F1 2013

Grosjean tops rain-hit FP3

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean took full advantage of a brief dry period at the start of FP3 in Melbourne to set fastest time from Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

The Frenchman’s time of 1:26:929 was good enough to keep the Lotus at the top, a position virtually unassailable when the heavens opened twenty minutes into the session.

World Champion Sebastian Vettel hit trouble when a hydraulic failure forced him to park his Red Bull RB9 with just ten minutes remaining, ironically in front of the so-called ‘Vettel stand’ where many of his fans congregate.

Severa drivers, including Max Chilton and Lewis Hamilton, failed to set representative laptimes in the dry part of the session and stayed below the 107% qualifying cut off mark; it is expected conditions will remain much the same for qualifying itself which saw drivers and teams try to conserve the precious Pirelli wet-weather rubber at their disposal.

McLaren claimed to have made ‘changes’ to the MP4/28 overnight, but both drivers continued to report oversteer, graining and a lack of grip.

POS DRIVER TEAM TIME
1 Romain GROSJEAN Lotus 1:26:929
2 Fernando ALONSO Ferrari +0.071
3 Felipe MASSA Ferrari +0.312
4 Paul DI RESTA Force India +0.604
5 Kimi RAIKKONEN Lotus +0.696
6 Daniel RICCIARDO Toro Rosso +0.920
7 Jean Eric VERGNE Toro Rosso +0.931
8 Adrian SUTIL Force India +1.140
9 Nico HULKENBERG Sauber +1.324
10 Esteban GUTIERREZ Sauber +1.324
11 Nico ROSBERG Mercedes +1.557
12 Sebastian VETTEL Red Bull +2.879
13 Mark WEBBER Red Bull +3.144
14 Jules BIANCHI Marussia +3.459
15 Giedo VAN DER GARDE Caterham +3.669
16 Charles PIC Marussia +4.030
17 Jenson BUTTON McLaren +6.307
18 Sergio PEREZ McLaren +6.598
19 Pastor MALDONADO Williams
20 Valtteri BOTTAS Williams
21 Max CHILTON Marussia
22 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes
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