Red Bull’s Mark Webber has thrown his hat into the ring for this Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix, topping the final practice session in Montreal.
The session was delayed first by 10 minutes, and finally by half an hour while essential repairs were made to barriers just after the hairpin, due to a crash in the support series. When the session finally restarted, there was a huge traffic-jam formed at the pit lane exit as teams tried to squash an hour’s practice into just one half hour.
It was the Q3-esque last-minute rush where everyone set a new fastest lap, only to be beaten three seconds later by the next car over the line, that put Webber on the top spot, His RB9 placing him three tenths clear of Adrian Sutil, who demonstrated Force India’s strength with a P2.
Lewis Hamilton was third for Mercedes while Fernando Alonso, top man in FP2, finished fourth for Ferrari. The other Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel finished 5th ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, winner of the last race in Monaco, who claimed 6th for the Silver Arrows. Paul di Resta, who topped Friday morning’s Free Practice session, was seventh overall while Felipe Massa in eighth beat Jenson Button in ninth.
Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen filled out the top-10 while team-mate Romain Grosjean took 11th. Pastor Maldonado took Williams to 12th ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo in 13th and an impressive 14th for Marussia’s rookie, Max Chilton. The Sauber duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez were 15th and 16th respectively while Jean-Eric Vergne finished in 17th.
Giedo van der Garde was 18th at the end of the session, ahead of a very poor result for Sergio Perez who finished the session in 19th, in the midst of the back-markers. Charles Pic was behind him, in 20th while Valtteri Bottas had a disappointing session with 21st the best the Finn could manage. Marussia’s Jules Bianchi finished 22nd and last.
The final minutes saw plenty of action as drivers pushed the limits; Pastor Maldonado took to the escape road at turn 3, Sergio Perez slid across turn 2 and Lewis Hamilton locked up at the hairpin, among other incidents.