I n last free practice before qualifying on Saturday afternoon In Melbourne, the four top teams Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes GP and McLaren-Mercedes once again dominated the action at the front of the field: The eight drivers of the four World Championship favorites took the first nine places. For the first time on this race weekend, the top teams were able to complete laps largely without interruptions or adverse effects from the weather and continuously improve the setup.
Close time gaps at the top
With soft tires, Red Bull driver Mark Webber posted the best time at the end of the one-hour training session with a lap time of 1.24.719 minutes. However, the gap between the first eight drivers was only eight tenths of a second, which promises a lot of excitement for qualifying.
Second place behind the local hero went to Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso, who lost two tenths of a second to Webber's fastest time . Mercedes GP driver Michael Schumacher came in third, his German team-mate Nico Rosberg finished fifth. Red Bull star Sebastian Vettel lost four tenths of a second to the fastest time and was fourth. McLaren-Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were behind in the end on ranks 7 and 6.
Sutil in good form
The midfield started from eighth place with Force India driver Adrian Sutil: He drove a strong lap time of 1.25.525 minutes. In good external conditions - cloudy skies, 22 degrees outside temperature - not all German drivers were able to convince: Nico Hülkenberg (Williams-Cosworth) did not get past 17th place and lost a full two seconds to the fastest time. Virgin Racing driver Timo Glock only came in 22nd, one position behind his team-mate Lucas di Grassi. But Glock was able to drive 12 laps compared to the previous day.
Renault crashed compared to the previous day: Vitaly Petrov only finished 16th, teammate Kubica 13th. HRT driver Bruno Senna had to be HRT driver Bruno Senna after just eight laps Park the car with a fault in the power transmission.