Indian GP qualifying as it happened

Text and video highlights of qualifying for the Indian GP in New Delhi, where Sebastian Vettel starts on pole position.

20 December 2012 Last updated at 12:13

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As it happened

  1. 1130: 

    Don't forget highlights of today's qualifying are on BBC One today from 13:00 BST. We will be back here tomorrow with live text commentary at 08:00 GMT, with the race itself starting at 09:30 GMT - a kindly reminder that we are are treated to an extra hour in bed in the morning, so remember to pop your clocks back. But for now, goodbye.

  2. 1125: 

    Well that is it from me today. Dominant stuff from Red Bull and they will take some stopping, but the McLarens looked competitive in qualifying and we may well see the aggression we have been promised by Ferrari from Fernando Alonso, who lines up fifth on the grid in tomorrow's race.

  3. 1123: 

    Heikki Kovalainen. who beached his car in the gravel in Q1 and will start from 20th on the grid tomorrow: "It's been a pretty good weekend so far. The balance has been better than we had in Korea and on my first run in qualifying the car felt OK. There was more to come but I had a bit of traffic that held me up and then on my second run I caught up with a bunch of cars going into Turn 10 and lost a bit of grip, enough to put me off. I wasn't going in too hard and there weren't any issues with the car, I just lost the front end and even with the spin I didn't lose any positions so I think we can still have a good race tomorrow."

  4. 1119: 

    Narain Kathikeyan, who is 23rd on the grid tomorrow, wrote on Twitter: "Couldn't have been closer in qualifying, got everything out of the car. Hoping for a good race tomorrow."

    Vitaly Petrov, who qualified 19th, wrote on Twitter: "Good qual. :) Hope to have good race tomorrow. Thank you for support !"


    Patrick McLaughlin on Twitter: "Wake up to Red Bull front row. Doubt I'll bother getting up early in morning. Adrian Newey once again provides an average driver the title. Vettel, Hakkinen, Villeneuve, Hill. F1 is certainly getting predictable again."

  6. 1110: 

    Despite his strong performances throughout practice and qualifying, Vettel is still taking nothing for granted ahead of tomorrow's 60-lap race.

    "It will be hard tomorrow. It was a bit of a surprise on Friday as people around us looked competitive," he says.

  7. 1102: 

    Here is the grid for tomorrow's Indian Grand Prix:

    1) Vettel 2) Webber 3) Hamilton 4) Button

    5) Alonso 6) Massa 7) Raikkonen 8) Perez

    9) Maldonado 10) Rosberg 11) Grosjean 12) Hulkenberg

    13) Senna 14) Schumacher 15) Ricciardo 16) Di Resta

    17) Kobayashi 18) Vergne 19) Petrov 20) Kovalainen

    21) Glock 22) De La Rosa 23) Karthikeyan 24) Pic

  8. 1058: 

    So Sebastian Vettel starts on pole tomorrow and will be strong favourite to win here for the second successive year and extend his lead at the top of the drivers' championship. Fernando Alonso, Vettel's nearest challenger for the world title, starts from fifth and will have it all do tomorrow. In fact, he will likely be relying on a helping hand from Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber. Should the Australian get to the front of the pack, he has no intention of doing the championship leader any favours...


    Ethan Friskney-Adams on Twitter: "Perhaps Ferrari changing so many parts coming into this GP was the make or break of their world champion...they broke."

  10. 1053: 

    More from Webber: "The way the factory has helped us this weekend…Milton Keynes has been pushing really hard and the guys here have been working really hard in not easy conditions. So far so good, today it's job done and tomorrow we'll wake up and it'll be a new day."

  11. 1051: 

    Red Bull's Mark Webber, who qualified second: "It wasn't the smoothest [flying lap] for [Sebastian] and also for me. On the last corner I got a little on the Astroturf on the exit and didn't have cleanest run to line, but I'm driving the car. It was a pretty tight run thing between Seb and I. The McLarens were doing a very slow out-laps, and I had no grip in the first sector. I was surprised to end up in second."

