A much improved performance from the E20 saw both Lotus F1 Team drivers gain significantly in confidence and position as the final practice session before qualifying at the Marina Bay Street Circuit progressed in the fading sunlight of Singapore.
00mins: KR & RG straight out of the blocks on soft tyres for install laps
09mins: KR out for his first stint; RG follows close in his tracks
13mins: KR goes quickest in the earlier stages
16mins: RG pops up into P2, just behind his team-mate
22mins: KR & RG return to base after their first runs
30mins: KR P11, RG P12 at the midway stage
33mins: KR follows RG back out on track for a second stint; used softs for both
35mins: KR back into the top ten with his first flyer
39mins: RG improves to sit just outside the top ten
50mins: KR gives the super soft rubber its first run of the day; RG shadows the Finns move moments later
55mins: KR rockets up to P3 with his first effort, RG gradually improving
57mins: Red flags; Vitaly Petrov’s Caterham comes to a halt, blocking the pit lane entrance and interrupting a very quick lap for RG
60mins: Chequered flag; KR P5, RG P15
After a tough start to the weekend in yesterday’s free practice sessions, both Kimi and Romain came charging out of the garage as soon as the clock was set for FP3 at the Marina Bay Street Circuit; the team seeking to maximise the final hour of track time before qualifying later this evening to work on finding a better balance for the drivers.
A flying start for the E20s saw the Finn topping the times at the quarter stage of proceedings with his French counterpart narrowly behind; the pair seemingly more comfortable with their cars after significant efforts from the crew overnight to resolve the issues of Friday’s running.
At the midway stage times began to tumble. Both drivers remained parked for setup tweaks as their early times were shuffled outside the top ten before returning to the fray for a second assault; matching sets of used yellow marked soft compound Pirelli tyres for the pair.
Having nosed his way back into the top ten, the Finn’s final run saw the red marked super soft compound Pirelli tyres make their first appearance of the day with just under ten minutes remaining in the session. His French counterpart follows suit shortly afterwards on matching rubber, seeking to push his E20 further up the order in the final moments.
Instantly impressive on the softer rubber, Kimi rocketed into the top three with his first attempt while Romain began to gradually build the pace. With just minutes remaining, Vitaly Petrov’s Caterham came to a halt in the pit lane entrance after clipping the wall; red flags subsequently being deployed and ruining what looked like a quick lap for Romain as the session came to a premature close.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m47.947 15 2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m48.272s + 0.325 15 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m48.623s + 0.676 11 4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m48.859s + 0.912 16 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m48.865s + 0.918 17 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m49.458s + 1.511 13 7. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m49.684s + 1.737 15 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m49.699s + 1.752 16 9. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m49.715s + 1.768 14 10. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m49.981s + 2.034 14 11. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m50.110s + 2.163 12 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.524s + 2.577 10 13. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m50.664s + 2.717 16 14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m50.777s + 2.830 15 15. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m50.840s + 2.893 15 16. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m51.012s + 3.065 15 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m51.059s + 3.112 17 18. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m51.272s + 3.325 10 19. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m52.290s + 4.343 16 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m53.781s + 5.834 12 21. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m54.326s + 6.379 14 22. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m54.421s + 6.474 14 23. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m54.630s + 6.683 9 24. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m54.875s + 6.928 14
Video: Kimi’s final laptime in FP3