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Final practice - Webber puts Red Bull ahead in China 17 Apr 2010

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 16 April 2010 Alonso doesn't seem phased by his car troubles during yesterday's P1 Petrov hits the tyre wall hard, costing him the last 10 minutes of practice

Red Bull and McLaren slogged it out to be the fastest in this mornings final practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix, with Mark Webber finally wresting the honours away from Lewis Hamilton.

The Australian pushed ahead in the final stages with 1m 35.323s, which was 0.241s below Hamilton's eventual 1m 35.564s. Sebastian Vettel was third on 1m 35.691s and Jenson Button fourth with 1m 35.747s. Fernando Alonso jumped into the hunt for Ferrari with 1m 35.857s, and Nico Rosberg's 1m 35.913s for Mercedes displaced his team mate Michael Schumacher, who had earlier lapped in 1m 36.262s to momentarily go sixth.

Robert Kubica remained well up for Renault with 1m 36.343s, but team mate Vitaly Petrov brought out the red flag with 17 minutes remaining when he crashed his R30 in Turn 16. The Russian was unharmed, but the cars a mess.

Felipe Massa had an unhappy morning which culminated in ninth fastest time of 1m 36.416s for Ferrari, just ahead of Kamui Kobayashi's BMW Sauber on 1m 36.634s. Jaime Alguersuari was the final sub 1m 37s runner, in 1m 36.879s for Toro Rosso.

Tonio Liuzzi made good on his promise to go quicker, taking his Force India round in 1m 37.031s for 12th ahead of Sebastien Buemi in the second Toro Rosso on 1m 37.192s and Adrian Sutil in the other Force India on 1m 37.240s. Petrovs 1m 37.339s left him 15th, chased by the Williams of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg, which sandwiched Pedro de la Rosas BMW Sauber with times of 1m 37.585s, 1m 37.664s and 1m 37.784s respectively.

This day it was Virgin's turn to head the newbies, with Timo Glock lapping his VR-01 in 1m 39.579s to head Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus on 1m 39.616s and team mate Lucas di Grassi on 1m 39.749s. Jarno Trulli was right behind the Brazilian, with 1m 39.776s in the second Lotus. Bruno Senna was HRT's leader this time with 1m 40.316s, Karun Chandhok taking the sister car round in 1m 41.141s.

The scene is thus set not just for a tight battle for pole, but also to get through to Q3 in qualifying.