• Canadian Grand Prix - FP3

Vettel tops final Montreal practice

ESPN Staff
June 9, 2012
Sebastian Vettel was just 0.006s quicker than Fernando Alonso © Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of the final free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix to announce Red Bull as serious contenders.

On a track expected to favour the Mercedes-powered cars, Vettel set a time of 1:14.442 which put him just 0.006s ahead of second placed Fernando Alonso. Friday's pace-setter Lewis Hamilton was third, just head of Mark Webber and Pastor Maldonado as less than 0.9s covered the top 15 drivers.

Vettel surprisingly set the fastest final sector on two occasions as the Red Bull displayed pace in the latter stages of the lap even though top speed appeared to be the car's weakness on Friday. The pace came despite it being revealed that Red Bull has had to fill in slots on its brake ducts due to the FIA having declared them illegal due to their aerodynamic properties.

Blue skies and warmer temperatures greeted the teams in Montreal and it helped facilitate an improved session for Lotus with both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean having said yesterday that high track temperatures will help the team. There remains a slight cloud over Raikkonen's weekend, however, after he became the subject of an investigation for cutting part of the final chicane to enter the pits.

Having looked strong yesterday, Nico Rosberg's running came to an end before it had barely started as he stopped his car on the installation lap. Having complained of a slipping clutch on leaving the pits he parked his Mercedes on the outside of turn seven and missed the whole session.

Jean-Eric Vergne also got little running done after a slightly unfortunate crash at turn two. Vergne ran a little wide at turn two, putting two wheels on the very wet grass and spinning across turn two. He was a passenger as the car splashed through a puddle and the rear tapped the barrier, pitching the front end in to the tyres.