F1 Brazil FP3 Results & Full Report: Kubica on Top at the End of Rainy, Damp Session

What Happens When Rain Makes Everything More Interesting

10:12am EST — Robert Kubica took the fastest lap (1:19.191) from Sebastian Vettel as the final practice session for the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix ended. It was a damp session, with rain falling as it began, but the track attempted to dry out, leaving the drivers on inters as the session ended. Lewis Hamilton, Felipe Massa, and Fernando Alonso rounded out the fastest five, with Jenson Button ninth and Mark Webber eleventh. The forecast as the session ended was for an interesting qualifying, with intermittent rain through the day.

Vettel was again fastest in the second practice session on Friday, the only driver of the weekend to post a time under 1:12s, with his 1:11.968 lap time. He, also again, led teammate Webber, though Alonso was third fastest, with Hamilton and Massa, who stopped about two-thirds of the way through the session with a clutch issue rounding out the fastest five. The sessions could be very helpful or a waste of rubber as heavy rain was forecast to wash off the rubber laid down Friday, before the Saturday practice and qualifying sessions, which also had the possibility of rain, along with Sunday’s race.

Vettel was fastest (1:12.328) in the first practice session Friday, leading teammate and title rival Webber, Hamilton, Button, and Kubica as the fastest five. Vettel’s time was set about two-thirds through a generally uneventful session. The first half hour was marked by a lack of traffic, but Vettel and Hamilton dueled via lap time for a portion. The real dram was in the last ten minutes, though not from lap times. Petrov lost his Renault heavily into a tire barrier after over-compensating for a serious wiggle, causing extensive damage. Alonso, who ended the session thirteenth fastest, stopped on the side of the track in the final seconds with a suspected (and anticipated) engine failure, while Kobayashi also lost his Sauber at the same turn as Petrov, though a bit later and without hitting the tire barrier. Jerome D’Ambrosio was in for Lucas di Grassi for just the first Friday session again, while HRT had announced Thursday that Christian Klien would replace Sakon Yamamoto for the entire weekend.

The final practice began after a rainy night, with the rain still falling at Interlagos as the session got underway. Newest weather reports were suggesting that it would be dry for the race, but the rain would make for an interesting qualifying later in the afternoon. Kovalainen was the first driver to test the conditions when the hour-long practice session got underway. He was quickly joined by half the field, though only Button of the larger teams, then Hamilton. Five minutes into the session, everyone had done and installation lap, but no on had set a time. Nearly all of the drivers went out on wet tires, but Massa tried his hand at the intermediates, though, according to Mike Gascoyne, “Both drivers saying intermediates should be okay, maybe a couple of laps on the extremes to see and then change.”

Glock was the only driver circulating ten minutes into the session, with intermittent rain called for and the track drying quickly as the rain had stopped. He was the first to post a time, a 1:25, that he quickly bettered to 1:24.642. Heidfeld joined him, posting the second fastest and second time of the session, 1:31.815. More times kept coming as drivers opted to run, with Hulkenberg, Petrov, Buemi, Barrichello, and Sutil the fastest five twenty minutes into the session. Thirteen drivers had posted times, none of them in the fight for the championship, though Button’s McLaren was tenth fastest. Times kept improving as the track dried and many drivers and teams opted to send them back out on the inters, especially as the standard front runners began to post times. Webber was second with his first timed lap, Hamilton third, and Vettel fifth, with Button between them. Alonso was fastest on his first try, with a 1:20.200, though Webber leapfrogged Hulkenberg to be second fastest with thirty-five minutes to go.

Halfway through the session, Alonso (1:19.791), Hamilton, Webber, Rosberg, Hulkenberg, Buemi, Schumacher, Button, Kubica, and Alguersuari were the top ten. However, Massa bettered his teammate’s time, to lap at 1:19.735. With twenty-two minutes left, Massa led Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel, and Buemi as the top five, with Webber seventh fastest. Vettel soon topped Massa’s time, going fastest of all with a 1:19.500. With twenty minutes left, only nine drivers were out on the track, including seventeenth place Button. Alonso went out on inters but was back in quickly while McLaren changed what appeared to be Hamilton’s rear wing and springs.

With just fifteen minutes to go, only Schumcaher and Alguersuari were on the track. Schumacher came in and Button joined, with virtually no running as the teams prepared for their final ten minute runs. The drivers were trickling out, with just seven of them out while eight minutes remained. It was the inverse just five minutes later, with only seven drivers still in the garage. Ferrari said, “Both Felipe and Fernando are still in the cockpit but it is most likely that they will not run,” while Hamilton was gaining time on Vettel. Vettel was out of the garage with a minute and a half left, as Kubica went fastest of all, by three tenths over Vettel’s time. As the flag dropped, only Alonso, Massa, Barrichello, and the ninth fastest Webber remained in the garage. Not much else changed in the final moments.

Final Times from FP3 for the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix:

Driver Time Gap Laps
1. Robert Kubica 1:19.191 16
2. Sebastian Vettel 1:19.500 +.309 17
3. Lewis Hamilton 1:19.536 +.345 19
4. Felipe Massa 1:19.735 +.544 9
5. Fernando Alonso 1:19.791 +.600 9
6. Vitaly Petrov 1:19.887 +.696 22
7. Sebastien Buemi 1:20.009 +.818 24
8. Nico Rosberg 1:20.056 +.865 13
9. Jenson Button 1:20.164 +.973 24
10. Rubens Barrichello 1:20.320 +1.129 13
11. Mark Webber 1:20.337 +1.146 6
12. Michael Schumacher 1:20.421 +1.230 18
13. Kamui Kobayashi 1:20.452 +1.261 22
14. Nico Hulkenberg 1:20.535 +1.344 12
15. Jaime Alguersuari 1:20.541 +1.350 27
16. Tonio Liuzzi 1:20.546 +1.355 20
17. Adrian Sutil 1:20.613 +1.422 20
18. Nick Heidfeld 1:20.985 +1.794 25
19. Jarno Trulli 1:22.326 +3.135 18
20. Timo Glock 1:22.449 +3.258 27
21. Heikki Koavalainen 1:22.874 +3.683 20
22. Lucas di Grassi 1:23.194 +4.003 22
23. Bruno Senna 1:23.358 +4.167 20
24. Christian Klien 1:23.650 +4.459 19

1 Comment

  1. Hopefully it would rain today too!

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