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Final practice - McLaren dominate in the dry too 15 Oct 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice Day, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 14 October 2011 Vettel feels he is blocked by Alguersuari and shows his frustration Senna's Renault swings round towards the wall Liuzzi's HRT is pushed down the pit lane Hamilton finishes second in final practice, pipped at the post by team mate Button

Michael Schumacher helped Jenson Button to the fastest time in fin al practice on Saturday morning in Korea. The Briton had generally run a tenth or two off McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton as the silver cars yet again dominated practice, this time in the dry, but as Schumacher repeatedly blocked Hamilton’s last effort while running two seconds down in the middle sector, Button was able to get a super-clean lap on Pirelli’s super-soft tyres to record 1m 36.910s. Hamilton had to be satisfied with his previous best of 1m 37.199s.

Button was using the spare McLaren chassis, an ex-Hamilton unit, which he will keep for the rest of the weekend after McLaren discovered a broken engine mounting stud on his usual chassis last night.

Only Mark Webber was able to get anywhere near the two Brits, with 1m 37.723s in his Red Bull, as team mate Sebastian Vettel was likewise blocked mercilessly by Toro Rosso stable mate Jaime Alguersuari and eventually aborted his effort to better the 1m 39.695s lap he had recorded on the soft tyres. Extrapolating Vettel’s typical four-tenth margin over Webber, he might have been expected to get closer to the McLarens than his team mate’s 0.813s gap.

The Australian and the new world champion were separated by Fernando Alonso on 1m 38.029s in the super soft-tyred lead Ferrari, Felipe Massa on 1m 38.434s in the other one, Schumacher on 1m 38.559s for Mercedes, Vitaly Petrov on 1m 39.612s for Renault and Adrian Sutil on 1m 39.660s for Force India.

Behind Vettel, Nico Rosberg was 10th in the second Mercedes on 1m 39.743s, with Paul di Resta next on 1m 39.847s in the second Force India from Alguersuari on 1m 39.851s and Toro Rosso partner Sebastien Buemi on 1m 39.964s.

Kamui Kobayashi was Sauber’s leader this time in 14th place on 1m 40.005s, ahead of team mate Sergio Perez on 1m 40.030s, Bruno Senna who spun in Turn Nine and damaged his Renault’s front wing before going back out to post 1m 40.451s on his birthday, and the Williams duo of Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello on 1m 40.529s and 1m 40.711s.

Heikki Kovalainen again led Lotus team mate Jarno Trulli, on 1m 41.909s to 1m 41.945s, while Timo Glock headed Virgin partner Jerome d’Ambrosio 1m 43.275s to 1m 44.377s. Tonio Liuzzi finally got his weekend rolling with 1m 44.421s for HRT, while Daniel Ricciardo’s sister car stopped at the beginning of the pit lane and leaked water, before the Australian later went out again to record 1m 45.143s.

The scene is thus set for what should be a gripping qualifying session.

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