Vettel on top again in final German practice

By on Saturday, July 6, 2013

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was quickest once again in Saturday's final practice for his home German Grand Prix as track temperatures rose ahead of qualifying.

Triple world champion Vettel, who leads this year's standings by 21 points from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, was also fastest in second practice on Friday when overcast skies hung over the Nuerburgring.

Vettel has never won in front of his own fans but warmed up for qualifying with a top time of one minute 29.517, with his team mate Mark Webber third.

The Grand Prix Drivers' Association announced on Thursday that they would withdraw from Sunday's race if the multiple tyre blow-outs seen at last weekend's British Grand Prix occur again. All three practice sessions have been free of incident.

After the intervention of the governing FIA, Pirelli has brought upgraded rear tyres to Germany with an inner belt made of the synthetic fibre Kevlar rather than steel.

Practice appeared to prove that the cooler tyres would aid Red Bull and Mercedes, with last weekend's Silverstone winner Nico Rosberg second fastest for his German team, just like Friday's two runs.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton, quickest in first practice but eighth second time around, was only seventh on the timesheets on Saturday and looked to be having difficulties with the car.

"I have huge oversteer everywhere," the Briton said over the radio.

The Ferraris of Alonso and Felipe Massa only went out for the second half of the session but were fourth and fifth quickest while Williams' Pastor Maldonado took part in practice after a smoking KERS in the garage had to be extinguished.

The Venezuelan drove competitive times but later told the team radio: "It's really bad. I cannot drive the car."

# Driver Ctry Team Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:29.517 19
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:30.193 0.676 19
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:30.211 0.694 18
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:30.621 1.104 16
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:30.639 1.122 17
6 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:30.671 1.154 19
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.744 1.227 20
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:30.781 1.264 18
9 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:30.966 1.449 20
10 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:31.009 1.492 18
11 Jenson Button McLaren 1:31.326 1.809 22
12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:31.405 1.888 20
13 Paul di Resta Force India 1:31.733 2.216 21
14 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:31.855 2.338 18
15 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:31.855 2.338 23
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:31.898 2.381 19
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:31.969 2.452 20
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:32.036 2.519 23
19 Charles Pic Caterham 1:33.230 3.713 19
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:33.470 3.953 22
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:33.964 4.447 21
22 Max Chilton Marussia 1:34.683 5.166 20

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