Brazilian Grand Prix 2011: Red Bull’s Vettel sets pace in practice

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel beats McLaren's Jenson Button to set the fastest time in final practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix

By Gareth Llewellyn
sebastian vettel
Vettel set the pace in final practice on Saturday Photo: Getty Images, courtesy of Red Bull Racing

sebastian vettel

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in the final free practice session ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, just ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Mark Webber took third quickest with Lewis Hamilton settling for fourth, out of sorts after setting the quickest time in Friday.

The battle for the top of the time-sheets was again dominated by Red Bull and McLaren, with Hamilton the first to set a quick time with a 1m13.988s with almost a third of the session gone.

But his rivals hit back as Vettel and Button posted quicker times, before the world champion then trumped the McLaren driver with a time of 1m13.166s.

Vettel remained top for around 20 minutes before Webber briefly moved ahead on the hard tyres, but Force India’s Adrian Sutil pulled out an impressive time of 1m13.113s on the quicker soft tyres.

The German’s enjoyment was short lived as the big guns also made the switch, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso going quickest.

But Vettel did what he does best as he smashed the lap times with a 1m12.508s and then 1m12.460s – both times good enough to keep him ahead of the chasing pack.

Button bounced back from Friday afternoon’s disappointment to finish just 0.087s slower than the double world champion, ahead of Webber, Hamilton, and Alonso, with the Spaniard losing time in the early part of the session with a DRS actuator problem.

Sutil’s impressive time meant the German took sixth place, ahead of Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, team-mate Paul di Resta, and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who rounded out the top 10 times.

Forever in the firing line this season, the Brazilian will expect to be higher up the order in qualifying, after near on-track misses with Virgin’s Timo Glock and Schumacher.

Toro Rosso’s Sébastien Buemi was sidelined with a hydraulic leak and was unable to get any running as he looks to cement his future with the team.

Williams’ Rubens Barrichello was buoyed in what could be his last Formula 1 race weekend, as he finished 12th quickest behind Renault’s Vitaly Petrov.

Brazilian Grand Prix 2011 – Third practice times

1 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull-Renault 1min 12.460secs

2 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren-Mercedes 1:12.547

3 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:12.597

4 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren-Mercedes 1:12.622

5 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:12.765

6 Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India-Mercedes 1:13.113

7 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:13.286

8 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP 1:13.393

9 Paul Di Resta (Gbr) Force India-Mercedes 1:13.419

10 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari 1:13.583

11 Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Renault 1:13.838

12 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Williams-Cosworth 1:14.283

13 Jaime Alguersuari (Spa) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:14.286

14 Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) Sauber 1:14.311

15 Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams-Cosworth 1:14.454

16 Sergio Perez (Mex) Sauber 1:14.547

17 Bruno Senna (Bra) Renault 1:14.551

18 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Lotus-Renault 1:15.843

19 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Lotus-Renault 1:16.026

20 Jerome d’Ambrosio (Bel) Virgin-Cosworth 1:16.616

21 Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) HRT-Cosworth 1:17.143

22 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) HRT-Cosworth 1:17.296

23 Timo Glock (Ger) Virgin-Cosworth 1:17.984

24 Sebastien Buemi (Swi) Toro Rosso-Ferrari No time

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