  12. 1050: 

    McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who qualified third fastest: "I'm happy with third. The team have done a great job this weekend, although we weren't quick enough to be ahead of these guys [Red Bull] today. But our race pace is just as quick as these guys."

  13. 1048: 

    Here is the report on qualifying by BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson. Don't forget you can catch the highlights on BBC One at 13:00-14:15 BST.

  14. 1046: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who is on pole: "It was a tight session, especially having made a mistake on my first run on Turn Four. All in all it has been a great weekend so far. The boys have been pushing very hard. We have to keep pushing - there are a lot of races to go. The best chance to do well is to focus on every single step. We're look forward to the race. I'm happy to be on pole but there's a hard race coming up tomorrow."


    Aman Sheth on Twitter: "It'll take a miracle (Read: A Vettel crash) to make Fernando Alonso the World Champion. Inconsistent car by Ferrari has cost him."

    Dean Leeks on Twitter: "So do all you #RedBull fans wanna thank us #Mclaren's now for qualifying in front of the Ferrari's?"

    Gareth Jones on Twitter: "Quali today had the utter tension and drama of watching someone alphabetically sort their CD collection."

  16. 1040: 

    Now we will hear from the top three drivers...

  17. 1039: 

    So there we have it, Sebastian Vettel takes his fifth pole of 2012. However, it may well have gone to team-mate Mark Webber, who made an error on Turn Three in his final lap.

  18. 1037: 

    Kimi Raikkonen was seventh quickest for Lotus, while Sauber's Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado of Williams and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg complete the top 10.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "We've got two Red Bulls, two McLarens then two Ferraris - it's like Noah's Ark."

  20. 1034: 

    No-one on their flying laps can better Vettel's time and the German will start on pole tomorrow, just as he did last year. Webber makes it a third successive Red Bull front row lock-out as he takes second, while the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will start from third and fourth respectively. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will start fifth on the grid, with team-mate Felipe Massa on sixth.

  21. 1031: 


  22. 1031: 

    The chequered flag has been waved and everyone is out on flying laps...


    A tidy lap around the Buddh International Circuit sees Vettel go top with 1:25.283, just ahead of team-mate Webber. Button, in third, is not too far off the Red Bulls. Have they done enough?

  24. 1028: 

    Red Bull's Mark Webber over team radio: "Just a little bit more [front wing], mate. Just a little bit more."

  25. 1028: 

    Webber moves into P1 as he records 1:25.327 while Hamilton, whose first timed effort sees him go third, returns to the pitlane for his final set of tyres. He is asking for more pressure in his tyres.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "I'll expect pole to be dipping into the 1:24s."

  27. 1024: 

    Hamilton was flying through the first sector but has to back off after breaking sharply at Turn 4. Instead, Alonso is the first to set a timed lap, clocking 1:25.773. An error from Vettel at Turn Seven sees him run off the track and back out of his first flying lap before heading into the pits.

    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "The tyres are a little bit too durable for this track - it might be a fast race though."

  29. 1021: 

    Just looking at the times for Q2 and Button was close to Vettel's time, really close in fact. Just 3/100ths of a second separated the pair. This could be very tight.


    Lotus F1 on Twitter: "Just pipped! @RGrosjean will start from P11, first driver who can choose his starting race tyres tomorrow"

  31. 1020: 

    Hamilton is straight out onto the circuit and we are 10 minutes away from knowing who will start on pole for the Indian Grand Prix.

  32. 1018: 

    James Allen on 5 live Sports Extra: "Grosjean looks really annoyed - that's only the second time this season he has failed to make the top 10 shoot out."


    Joe Pretorius on Twitter: "Alonso is really going to need to show his talent if he's going to win the title this year. I hope he can!"

