Vettel fastest in final practice

Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the final free practice session for the German Grand Prix as Red Bull proved the team to beat ahead of qualifying

Vettel fastest in final practice

The world champion waited until the final lap of the session to go fastest with a 1m30.916s ahead of his team-mate Mark Webber.

Fernando Alonso was third fastest for Ferrari ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes.

Mercedes in fact continued to show encouraging pace this weekend as both drivers were a factor for much of the morning session

Rosberg was the first of the big guns to move to the top of the times after 20 minutes of the hour. His time of 1m34.872s was then eclipsed by team-mate Michael Schumacher five minutes later when the German went fastest with a 1m34.418s.

At half distance the McLarens moved the mark forward as Button lapped the track in 1m33.646s. Hamilton and Ferrari's Alonso also had moments at the top as the times tumbled quickly during this period with drivers finding some temperature on the very cold track.

Rosberg then emerged from the pits on a set of soft Pirellis, earlier than usual - perhaps to counter the fear of rain as the clouds rolled in.

The Mercedes driver went much faster with a 1m33.911s - which he then improved to a 1m31.694s. With 15 minutes to go, that time was still 0.697s faster than Sutil's Force India (a team which also showed pace this morning), while Schumacher - having survived a huge moment - was third.

Alonso then responded with 10 minutes to go with a 1m31.138s lap as a flurry of personal bests began smattering the times from several drivers who had switched to the softs.

Button had a crack at that time with six minutes left of the session but his lap, some 0.485s away from the Ferrari, was only good enough to bump Rosberg to third. Then Hamilton had a try and he too went second fastest, having lost time in the final sector. Red Bull's Mark Webber got even closer, just 0.040s shy of Alonso's lap.

Alonso by this time had dove back into the pits, having completed his programme but the Red Bulls continued on.

Webber then finally moved ahead with a 1m31.049s, only to see Vettel go faster still as the chequered flag fell.

Karun Chandhok added to the drama as the cars returned to the pits, the Indian having a dramatic spin in his Lotus at the final chicane.

 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 All Timing Unofficial 
shares
comments
Renault has reverted to forward-facing exhaust for Nick Heidfeld's car
Previous article

Renault has reverted to forward-facing exhaust for Nick Heidfeld's car

Next article

The Nurburgring's owners are optimistic the track can extend its German GP deal

The Nurburgring's owners are optimistic the track can extend its German GP deal
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle Plus

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in the best-of-the-rest F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1 Plus

The 70s US superteam that tried and failed to crack F1

Vel’s Parnelli Jones Racing was briefly one of the biggest names on the US motorsports scene, but its ambition outstripped its resources. STUART CODLING relates the story of a Formula 1 campaign cut off in its prime

Formula 1
Oct 26, 2021
The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory Plus

The key details that boosted Red Bull and held back Hamilton in Verstappen’s USA victory

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon at the returning Circuit of the Americas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement Plus

Why F1's misunderstood party animal will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man ANTHONY PEACOCK explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it)

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Plus

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021