Vettel tops FP3 as Hulkenberg and Bottas shine

Sebastian Vettel continued from where he had left off on Friday as the German topped the timesheets in the final practice session ahead of Sunday’s United States Grand Prix.

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Vettel’s time of 1:36.733, set on the medium compound Pirelli’s in the final stages of the session proved to be unbeatable, with only his team-mate Mark Webber getting close in the sister Red Bull RB9 in second, some two tenths down on the quadruple world champions fastest time.

As on Friday, Vettel was once again the man to beat on the hard tyres in the opening period of the 60 minute session, with Mark Webber and Valtteri Bottas as his nearest challengers, the Finn once again impressing for Williams.

Both Vettel and Webber improved following the switch to the medium Pirelli’s, which came with just 12 minutes of the session remaining, with Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg and Romain Grosjean rounding out the top five as the Red Bull’s nearest challengers.

The two McLaren’s ended the morning’s session in sixth and eight respectively, with Jenson Button – who will receive a three-place grid penalty – ahead of his team-mate Sergio Perez.

Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes was seventh fastest, half a second down on Hamilton, while Bottas and Adrian Sutil rounded out the top ten.

Ferrari’s woes continued on Saturday morning as Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa found themselves 11th and 17th as the chequered flag fell.

Heikki Kovalainen, who had a new seat built for him overnight, ended the session in 13th, five tenths down on Romain Grosjean in the sister Lotus E21.

Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton propped up the timing sheets in 21st and 22nd, but were closer to their rivals Caterham than on Friday afternoon, Bianchi 1.2 seconds off Charles Pic in 19th.

 Image courtesy of Pirelli Media

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