23 November 2013
Brazilian Grand Prix: Webber tops final practice
Mark Webber overcame the ongoing precipitation to post the fastest time of final practice ahead of qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Mark Webber posted the fastest time of the final free practice session of the 2013 F1 season, and his last Saturday morning outing in the top flight.
The Australian, who is headed to sportscars with Porsche next year, waited through the worst of the Sao Paulo weather to hit the top of the timesheets on his first run with Pirelli's intermediate tyres, and his lap of 1min 27.891secs proved too quick for anyone to match.
With Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel opting not to make a late run, when conditions were supposedly at their best, Lotus pair Romain Grosjean and Heikki Kovalainen filled the spots behind Webber, with the Frenchman putting in a 1min 28.195secs effort on his final lap to deny Kovalainen second place.
Valtteri Bottas, reprising his Montreal form in similar conditions was fourth overall, with Nico Hulkenberg – despite his Sauber looking especially uncomfortable in the wet – rounding out the top five. Indeed, the weather, and a reluctance to waste tyres that may be needed for the rest of the weekend, kept a lot of the leading lights under cover, with Jean-Eric Vergne, Esteban Gutierrez, Pastor Maldonado, Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil completing the top ten. Neither Ferrari driver completed a timed lap, and remained at the foot of the table along with Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg, while Lewis Hamilton and Vettel wound up eleventh and 17th respectively after cursory visits to the track.
Despite expectations, there were no serious casualties of the conditions, although several drivers, including the four-time world champion, took to the surrounding grass and run-off areas during the 60-minute session.
The weather forecast remains bleak for qualifying, suggesting that F1 2013 will end as it began, although there is not yet any belief that the timed session will be postponed until Sunday, as happened in Australia in March.
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