• German Grand Prix - FP3

Vettel quickest in final practice at the Nurburgring

Chris Medland at the Nurburgring July 6, 2013
Sebastian Vettel put down a marker with a lap 0.676s quicker than anyone else © Getty Images
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Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of final practice for the German Grand Prix as Red Bull showed impressive qualifying pace.

Although Mercedes was comfortably fastest in FP1 and locked out the front row at Silverstone, Vettel has topped the last two practice sessions and his late soft-tyre lap at the Nurburgring put him almost 0.7s clear of Nico Rosberg in second place.

Mark Webber was close behind Rosberg in third place having completed his qualifying simulation earlier than his team-mate, with the Ferrari pair of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa fourth and fifth but over a second off the pace set by Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton struggled with the handling of his Mercedes, complaining of oversteer throughout the early stages of the session and on returning to the garage told the team: "I can't drive the car now; the car is just so unstable at the rear." Hamilton's problems were displayed in his inability to match his team-mate's pace as he finished the session in seventh place - 1.2s off Vettel's time.

Nico Hulkenberg showed some encouraging pace for Sauber by setting the ninth quickest time, while it was a less impressive session for Toro Rosso with Jean-Eric Vergne 14th and Daniel Ricciardo 16th.

Williams had been hit by a KERS failure prior to the session on Pastor Maldonado's car, and while Maldonado didn't miss out on any running he did have a strange moment when he ran off track at the Turn 7 hairpin having been coasting up to the corner on approach.

Jules Bianchi recovered from illness which restricted his running on Friday to complete 22 laps as the battle between Marussia and Caterham remains close at the back.

Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1

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Chris Medland is assistant editor at ESPNF1 Chris Medland, who in his youth even found the Pacific GPs entertaining, talked his way in to work at the British Grand Prix and was somehow retained for three years. He also worked on the BBC's F1 output prior to becoming assistant editor ahead of the 2011 season