FP3: Button quickest ahead of Lotus pair

Saturday 23rd June 2012, 11:13 by TF1T Staff 

Octane Photographic

Jenson Button topped the times on Saturday morning during third practice for the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

The McLaren driver surprised many with a late lap to go a tenth faster than Romain Grosjean who was a further tenth ahead of his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen. The hotter temperatures, which hit 40ºC, clearly benefiting the Lotus car which looks to be in strong form for qualifying.

Nico Hulkenberg yet again affirmed Force India's strong pace with the fourth quickest lap, a 1:38.819 - just over two tenths off Button. Meanwhile Hulkenberg's team-mate Paul di Resta completed the top five.

Red Bull looked to have struggled with both cars undergoing major changes in the garage for much of the session. Sebastian Vettel could only manage the 13th quickest lap, whilst Mark Webber languished in 19th after completing just four laps.

Ferrari also struggled for pace with Fernando Alonso finishing down in 12th, whilst Felipe Massa managed ninth.

The session was a drama free one for most drivers.

2012 European GP FP3 Results:

#DriverTeamTimeGapLaps 
01. J. Button McLaren 1:38.562   17
02. R. Grosjean Lotus 1:38.655 +0.093 18
03. K. Raikkonen Lotus 1:38.759 +0.197 18
04. N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:38.819 +0.257 17
05. P. di Resta Force India 1:38.882 +0.330 17
06. S. Perez Sauber 1:39.084 +0.522 20
07. M. Schumacher Mercedes 1:39.141 +0.579 15
08. L. Hamilton McLaren 1:39.178 +0.616 17
09. F. Massa Ferrari 1:39.318 +0.756 15
10. P. Maldonado Williams 1:39.357 +0.795 18
11. K. Kobayashi Sauber 1:39.358 +0.796 19
12. F. Alonso Ferrari 1:39.395 +0.833 15
13. S. Vettel Red Bull 1:39.434 +0.872 13
14. B. Senna Williams 1:39.543 +0.981 13
15. N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.946 +1.384 20
16. J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:40.037 +1.475 17
17. D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:40.134 +1.572 20
18. H. Kovalainen Caterham 1:40.681 +2.119 15
19. M. Webber Red Bull 1:41.282 +2.720 4
20. V. Petrov Caterham 1:41.931 +3.369 15
21. P. de la Rosa HRT 1:42.758 +4.196 14
22. C. Pic Marussia 1:42.815 +4.253 16
23. N. Karthikeyan HRT 1:42.943 +4.381 14
24. T. Glock Marussia 1:43.124 +4.562 18

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