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Final practice - Red Bull edge out Ferrari 24 Jul 2010

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB6.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F10.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Saturday, 24 July 2010 Lucas di Grassi (BRA) Virgin Racing VR-01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, German Grand Prix, Practice Day, Hockenheim, Germany, Friday, 23 July 2010

Heavy rain five minutes before the start of Saturday morning's final practice session for the German Grand Prix threw things into disarray for a while, but created a gripping final few minutes after the track had dried out.

A series of rapid-fire laps saw fastest time changing hands by the minute, but in the end it was Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel who claimed the top slot with 1m 15.103s ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari on 1m 15.387s. Mark Webber thus lost his top place after a lap of 1m 15.708s had taken the honour away from Vettel, but he remained third ahead of Ferrari's Felipe Massa who was the only other runner below 1m 16s, with 1m 15.854s.

Once again Mercedes looked strong with Nico Rosberg fifth on 1m 16.046s and Michael Schumacher seventh on 1m 16.473s, while between them came Lewis Hamilton on 1m 16.207s for McLaren, who have opted to keep their blown diffuser on the car for the rest of the weekend. Jenson Button in the other MP4-25 had a tough morning, however, and was only 13th on 1m 17.037s.

Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg were again fast for Williams with eighth and 10th best times on 1m 16.481s and 1m 16.743s respectively, sandwiching Robert Kubica who lapped in 1m 16.646s in his Renault. Behind that trio came Kamui Kobayashi for BMW Sauber on 1m 16.882s, then Sebastien Buemi on 1m 16.990s in the Toro Rosso and Button.

Behind the McLaren, Vitaly Petrov recorded 1m 17.148s for Renault, ahead of Pedro de la Rosa’s BMW Sauber on 1m 17.220s, Jaime Alguersuari’s 1m 17.341s in the second Toro Rosso and Tonio Liuzzi’s 1m 17.538s for Force India. Their second car, driven by Adrian Sutil, had mechanical problems and did not record a time.

Heikki Kovalainen’s Lotus took new team honours with 1m 19.193s ahead of team mate Jarno Trulli on 1m 19.607s and Bruno Senna on 1m 20.533s for HRT. Sakon Yamamoto was 21st in the other Spanish car, on 1m 21.538s. The Virgins didn’t run at the end when conditions improved, so Timo Glock was 22nd on 1m 23.444s from Lucas di Grassi on 1m 23.873s.

It’s going to be a very tight qualifying session, especially if it rains again…