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Final practice - Massa ahead, but very tight at the top 20 Oct 2007

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2007 
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 19 October 2007 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 19 October 2007 Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 19 October 2007 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB3.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 19 October 2007

As the final practice session ended at Interlagos on Saturday morning, 0.132s separated fastest man Felipe Massa from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen.

On a bone dry track in excellent conditions, the local hero banged his F2007 round in 1m 11.810s, a time set on Bridgestone’s softer rubber which defied Hamilton’s effort of 1m 11.934s on similar tyres. The Englishman, however, had the satisfaction of dislodging Raikkonen, who earlier had done 1m 11.942s.

There was a big gap back to Mark Webber, who took his Red Bull round in 1m 12.446s, but the Australian had plenty of company in that time bracket. Right behind him was Toyota’s Jarno Trulli (1m 12.461s), Honda’s Rubens Barrichello (1m 12.478s), BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld (1m 12.579s), McLaren’s Fernando Alonso (1m 12.594s), Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel (1m 12.767s), Williams’ Nico Rosberg (1m 12.823s), Toro Rosso’s Tonio Liuzzi (1m 12.893s) and Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 12.913s).

Behind that gaggle, the times were also extremely close from Ralf Schumacher’s 14th fastest 1m 13.015s for Toyota to Sakon Yamamoto’s 22nd quickest 1m 13.872s in the Spyker. In between them were sandwiched Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen (1m 13.046s), David Coulthard (who lapped in 1m 13.117s before spinning in Turn Eight and removing his Red Bull’s front wing), Super Aguri team mates Anthony Davidson (1m 13.299s) and Takuma Sato (1m 13.331s), Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima (1m 13.474s), Robert Kubica (who took his BMW Sauber round in 1m 13.525s before stopping in Turn 10 with mechanical problems), and Spyker’s Adrian Sutil (1m 13.684s).

Some of these times are clearly unusual, and Alonso, for example, never really got a clear lap in. For sure, all three qualifying sessions are going to be very close-fought this afternoon.