- Sep 26, 2010
Lewis Hamilton will go into qualifying for the season opening grand prix in Melbourne as the man to beat after pipping Sebastian Vettel to top stop in Free Practice 3.
The Brit’s 1:27.867 effort was enough to keep the Scuderia at bay, whilst a mistake from team mate Rosberg on his fastest effort meant he could only manage 3rd.
The session itself was a fairly routine affair the most part, with a good chunk of the drama coming from drivers missing their braking points, especially down into turn one and turn seven, providing the majority of the action for the spectators.
A spin from Ericsson half way through the session provided some entertainment, after the Swede went too deep into 11 and got onto the grass on the exit of 12.
Unfortunately, for Red Bull at least, the majority of the entertainment came from the truly dismal session they had to endure. Not only has Ricciardo already lost one of his four engines for the season, but both cars were plagued with numerous electronic issues right from the start, which included Daniel Ricciardo stopping at the 200m from the pit exit before being wheeled all the way back to his garage in a somewhat peculiar fashion. As a result the Red Bulls could only manage 15th and 18th when the checkered flag fell.
Right beside them at the back were the two McLarens, who seem destined for the back row of the grid if either Manor don’t show or if they are still sandbagging as badly as they have been this week. As qualifying drew nearer, the inherent lack of pace from the car only became more and more prevalent, especially for a team that secured a double podium finish here last season.
Meanwhile, Giedo van der Garde publicly relinquished his intention to race at the Australian Grand Prix shortly before the session, leading to rumours that some sort of an agreement between the two parties has been made. The details of this arrangement are yet to be made public.
Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix kicks off at 5:00pm local time and 6:00am GMT.
Free Practice 3
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:27.867
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:28.563
- Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:28.821
- Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1:28.912
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:28.988
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:29.017
- Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1:29.017
- Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1:29.864
- Carlos Sainz Jr., Toro Rosso, 1:29.869
- Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1:29.934
- Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1:29.952
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:30.613
- Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1:30.741
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:30.933
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1:31.185
- Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1:31.391
- Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:31.666
- Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1:32.830
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