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "I'm actually surprised Michael [Schumacher] finished that lap when he was clearly down in the first and second sector. He was pretty optimistic he could find it all on one corner."

  35. 1016: 

    Romain Grosjean was a late casualty as he was pushed out of the top 10. He is eliminated, along with Nico Hulkenberg, Bruno Senna, Michael Schumacher, Daniel Ricciardo, Paul Di Resta and Kamui Kobayashi.

  36. 1014: 



    Massa's latest lap sees him climb up to 11th, not enough to see him safe but he will have another bite of the cherry. Perez currently occupies 10th place.


    McLaren on Twitter: "Should Lewis start on pole, it will be the 25th of his career, tying him with Lauda and Piquet for 9th on the all-time list."


    Senna clocks 1:26.331 that moves him to sixth and should see him safely through to Q3. Hamilton climbs up to third after going round in 1:25.816, but his team-mate Button goes 0.001 seconds faster to slot into P3.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Lotus driver Romain Grosjean just hasn't looked comfortable all weekend. His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen is showing his experience. If Grosjean is going to show himself as being a driver for the future then he has to beat Raikkonen."

  41. 1007: 

    Seems to have been a lack of communication as Massa had to wait for Alonso to be wheeled back into the garage as he looked to get back out on the circuit. Massa is 17th at the moment, with 1:35.056, but he will undoubtedly improve on that. Button's first timed effort sees him go sixth.

  42. 1006: 

    He has taken his time but Button is now out on the circuit as Alonso leaps up into fourth with his latest lap. Still the Red Bulls leading the way with just over five minutes of the session remaining.

  43. 1004: 

    Red Bull one-two at the moment as Vettel storms to the top with 1:25.435, Webber three tenths of a second behind. Romain Grosjean, who complained of his car sliding all over in final practice, has just had a bit of a wobble that saw him briefly off circuit and across the grass.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The track will be in its best condition on the last lap of the grand prix."

  45. 1001: 

    Soft tyres are the choice of the field with all bar Button on the circuit. Kamui Kobayashi clocks the first timed lap with 1:27.219 before Hulkenberg takes P1, setting 1:26.721.

  46. 0959: 

    Di Resta is once again the first to make his way onto the circuit, before Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo and Bruno Senna decide to join him.


    Force India on Twitter: "Qualy for our home race in full flow. @pauldirestaf1 & @NicoHulkenberg safely navigate Q1. Very close times so making top ten will be tough."


    McLaren on Twitter: "Lewis's best lap is 1m26.516s (P4); Jenson's best is 1m26.564s (P5)."

  49. 0957: 

    Slight delay in the cars heading out for Q2 as Heikki Kovalainen's Caterham is towed away...


    Philip Lane on Twitter: "HRT should never be in F1. Their drivers can't use mirrors and the car is too slow."

    Igbo Tifosi on Twitter: "Those Red Bull are handling as sweet as a nut."

  51. 0954: 

    Heikki Kovalainen is out after spinning into the gravel on Turn 11 in his Caterham. The other usual suspects exit at this stage with Vitaly Petrov, Timo Glock, Pedro De La Rosa, Narain Karthikeyan, Charles Pic all out. Jean-Eric Vergne is the other, less expected, victim.

  52. 0952: 


  53. 0949: 

    No real surprises facing potential elimination from this stage of qualifying with just over a 30 seconds remaining. At the other end, Hamilton is showing that he does have good pace here, with the McLaren man just two tenths down on Vettel.

  54. 0947: 

    Massa's team-mate Alonso is up to fourth, with Webber, Hamilton and Vettel ahead of the Spaniard as the clock ticks down in Q1.

  55. 0946: 

    Marussia's Max Chilton on 5 live Sports Extra talking about Massa's spin. "That's that set of tyres gone."

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "That was nervewracking moment for Massa - he lost it in Turn 15. As he started to spin it looked like the car's momentum was going to take him on to the grass."

