with flowviz paint on the new specification RB7 rear wing as the team continues to evaluate it. Both Red Bulls are now in similar specification after a revised exhaust system, of which there was only one, fell victim to Vettel's Friday accident, with Webber (1:26.404) ending up third quickest.

Nico Rosberg (1:26.420) was fourth, his session including a couple of lurid moments at Turn 8, the car looking a bit of a handful through the circuit's landmark quadruple apex high-speed turn.

Jenson Button (1:26.578) and Lewis Hamilton (1:26.726) were fifth and sixth with the two McLarens, ahead of Vitaly Petrov (1:26.755) with the quicker of the two Renaults. Ferrari again seems to be struggling for ultimate pace with Fernando Alonso (1:26.819) and Felipe Massa (1:26.883) eighth and ninth, the Spaniard suffering hydraulic problems at the ends of the session. Sebastian Buemi's Toro Rosso (1:27.080) completed the top 10.

Further down, Sergio Perez put the first Sauber 11th, Pastor Maldonado was 12th with the faster Williams and Team Lotus appears to have moved clear of the other 'new' teams. The T128 had a 1.4s margin over Virgin, which has retained the new higher nose of its revised package but has had to abandon a new exhaust layout due to overheating problems. HRT continues to home in on the team with Tonio Liuzzi's best lap just 0.2s adrift of Timo Glock.