Final practice - Red Bulls split by Renault 26 Jun 2010
Sebastian Vettel pushed Robert Kubica off the top slot on the final lap of a gripping final practice session in Valencia this morning, as the leading runners slogged it out and those with blown diffuser aerodynamics leapt ahead of the McLaren duo that had ruled the roost in Turkey and Canada.
Vettel banged round in 1m 38.052s for Red Bull, pushing aside Kubicas 1m 38.154s for Renault right at the end. Mark Webber was also right in the thick of it with 1m 38.313s in the second Red Bull, ahead of the surprises: Adrian Sutil fourth for Force India in 1m 38.500s; Rubens Barrichello sixth for Williams in 1m 38.623s and Tonio Liuzzi seventh in the other Force India in 1m 38.676s.
Mixed in with them in fifth was Fernando Alonso with 1m 38.513s for Ferrari, and right behind them came Felipe Massa in 1m 38.686s in the other F10, then the McLarens, with Jenson Button just ahead of Lewis Hamilton, 1m 38.769s to 1m 38.816s. And right behind them came Nico Rosberg with 1m 38.822s for Mercedes. Very close.
Sebastien Buemi just failed to break 1m 39s, lapping the lead Toro Rosso in 1m 39.050s to pip Nico Hulkenbergs 1m 39.105s in the second Williams. Vitaly Petrov was 14th in the second Renault, on 1m 39.113s, the second Mercedes of Michael Schumacher was down in 15th place with 1m 39.222s. Jaime Alguersuari was 16th in the other Toro Rosso on 1m 39.392s, and the BMW Saubers wrapped up 'The Establishment' with Kamui Kobayashi 17th on 1m 39.527s from Pedro de la Rosa on 1m 39.699s.
Lotus were again the leading new team though as Virgin pointed out, if this is their 500th race that makes them the leading newcomer Heikki Kovalainen again led the way with 1m 41.303s from Jarno Trulli on 1m 41.428s and Timo Glock on 1m 41.955s. Lucas di Grassi was 22nd on 1m 42.354s, and the HRTs were again evenly matched with Bruno Senna on 1m 42.611s and Karun Chandhok on 1m 42.622s.
Qualifying is going to be very tight, especially to make it through to Q3 on a track where the traffic situation can be very Monegasque.