  57. 0945: 

    Massa too is denied the chance to record a decent lap time as he spins at Turn 15. He recovers and makes his way to the pits.

  58. 0943: 

    Lewis Hamilton was on a decent run on his first timed lap but his McLaren locks up on the final turn and he ends up going eighth fastest as Sebastian Vettel's first effort sees him slot straight into P1 with 1:26.621.


    Peter on Twitter: "There are 1.2 billion people in India. Plenty of empty seats at the circuit."

  60. 0941: 

    By the way, you can listen to audio commentary of qualifying on 5 live Sports Extra near the top right of this page. Commentary is from James Allen and Marussia reserve driver Max Chilton.

  61. 0939: 

    Still waiting for timed laps from the Red Bulls and McLarens as Williams' Bruno Senna produces a strong lap to leap into P1 with 1:26.980. Ferrari's Felipe Massa is in second, with Raikkonen third.

  62. 0936: 

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg over team radio: "Bit too much understeer at high speed."

  63. 0936: 

    Sergio Perez shaves around half a second off Di Resta's time to move to the top of the timesheet. The Sauber driver soon drops down to second though as Hulkenberg crosses the line in 1:27.766.

  64. 0934: 

    First timed lap of the sessions goes to Di Resta, who clocks a modest 1:28.786. Expect faster times to come in pretty soon though.


    HRT driver Narain Karthikeyan on Twitter: "Good third practice but we need to improve a few things for qualifying. Hope it goes well."

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The tyres seem to be hanging on so we might see a different qualifying strategy."

  67. 0931: 

    The two Force Indias are the first out on the track and are greeted by cheers from the home crowd. Kimi Raikkonen then heads out to join Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg.

  68. 0930: 

    The pit lane is open for business and qualifying is under way for the Indian Grand Prix...

  69. 0929:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer in Noida

    "The television pictures really do not do justice to this fantastic track. Go out to watch on the track and the circuit turns out to be a tapestry of undulation, camber differences and elevation changes. Out at the top of the circuit is the long, long right-hander of Turns 10 and 11, which the cars are in for about eight seconds. It's particularly instructive to watch there. The McLarens get into the apex OK, but then the back steps out, requiring a flick of correction and lift from the drivers. The Red Bull, by contrast, is planted from turn in onwards, its superior rear downforce locking the tyres onto the track. It's no wonder they're so far ahead."

  70. 0927: 

    Just minutes away from qualifying getting under way and enough time for a quick look at the Buddh International Circuit.

    Caterham have kindly provided an in-depth analysis of the track on Twitter: "As the track features a range of different corners, cambered turns, long straights & gradient changes it pushes all aspects of the engine. Additionally the high levels of dust in the air means robust air filters must be run to preclude any loss of power. Turn One falls steeply down before going up again towards Turn Three so engines need to be very responsive out of the corner to offset the gradient change. The first part of Buddh International Circuit also features three long straights. The longest is between T3 & T4 where the engine is at full throttle for 14secs."

  71. 0924:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer in Noida

    "It's a balmy 30C and the Buddh International Circuit is a fabulous place to be right now. It promises to be a fascinating qualifying session. Red Bull will almost certainly lock out the front row, with only McLaren looking anywhere close. Ferrari say they are expecting a 'particularly tricky' time. Fernando Alonso lost half of the morning session with a broken front anti-roll bar, so missed out on vital preparation time. It's hard to escape the sense that this championship, which not so long ago he looked set to win brilliantly against the odds, has pretty much gone for him now."

  72. 0922: 

    Right, it has been a while since 'Rose Knows' made its way onto the live text commentary (the Hungarian GP, if you were wondering), so now seems a good time to quickly pop my pole prediction down. Unsurprisingly, I am going with Sebastian Vettel. He dominated last year and I can see the same this time.

    Do you agree? Get your thoughts over to us via Twitter, using the #bbcf1 hashtag, or text 81111 (UK only).


