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European GP 2012

JUNE 23, 2012

Practice 3 Report - Button tops FP3 in Valencia

Jenson Button, European GP 2012

Jenson Button (1:38.562) topped the final session of free practice for the European Grand Prix at Valencia as, once again, the top 14 cars were covered by a second.

One man who didn't figure in the top 10 was Sebastian Vettel (1:39.434) but the heavily revised Red Bull RB8 still looks like a contender for pole positions. As was the case yesterday, Vettel set a lot of sector bests but didn't complete the entire lap, his 'in' lap at the end of the session featuring the fastest time in the two opening sectors.

Romain Grosjean (1:38.655) underlined his Friday pace with second fastest time for Lotus, with team mate Kimi Raikkonen (1:38.759) third quickest, just a tenth of a second adrift. The Lotus, with its strong traction and mechanical grip, could well be in the hunt for a win around the 25-corner Valencia circuit.

Force India also underlined its improved competitiveness with Nico Hulkenberg (1:38.819) and Paul Di Resta (1:38.892) fourth and fifth quickest, ahead of Sergio Perez's Sauber (1:39.084).

Michael Schumacher (1:39.141) got the Mercedes around seventh quickest, three hundredths clear of Lewis Hamilton's McLaren (1:39.178), with Felipe Massa's Ferrari (1:39.318) and Pastor Maldonado's Williams (1:39.357) completing the top 10.

Mark Webber will go into qualifying a little on the back foot with the second Red Bull, having missed most of the session to a braking issue.