Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix 2012: Free Practice 3 (FP3) live blog
The third Australian Formula 1 practice session for 2012 commences at 2:00pm (ADST), and we look to finally see dry running over the Melbourne track for Free Practice 3. Join us for a live blog and updates of F1′s FP3.
The two opening practice sessions on Friday gave little indication as to how the race tomorrow, and the season at large, will play out.
However, most in the paddock are suggesting it’s a tight battle at the top between Red Bull and McLaren.
Mark Webber was positive but guarded after the disrupted practice on Friday.
“One thing in Formula One we can’t control, and that’s the weather. Mother Nature, she doesn’t stop and that’s the way it is,” Webber said.
“I feel confident in the car. I’m driving it, it’s not driving me. Both Sebastian and I are very similar in what we’re demanding of the car of the moment, and that’s always a good thing.
“We’ll work hard overnight into getting the most out of the car for tomorrow.”
Mercedes may not be too far away from the top either, with a trick DRS-activated device that appears to cut drag when DRS is operated either on the rear wing (as suggested by most F1 media) or the front wing (as speculated by the more technical F1 writers).
This gives them a clever advantage on their rivals – the question most are asking is how much of an edge this will be.
Team boss Ross Brawn wasn’t giving anything away when questioned in the press conference, refusing to be drawn on details and playing down the significance. Will the team move up the pecking order in 2012?
Ferrari haven’t been written off but most are attributing their potential to Alonso’s skill rather than a car that has an edge over the field. Lotus didn’t give much away with limited running on Friday for their E20.
The rest of the teams haven’t shown any signs that they’ll emerge at the top of the field, but the midfield battle between Force India, Toro Rosso, Williams, and Sauber will be intriguing. Caterham may have been able to get closer to this pack as well.
Free Practice 3 will show us more – teams will be working on their qualifying pace and working out how much of their full pace they’ll need to show to advance through the qualifying rounds to secure a place in the final top 10 shootout to get a chance to fight for pole position.
We’ll also be live blogging qualifying at 5:00pm AEDT and the race tomorrow.