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Hamilton fastest in final Australian GP practice

March 17, 2012

Albert Park, Melbourne. © Creative Commons.

TV Notes

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton jumped to the top of the final free practice standings this morning, thanks to late effort at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.

The 2008 World Champion knocked Lotus’ Romain Grosjean off the top spot, as the session drew to a close.

Mark Webber secured 3rd spot in his Red Bull RB8, just ahead of Jenson Button (McLaren) – both of whom fell some two-tenths shy of Hamilton.

It was a busy 60-minute session as the teams looked to regain ground lost following Friday’s changeable conditions, with a number of drivers crack the 20-lap barrier.

Both Mercedes pilots endured early off-track excursions, although Michael Schumacher cemented his mark in the session by burying his F1 W03 in the turn nine gravel trap five minutes before the chequered flag.
Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel did the same several minutes earlier in turn six, as he beached his Red Bull in the stones.

Both Bruno Senna (Williams) and Felipe Massa (Ferrari) spun harmlessly toward the end of the lap. The Brazilians lost little running time, but may have suffered some little embarrassment for their woes.
At the back, Pedro de la Rosa continued to complain about a loss of power steering, as his HRT fell foul to further hydraulic problems.

2012 Australian Grand Prix (Round 1, Free Practice 3)
Pos  Driver                Team                  Time               Laps 
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m25.681s           18 
 2.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1m25.758s  + 0.077  21 
 3.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m25.900s  + 0.219  20 
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m25.906s  + 0.225  17 
 5.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m25.929s  + 0.248  23 
 6.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m26.078s  + 0.397  14 
 7.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m26.211s  + 0.530  12 
 8.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1m26.470s  + 0.789  17 
 9.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m26.632s  + 0.951  20 
10.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m26.723s  + 1.042  17 
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m26.733s  + 1.052  15 
12.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1m26.737s  + 1.056  19 
13.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m26.755s  + 1.074  21 
14.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m27.029s  + 1.348  23 
15.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1m27.119s  + 1.438  20 
16.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m27.323s  + 1.642  19 
17.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1m27.428s  + 1.747  22 
18.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m28.023s  + 2.342  19 
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1m28.341s  + 2.660  19 
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1m28.702s  + 3.021  11 
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1m30.728s  + 5.047  13 
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1m31.225s  + 5.544  14 
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1m33.114s  + 7.433  12 
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m33.261s  + 7.580  13
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