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2011 German Grand Prix (Rd 10, Free Practice 3, July 23rd, TV Notes)

July 24, 2011

Nürburgring. © Creative Commons / WIll Pittenger

On a cold morning at the Nurburgring, Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in final practice for the German Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver reached the top of the time sheets at close of action (1:30.916), pipping teammate Mark Webber (2nd) and Ferrari pilot Fernando Alonso (3rd).
The late session action was all about qualifying simulation as the big guns ventured out on the soft Pirelli rubber.

However the opening 30 minutes of practice saw both McLaren drivers – Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button – as well Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) hog the limelight, while on the slower medium tyres.
Hamilton eventually took 4th, just under seven-tenths slower than Vettel; however the 2008 World Champion narrowly edged ahead of Button and Rosberg – the advantage being mere hundredths.

Unfortunately KERS issues made the session somewhat more difficult for the second Mercedes of Michael Schumacher. The veteran secured 9th, some nine-tenths adrift of his teammates ultimate pace.
Felipe Massa completed thirteen laps on his way to 7th. The Brazilian finished the sixty-minute session with a quarter-of-a-second gap to Adrian Sutil (8th, Force India).
Pastor Maldonado enjoyed a fruitful session – his best of 1:32.751 was good enough 10th position.

With rain on the horizon, teams were out in their numbers to register as many laps as possible, but problems still introduced themselves – especially at Lotus.
Heikki Kovalainen suffered an early hydraulic failure, leaving the Finn to complete all his running in the second half of practice. His teammate for this weekend, Karun Chandhok, continued to struggle with brakes issues after a tough Friday.
The Indian pilot endured two embarrassing spins during the session – one at the pit entrance and another at turn 9 as the chequered flag flew.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m30.916s           15
 2.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m31.049s  + 0.133  16
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m31.138s  + 0.222  12
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1m31.578s  + 0.662  13
 5.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m31.623s  + 0.707  14
 6.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m31.694s  + 0.778  19
 7.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m32.144s  + 1.228  13
 8.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1m32.391s  + 1.475  20
 9.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1m32.523s  + 1.607  16
10.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1m32.751s  + 1.835  18
11.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1m32.777s  + 1.861  18
12.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m32.813s  + 1.897  21
13.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault                1m33.072s  + 2.156  18
14.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1m33.179s  + 2.263  17
15.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1m33.531s  + 2.615  20
16.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1m33.671s  + 2.755  20
17.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m33.948s  + 3.032  21
18.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m34.125s  + 3.209  19
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault          1m35.385s  + 4.469  13
20.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1m36.724s  + 5.808  21
21.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth           1m36.804s  + 5.888  23
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1m36.894s  + 5.978  23
23.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault          1m36.959s  + 6.043  18
24.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1m37.554s  + 6.638  22
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