    David Tyrell on Twitter: "Qualifying today! My line idea - VET, BUT, ALO, WEB, RAI, HAM, GRO, MAS, HUL"

  74. 0917: 

    2012 pole-sitters:

    Australia - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 3rd

    Malaysia - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 3rd

    China - Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) Race finish 1st

    Bahrain - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

    Spain - Pastor Maldonado (Williams) Race finish 1st

    Monaco - Mark Webber (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

    Canada - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish 4th

    Europe - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish DNF

    Britain - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Race finish 2nd

    Germany - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) Race finish 1st

    Hungary - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 1st

    Belgium - Jenson Button (McLaren) Race finish 1st

    Italy - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish 1st

    Singapore - Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) Race finish DNF

    Japan - Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) Race finish 1st

    Korea - Mark Webber (Red Bull) Race finish 2nd

  75. 0915: 

    Top six in 2011

    1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1:24.178

    2 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 1:24.474

    3 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 1:24.508

    4 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 1:24.519

    5 Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:24.950

    6 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:25.122

  76. 0914: 

    Just over 15 minutes to go until qualifying begins, so time to throw some stats your way...

  77. 0913:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer in Noida

    "McLaren arrived in India professing a desire to win all four remaining races, in which case Friday was not an encouraging day. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were evenly matched but nearly a second down on Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel on outright pace, and although Hamilton's race pace was better (Button didn't do a race-simulation run because of a gearbox problem), it was still slower than Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. 'I don't think we can get to the front of the race,' Hamilton said. 'It's very difficult to overtake here, the Red Bulls are very hard to beat but the Ferrari, Red Bull and Lotus are very quick on long runs so position is quite important in qualifying so we have to work on that.'"

  78. 0912: 

    Jenson Button had issues with his gearbox yesterday, but after extensive work on his McLaren he was just 0.192 seconds slower than Vettel in this morning's practice. Hamilton, who still has an outside chance of clinching the world championship, was fourth fastest.


    Stui Neale on Twitter: "Thought it looked ominous that FP3 lap was so good. Vettel for win and title."

  80. 0908: 

    Also, a reminder of the BBC's Indian GP coverage this weekend…

    Qualifying: 09:25 BST 5 live Sports Extra & here online. Qualifying highlights: 13:00-14:15 BST, BBC One

    Race: 09:25 GMT 5 live & here online as ever. Race highlights: 14:05-15:45 GMT, BBC One; repeated BBC Two 01:00-02:40 GMT

  81. 0907: 

    Let's have a look at how today's going to work. Qualifying starts at 09:30 BST and will be split into three. Q1 lasts 20 minutes and will see seven drivers knocked out. Q2 is 15 minutes and sees another seven bite the dust, leaving 10 drivers to fight it out for pole in Q3.

  82. 0905: 

    The Buddh International Circuit is the scene of where Sebastian Vettel chalked up another of those 'youngest-ever' records I touched upon at the start of today's coverage, way back at the delightful hour of 06:00 BST. Last year, he claimed Formula 1's Grand Slam - pole, victory, fastest lap. He certainly seems to know how to get the best out of his Red Bull on this track, could we be about to see the German dominate once again?

  83. 0904:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer in Noida

    "Red Bull took a step forward at the Japanese Grand Prix that lifted them on to a separate level from their rivals. A new front wing, combined with revisions to the rear of the car, has given them increased rear downforce. Observers out on the track noted that the car seemed to be behaving for the first time this year in a fashion similar to the way it did in their dominant 2011 season, when the powerful exhaust-blown diffusers increased on-throttle rear downforce in a manner which Sebastian Vettel in particular was able to exploit for impressive cornering performance. Basically, he would chuck the car into the corner, generating a slide at the rear, and then counter-intuitively get on the throttle - the exhaust gases over the floor creating increased downforce that kept the car under control. On Friday in India he was doing it again, suggesting Red Bull have finally hit on a way to use the exhaust gases in this manner under this year's more restrictive rules - which were supposed to have rid F1 of blown diffusers."

