The fog wasn’t as heavy Saturday morning at Circuit of the Americas for the third/final Formula One practice of the United States Grand Prix. The weather was warmer – for awhile – 70 degrees F/23 for the track, and 68 degrees F/20 C for ambient. But as the afternoon wore on, the cloud cover enveloped, the temperatures fluctuated and the wind came up. By mid-afternoon it was hot and muggy outside, with high humidity.
The weather may or may not have affected the times, but the drivers were faster in P3. SEBASTIAN VETTEL/Red Bull Racing ended up on top with a 1:36.733. The top four drivers were faster than Vettel’s Friday afternoon time. Second fastest driver, MARK WEBBER/Red Bull Racing was the only other one to dip into the 36’s. Third through fifth were LEWIS HAMILTON/Mercedes, NICO HULKENBERG/Sauber, and ROMAN GROSJEAN/Lotus. His new teammate, HEIKKI KOVALAINEN was lucky thirteenth.
MIKA SALO, the MTV sports announcer these days, is reported to have been the one who touted his Finnish friend, Kovalainen to replace Finnish KIMI RAIKKONEN at Lotus. He smiled and said not true. “But, he’s the best one for the position.”
After P3, the teams all seemed to be in detailing mode. The backside of the garages – which is an esplenade after the F1 sessions, was crowded with teams hosing down, scrubbing an polishing wheels. One had to dodge the water spray and puddles everywhere. But hey – it’s all about presentation. And it didn’t stop all the visitors in the walkways and open-air hospitality porches.
BERNIE ECCLESTONE paid an unscheduled visit to the Media Center, where he was pursued by some foreign media wanting autographs and others just snapping away with their cameras.
Outside the Vintage Formula group finished its eight-lap race. The winner was 18-year old TIM de SILVA, aka The Little Prince. Second and third were veteran racers TIM GAFFNEY and ART HEBERT.