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Malaysia 2010 - Free Practice 3 highlights - Weather dictates play in the first hour of Sepang Saturday running

Published by Christine

The first half of the session was all of a rush to try and beat the rain, but the inclement weather never came. That allowed the battle at the top to be played out - will it be a McLaren or a Red Bull weekend? You can never discount Ferrari either.

Here's what happened during FP3.

As it happened: 2010 Malaysia - Free Practice 3

  • 05:30

    Good morning everyone. How are we all? Looking forward to FP3, I hope, which will begin in about 30 minutes.

  • 05:31

    All eyes on the weather. From @Mikegascoyne earlier: Weather forcast same as every day, chance of showers in the afternoon. Poured down 5 mins past 4:00pm yesterday

  • 05:31

    From @JRobertsF1: Very hot at the circuit today, 31 deg C at 11 am. Going to wander over to the @5LiveF1 commentary box where it's air conditioned...

  • 05:32

    Meanwhile, it's all about finding your own entertainment. From @MyLotusRacing: Tony was in the pit as the sun was rising on his own trying to stop himself taking the car out...the world's most dedicated team principal

  • 05:33

    Renault have been practicing their pit stops:

  • 05:40

    For those in the UK, the BBC will be live streaming the session, along with live updates:

  • 05:41 have live timing:

  • 05:45

    A glimpse into the Virgin Racing garage:

  • 05:45

    Autosport have live commentary of the session:

  • 05:46

    And of course, don't forget to keep an eye on the McLaren dashboard.

  • 05:49

    From @ClaireVWilliams: Just 10 mins or so till kick off for the last practice session. Rubens & Nico doing more mechanical set up work ahead of quali. It's HOT

  • 05:55

    Live timing reset. Track temp - 46. Air temp - 31.

  • 05:56

    From @MikeGascoyne: Forecast saying no rain for next 30 mins

  • 05:58

    5live report thunderstorms are due this afternoon, round about the time of qualifying. If cars manage to set a time at all in quali, that will count for the grid. If not, quali will be run on Sunday morning.

  • 06:00
  • 06:00

    Session begins.Trulli and Kovalainen head out first for Lotus.

  • 06:03

    Installation laps are the order of the day for now.

  • 06:05

    From @VirginRacing: @lucasdigrassi says no issue whatsover. Track has quite a bit of rubber on. Formula BMW were out earlier

  • 06:07

    Just Rosberg remains in the garage, whilst all others have completed one installation lap.

  • 06:07

    From Autosport Live: Sebastien Buemi reports on the Toro Rosso team radio that he had very little braking efficiency on that lap.

  • 06:09

    Trulli in the car:

  • 06:10

    de la Rosa team radio: "Expecting rain, we'd best get a move on."

  • 06:12

    de la Rosa, Webber and di Grassi head back out on track.

  • 06:13

    McLaren will be sending their drivers out in a few minutes.

  • 06:13

    First lap time of the day - DEL 1:36.891.

  • 06:15

    From @clubforce: shark fin engine cover on Adrian's car this morning

  • 06:15

    Webber easily shaves almost two seconds off the time to go P1.

  • 06:17

    Christian Horner on BBC Live: "Mark got a pretty good read from Sebastian's run on the option type yesterday, and he was happy with car. We've made some set-up changes overnight which they're getting to test this morning."

  • 06:18

    All but five drivers out on track - x2 McLaren, x2 Mercedes and Sutil.

  • 06:18

    Hamilton emerges from the garage.

  • 06:19

    Alonso pops up to P1, ahead of Vettel who just pipped teammate Webber.

  • 06:21

    21 cars out on track - Hamilton has found free air but closing on Petrov. Button is close behind Kubica.

  • 06:21

    Rosberg has left the garage for his first laps of the morning.

  • 06:22

    Hamilton jumps up to P2. Button 5th. Buemi also pops up to 7th.

  • 06:22

    From @VirginRacing: Lucas came in early. It sounds like there might be a sensor problem. Team manager making sure everyone is drinking. It's dripping hot!

  • 06:23

    Vettel picks up something on his front left tyre that flaps around for a few seconds before dropping off - doesn't seem to have caused him a problem.

  • 06:24

    Schumacher pops up to P3. Rosberg's first lap time is 14 seconds off the pace.

  • 06:24

    Sutil is the only driver not to have set a time, remains in the garage for now.

  • 06:25

    Hamilton drops the benchmark again - 1:34.029. Rosberg improves to 6th, leaving Trulli as the slowest car so far - 8 seconds off the pace.

  • 06:25

    From @ToroRossoSpy: Before the Driver Parade, kids will ask drivers questions on the grid. They should find it more interesting than usual media time with press

  • 06:26

    Petrov is the first driver of the day to head off into the gravel. He regains the track seemingly unharmed.

  • 06:26

    McLaren report rain expected at the track in five minutes.

  • 06:28

    Sutil completes his first lap - moves up to 10th.

  • 06:29

    Ted on 5live reporting that there may be a bit of damage to Vettel's front left brake disc - may or may not have been because of the debris picked up.

  • 06:29

    From @VirginRacing: A camber change on timo's car. A front spring change for Lucas. It's impressive how quickly this can be done

  • 06:30

    Most drivers are in the pits now, both McLaren's out, plus Sutil, Trulli and Senna.

  • 06:34

    Hamilton puts in a really smooth lap for the fastest time of the weekend: 1:33.559.

  • 06:38

    From @MikeGascoyne: Shower just missed the circuit. Both cars on second runs still on prime tyres

  • 06:39

    20 minutes to go - HAM, BUT, ALO, BUE, WEB, MSC, VET, MAS, ALG, SUT.

  • 06:40

    Toro Rosso sitting 5th and 9th. Alguersuari returns to the pitlane.

  • 06:42

    Rubens in the pit box:

  • 06:42

    Schumacher and Rosberg have improved to 2nd and 3rd respectively, splitting the McLarens.

  • 06:43

    From @InsideFerrari: a better second run for both drivers, considering that current top four already used soft tyres

  • 06:45

    Most drivers back in the pits, just Vettel, Kobayashi and Glock out on track.

  • 06:50

    10 minutes to go - HAM, MSC, ROS, BUT, ALO, MAS, VET, WEB, BUE, SUT.

  • 06:53

    Webber improves to 2nd, just under a tenth off Hamilton.

  • 06:54

    Five minutes to go and only Sutil and Glock remain in the pitlane.

  • 06:55

    Replays show Kovalainen running wide onto the curves and a piece of the car goes flying off behind him.

  • 06:57

    Webber improves to P1, whilst Hamilton returns to the pitlane. Vettel improves to P3.

  • 07:00

    The field spread seems improved this race. Chandhok and Senna are 6.3 seconds off the pace, rather than the 10 seconds we have seen earlier in the weekend.

  • 07:02

    Session is over. WEB, HAM, VET, ALO, MSC. Full results to follow.

  • 07:06
  • 07:06

    Thanks to everyone who joined us for this session. We'll be back very shortly for qualifying.

All content in the series Malaysia 2010