  84. 0902: 

    Welcome back to our live text commentary for Indian Grand Prix qualifying. After a clean sweep of practice, it is difficult to envisage anything other than Red Bull dominating. Ferrari appear to be struggling, despite bringing some upgrades to India, but do they have an ace up their sleeve? All will become clear this morning.

  85. 0745: 

    Just 0.372 seconds covered the top six, but you can't help but feel that the Red Bulls have a bit more in the tank. We have got just under two hours to discover if that is the case, so time for you to knock together some breakfast, or rather the canteen upstairs will do so in my case, before our qualifying coverage resumes at 09:00 BST. Join me then but for now, goodbye.

  86. 0741: 

    In The Handle on Twitter: "Red Bull dominant in FP3. McLaren giving push for it. Ferrari disturbingly missing."

  87. 0740: 

    So Vettel completes a clean sweep of the practice sessions as he finishes top once again today. He was, however, just two-tenths of a second quicker than Button. Possible good news as far as Vettel is concerned is that Ferrari once again looked to be struggling. Alonso, six points behind Vettel in the championship, could only manage P7.

  88. 0736: 
    And here is 13-24

    13) Perez 14) Di Resta 15) Rosberg 16) Ricciardo 17) Vergne 18) Kobayashi 19) Kovalainen 20) Petrov 21) Glock 22) Pic 23) Karthikeyan 24) De La Rosa

  89. 0733: 
    Here is how they finished 1-12

    1) Vettel 2) Button 3) Webber 4) Hamilton 5) Raikkonen 6) Senna 7) Alonso 8) Hulkenberg 9) Schumacher 10) Grosjean 11) Massa 12) Maldonando

  90. 0731: 


  91. 0729: 

    The Red Bulls are now on the softs and Webber jumps up to third. Vettel flies through the first sector and looks on course to improve his time at the top of the timesheet but he loses a bit of his pace on the next two sectors and he can't quite improve his time. Still the fastest out there though...


    All 24 cars are out on the track now with all but the two Red Bulls on the softs. Button is flying at the moment and is the fastest of anyone through the first two sectors before crossing the line in 1:26.066 to leap up to second.

  93. 0723: 

    Hamilton is out on the softs but backs out of a flying lap after making a mistake. Ferrari's duo of Massa and Alonso have also had the softs mounted on their cars and they head out on the circuit for the final five minutes of the session.

  94. 0721: 

    Sauber on Twitter: "Now it is about to get exciting - soon we will put on the soft rubber."

  95. 0719: 

    Quick update on how things look at the top of the timesheet as we head into the final 10 minutes of the session. Vettel is fastest with 1:25.892 with Hamilton second, 0.259 seconds behind. Senna third, Button fourth with Hulkenberg up to fifth. Webber is currently down in eighth, with Alonso just behind in ninth.

  96. 0717: 

    Grip on the circuit appears to have been pretty good in this session, although Webber is the first driver of the day to spin in his Red Bull just on the corner of Turn 16. He recovers and heads into the pits.

  97. 0715:  
    Jennie Gow, BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    "Just a little update from down at the Sauber garage, the two drivers are not really happy with things at the moment - Sergio Perez is in 14th, Kamui Kobayashi 18th. Perez says he does not like the way the car is feeling so they are trying to adjust that."

  98. 0711: 

    Into the last 20 minutes of the session as Michael Schumacher and Senna join Hulkenberg in heading out on the softer tyres. Alonso has been improving steadily since the modest time he set in his first timed lap and he is now up to seventh.

  99. 0708: 

    Caterham on Twitter: "Brake bleed for Heikki to help improve the feel of the brakes before his next run."

  100. 0708: 

    Button is now ramping it up in his McLaren and he finds a bit more speed to go third fastest while Raikkonen slots in just behind in fourth. Nico Hulkenberg has re-emerged from the pitlane now sporting the soft tyres on his Force India.

