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Final practice - Alonso pips Rosberg to P1 13 Mar 2010

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010 Karun Chandhok (IND) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) (Left).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 12 March 2010

Fernando Alonso put Ferrari at the top of the timesheets in the last practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday morning, when he used a set of the softer compound Bridgestone tyres to record a lap of 1m 54.099s. In a direct tyre-to-tyre, but not necessarily fuel weight-to-fuel weight comparison, team mate Felipe Massa was sixth on the harder prime tyre on 1m 54.739s.

In between the two red cars Nico Rosberg maintained his form with 1m 54.368s in his soft-tyred Mercedes, ahead of Mark Webber’s hard-tyred Red Bull on 1m 54.500s. Once again Michael Schumacher struggled with understeer in his Silver Arrow, but was a promising fourth on 1m 54.533s. Sebastian Vettel completed the top six for Red Bull with 1m 54.646s.

The McLarens lacked the pace they showed yesterday, with Jenson Button their faster runner in seventh place with 1m 55.000s. Lewis Hamilton did not make the final runs, having lapped in 1m 55.860s which left him 12th.

They were separated by Renault’s Robert Kubica, who popped in a 1m 55.331s for eighth to push Tonio Liuzzi down a place in the lead Force India, which he had lapped in 1m 55.432s. Nico Hulkenberg was again the faster Williams runner in 1m 55.461s, ahead of Adrian Sutil on 1m 55.521s.

Pedro de la Rosa again had the quicker BMW Sauber time with 1m 56.063s for 13th, with Rubens Barrichello’s 1m 56.259s next, ahead of the Toro Rossos of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Aluersuari (1m 56.295s and 1m 56.504s), Kamui Kobayashi (1m 56.530s), Vitaly Petrov (1m 59.811s), Timo Glock (1m 59.173s) and Heikki Kovalainen (1m 59.789s). Glock caused a bit of a drama when his Virgin lost its left front wheel which had not been fully secured. Bruno Senna slowed to avoid it, in the only HRT to run.

As Virgin and Lotus made progress to get below the 2m barrier, Jarno Trulli was left on 2m 01.259s in the Lotus T127, while Senna brought his times down to 2m 04.001s for HRT. As expected, Karun Chandhok’s car wasn’t ready for the final session but may be out for qualifying.

A pattern is beginning to emerge, but we won’t know for sure until qualifying that everyone was running minimal fuel loads.