Alonso tops third practice at Silverstone
12:23, 07 Jul 2012
Formula One finally enjoyed a dry session ahead of qualifying for the British Grand Prix.
Both of yesterday's two 90-minute outings proved to be a washout as rain caused havoc on and off track, with fans stranded either in muddy car parks and fields or in lengthy traffic jams.
With Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips advising fans without public car park tickets not to attend today, a number of grandstands were noticeably empty, although a 70,000 crowd is still expected.
Those looking on were treated to a significant amount of running as teams attempted to make up for lost time and find the correct set-up going into the one-lap showdown and for the race.
Come the end of the 60 minutes it championship leader Fernando Alonso, winner here last year and the only driver to win two grands prix this season, who led the way.
Alonso posted a time of one minute 32.167secs in his Ferrari, 24 seconds faster than Lewis Hamilton's best in the wet yesterday.
It was not all plain sailing for the Spaniard, however, as on his next lap he was involved in a minor spin at Club.
McLaren's Jenson Button finished 0.153secs adrift in second, with Lotus' Romain Grosjean a further 0.038secs down in third.
The Frenchman was on track for a high of 25 laps along with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen - fifth quickest behind Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel - and the Williams of Bruno Senna in 11th.
Lewis Hamilton, fastest early on, had to settle for sixth, just over three tenths of a second behind Alonso.
Williams' Pastor Maldonado was seventh, followed by the Sauber of Sergio Perez, who destroyed his front wing at one point in an off-track excursion across the grass.
Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg were ninth and 10th and both within a second of Alonso.
Force India's Paul di Resta was 12th, the Scot 1.2secs adrift, whilst at the rear were HRT duo Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa, both five seconds down.
Marussia's Charles Pic, 22nd on the timesheet, brought out the red flag 23 minutes into the session due to a technical issue that reared its head again later on when he stopped for a second time.