  101. 0705: 

    Massa's first timed lap sees him slot in at a disappointing P11. Meanwhile, Hamilton splits the Red Bulls to go second fastest with 1:26.151.

  102. 0702: 

    Massa and Alonso have finally decided to peel themselves off their chairs in the Ferrari garage and make their way onto the circuit. With just under 30 minutes to go, we should be seeing the pair put together a timed lap very soon. Narain Karthikeyan is pushing as hard as he can as he looks to impress on his home circuit but at the moment his HRT is the slowest car.

  103. 0659: 

    So Red Bull still occupying a familiar position at the top of the timesheet but Bruno Senna, who showed good pace yesterday, is once again setting good times in his Williams. He is currently third fastest on the circuit, having clocked 1:26.923.

  104. 0656:  
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "Just watching Ferrari in their garage. Felipe Massa is sitting here quite comfortably, not sure why but they have not got much to do other than set lap times, so they are probably waiting for the track to improve. We should see both him and Fernando Alonso out pretty soon."

  105. 0655: 

    Lots of timed laps popping up now with 20 cars on the circuit, just Rosberg and the Ferrari duo of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso still to set a time.

  106. 0653: 

    Webber takes his place at the top of the timesheet as he completes a lap in 1:26.887, but he is soon shunted down into second by his team-mate Vettel, who sets 1:26.822. Hamilton also pops a timed lap together and he slots in at fourth fastest. The circuit still appears to be lacking somewhat in grip, much to Grosjean's annoyance, as the Frenchman reports over team radio that he is sliding all over the place.


    Hussain Shah on Twitter: "Michael Scumacher to grab pole position! or am I being slightly optimistic?"

    Zaki Mangalji on Twitter: "Red Bull somehow pull out an extra 0.2 or 0.3 secs in Q3, so wouldn't be worried if a non Red Bull tops FP3."

  108. 0649: 

    Just spotted Nico Rosberg running off the circuit as he ends up in the gravel. The Mercedes man soon recovers to rejoin the others. Raikkonen continues to set the pace, with the Finn improving his time to 1:27.686.

  109. 0646: 

    And it is Raikkonen who sets the first timed lap as he crosses the line in one minute 28.173 seconds. He is quickly followed by team-mate Romain Grosjean, who clocks 1:28.220.

  110. 0644:  
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "If you look at all the numbers from yesterday, one stop is the quickest way for the race for sure. We know these tyres are critical for running right at the limit of not falling over. I personally think the race will be won by a two-stop strategy as it is the safest bet, but Kimi Raikkonen had a really, really good run yesterday. I have to say the Lotus and Kimi especially look very strong here and if I was a betting man I would be putting a few euros on him."

  111. 0642: 

    Raikkonen is the only car out on the circuit and he is having a long run on the hard tyre. Still awaiting our first timed lap of the session.

  112. 0639: 

    Ferrari on Twitter: "FP3 has just begun. As usual, qualifying preparation is the main aim of this last hour of free practice."

  113. 0637: 

    Jenson Button struggled with gearbox problems yesterday and McLaren have been working through the night to rebuild his car. He heads out for an installation lap before Red Bull's Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel join the party. They take in a lap around the Buddh International Circuit before returning to the pitlane for system checks.

  114. 0634: 

    Finnish duo Kimi Raikkonen and Heikki Kovalainen are the first to head out for installation laps, quickly followed by a fair number of other drivers.

  115. 0631:  
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson

    "I think this is going to be another great session. The Red Bulls looked good in practice yesterday but there were a bunch of guys behind them. Qualifying is going to be everything here because I believe it will be true speed that will win the race."

  116. 0630: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Final practice for the Indian Grand Prix is go, go, go...


    Randy Santa-Ana on Twitter: "Red Bull is peaking at the right moment. This may be another cake walk for Vettel, unless Alonso & Ferrari can do something about it."

