Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso set the fastest time in FP3, the first dry running of the weekend.
The session was a busy one with cars queuing to get out of the pitlane as the lights went green. With Friday’s running all conducted on wet weather tyres, Saturday morning was the first chance to try out the hard and soft compounds. While the track was officially dry, there were still damp patches, some of which were on the racing line – hence the early laps of the session were precarious as drivers found out where the grip was – or wasn’t. Kimi Räikkönen was the first man to slide off the track though he would not be the last.
The Mercedes went to the top of the order in the early running, though the McLarens and Alonso soon displaced them. Very light rain fell, though not enough to encourage a switch to intermediates. With Lewis Hamilton at the top of the order ahead of Alonso, Charles Pic’s Marussia stopped on track, bringing out the red flags while the marshals recovered it.
At the resumption Jenson Button went to the top of the order, followed by Romain Grosjean. Alonso went into the lead in the last ten minutes but then spun having got onto the Astroturf on the outside of Woodcote corner. At the same time Sergio Pérez went across the grass and lost his front wing, while Nico Rosberg retired to the garage with a Mercedes that appeared to have mechanical problems.
The rain stayed away but no one beat Alonso’s time of 1:32.167 – a second and a half off his lap record. Behind him Jenson Button was best of the rest, followed by Grosjean. Sebastian Vettel was fourth ahead of Kimi Räikkönen. Hamilton was sixth, Pastor Maldonado, was seventh, Pérez eighth, Kamui Kobayashi ninth and Nico Hulkenberg tenth.