- Belgian Grand Prix - FP3
Webber shows Red Bull's hand in final practice
Mark Webber and Red Bull topped the timesheets during final practice for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Webber's time of 1:46.106 was enough to hold off Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren and Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, but with just under 0.3 seconds separating the top three everything is still to play for heading into qualifying.
The championship leader had been fairly anonymous during Friday's practice session, but on a dry track on Saturday he set a series of fast laps on soft tyres before a rainstorm hit the circuit with 15 minutes remaining. Hamilton traded fastest laps with Webber for some time, but all drivers had to dive for the safety of the pits when the rain came in.
Jenson Button was fourth fastest in the second McLaren, marginally ahead of Robert Kubica and Friday's pacesetter Fernando Alonso. Adrian Sutil, widely tipped to be this weekend's dark horse, was eighth behind Felipe Massa.
As expected the Red Bull was fastest through the downforce-dependent middle sector, while McLaren dominated the speed traps and sectors one and two. However, if the rain continues to fall that could all become meaningless as drivers fight for grip around the 4.2 mile circuit.
Potentially of greater concern for Sebastian Vettel than the rain was a reliability problem with 20 minutes remaining. His Red Bull came to an abrupt halt at the pit lane entrance as it stuck in gear and required a push from marshals. The car was whisked into the garage where the engine cover was removed and the Renault V8 soon fired up again. Vettel went out on track for a couple of laps in the wet just to make sure the repairs had been successful and returned to the pits, apparently satisfied with the car.
Vettel was joined by a number of other drivers in the wet, although the Ferraris saw nothing to be gained by heading out again in the abysmal conditions. Button put in a series of respectable wet-weather laps in the McLaren, before the most valuable information of the final 15 minutes was gained with a practice start on the damp pit straight.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Products you might like at espnshop.co.uk