  118. 0626: 

    Narain Karthikeyan on Twitter: "All set for FP3, no surprises I hope!"

  119. 0623:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer in Noida

    "Ferrari have some significant upgrades for the first time in several races. Fernando Alonso ran with a new front wing, a revised aerodynamic profile on the brake ducts and a new diffuser on Friday. Whereas at the last three races, Ferrari have ended up not using new parts, here in India Alonso ran with them throughout the day. That was already a positive sign, and technical director Pat Fry admitted it had been 'encouraging'. If he keeps them on for this final practice session, Ferrari can enter the final stretch of the season with more faith that they might at least be able to keep pace with the rejuvenated Red Bulls."

  120. 0619: 

    It may well be early on a Saturday morning, but I want your thoughts on what will happen today. Last year, Vettel claimed pole ahead of Lewis Hamilton, while Webber and Fernando Alonso were third and fourth fastest respectively. Will it be the same quartet battling it out for pole today? Kimi Raikkonen's chances surely cannot be discounted. The Finn took to the Buddh International Circuit like a duck to water in his first outing on it yesterday, can he keep himself in the hunt for the championship?

    Tweet your thoughts using the hashtag #bbcf1 or text on 81111. As always, please remember to put your name in those texts.

  121. 0615:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer in Noida

    "The signs are we're in for another lovely day in Noida, to the south-east of Delhi. Pollution aside, Friday was almost perfect, the temperature and humidity just right. Excellent conditions for the drivers to test themselves and their cars on one of the best tracks on the calendar. With 11 consecutive corners after Turn Four all taken at more than 120mph, it's quite a spectacle."

  122. 0613: 

    So here is what we have coming up at the Buddh International Circuit today. First up, we have one hour of practice at 06:30 BST before qualifying gets under way at 09:30 BST. Commentary will be live online and on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra.

  123. 0610:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer in Noida

    "Delhi's perpetual cloak of smog has lifted a little this morning so it is a little easier to make out India's unique sensory experience. And so, too, this morning will a little more light be shed on the competitive positions of the Formula 1 teams at the demanding Buddh International Circuit. Friday's practice painted another picture of potential Red Bull domination, but there were signs Ferrari may have made a step forward - as they need to if Fernando Alonso is to have any hope of stopping Sebastian Vettel clinching a third world title before the end of the season."

  124. 0607: 

    Yes, Vettel looked ominous in practice yesterday but Webber was in close company. The pair were over half a second quicker than anyone else but if Vettel thought he might get a helping hand from his team-mate then he must think again, with the Australian stating he would not pull over for anyone if he is in a position to win.

  125. 0604: 

    Welcome to qualifying day for the Indian Grand Prix. My wholesome praise of Vettel's achievements in the last two posts would intimate other drivers needn't bother turning up but of course, it is never as straightforward as that, especially if his team-mate Mark Webber has anything to do with it.

  126. 0602: 

    Vettel is now chasing a new record. Three successive race wins have propelled him into the championship lead and within four races of being crowned the youngest treble world champion. On a circuit which he utterly dominated last year and after topping both practice sessions yesterday, few would bet against him moving a step closer to etching his naming in the history books once again.

  127. 0600: 

    Since pretty much the first moment he set foot in the paddock, Sebastian Vettel has been setting new records. Youngest to drive at a grand prix, youngest race winner, youngest world champion, in fact pretty much any record that starts with 'youngest ever' and you can bet the baby-faced German's name comes after it.

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Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 291
2 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 274
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 199
4 Finland V Bottas Williams 145
5 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 143
6 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 141
7 Great Britain J Button McLaren 94
8 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 76
9 Brazil F Massa Williams 71
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 49
11 Mexico S Perez Force India 47
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 47
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 21
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 8
17 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
18 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham 0
19 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 0
21 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia 0
22 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham 0


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham