British Grand Prix 2012: Alonso quickest in final practice session
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso sets the pace in the final practice session for Sunday’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was quickest in the final practice session for Sunday’s British Grand Prix ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button and Lotus’ Romain Grosjean.
Last year’s Silverstone winner and current drivers’ championship leader Alonso clocked a time of 1:32.167 at the British circuit as less than a second separated the top 10 drivers.
The Spaniard was fastest despite losing his front wing on Friday in a collision with the barriers and spinning earlier in this morning’s session.
McLaren were full of praise for their driver Button, who finished second-fastest, and who was told over the team radio that his last lap was “very good on a used set of option tyres”.
His team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was quickest in Friday’s second practice session, was only a tenth of a second behind in sixth position.
There was a red flag inside 20 minutes as Marussia’s Charles Pic came to a stop on the exit of Becketts, and the driver’s bad luck continued as he stopped again with an electrical problem with four minutes of the practice remaining.
Nico Rosberg’s session also came to an early end after an oil leak meant the Mercedes engineers had to take the floor off his car.
Despite dry conditions on the track for practice three, Silverstone has already encountered difficulties this weekend as up to 30,000 ticket holders have been asked to stay away from Saturday’s qualifying session.
The heavy rainfall, which disrupted much of Friday’s practice sessions, has rendered the Silverstone car parks unusable, and officials said the decision was made to try and preserve the area for race itself.
“We need to be more prepared for British summers in future,” said Katie Tyler, Silverstone’s spokeswoman.
“We are genuinely upset. We are seriously sorry for the fans and are doing all we can to limit the impact [of flooded car parks].”
Up to 125,000 fans are expected for Saturday’s British Grand Prix.
British Grand Prix: Final Practice Times
1 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Ferrari 1:32.167
2 Jenson Button (Gbr) McLaren (+0.153)
3 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus F1 Team (+0.191)
4 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Red Bull (+0.253)
5 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Lotus F1 Team (+0.287)
6 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) McLaren (+0.310)
7 Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Williams (+0.455)
8 Sergio Perez (Mex) Sauber-Ferrari (+0.773)
9 Kamui Kobayashi (Jpn) Sauber-Ferrari (+0.879)
10 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Force India (+0.983)
11 Bruno Senna (Bra) Williams (+1.100)
12 Paul di Resta (Gbr) Force India (+1.200)
13 Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull (+1.231)
14 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Mercedes GP (+1.295)
15 Jean-Eric Vergne (Fra) Scuderia Toro Rosso (+1.506)
16 Felipe Massa (Bra) Ferrari (+1.507)
17 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Scuderia Toro Rosso (+1.540)
18 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes GP (+1.566)
19 Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) Caterham (+2.131)
20 Vitaly Petrov (Rus) Caterham (+2.614)
21 Timo Glock (Ger) Marussia (+4.438)
22 Charles Pic (Fra) Marussia (+4.893)
23 Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) HRT-F1 (+5.102)
24 Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) HRT-F1 (+5.262)