Final practice - Vettel recovers in style 07 May 2011
For a while it looked like old times as Michael Schumacher sat at the top of the timesheets, but then Sebastian Vettel showed that his accident yesterday had had little effect by setting the fastest time in the final free practice session this morning in Istanbul Park. By a thousandth of a second
In a golden era for German motorsport, the reigning world champion just pipped the seven-time title holder, 1m 26.037s to 1m 26.038s.
Schumachers time in the dramatically improved Mercedes had earlier beaten team mate Nico Rosberg by four-tenths, and then Mark Webber put his Red Bull ahead of the second silver arrow too, with 1m 26.404s to 1m 26.420s.
Behind them came the two McLarens, with Jenson Button again just ahead of Lewis Hamilton, 1m 26.578s to 1m 26.726s, and Vitaly Petrov put Renault right in the ballpark with 1m 26.755s for seventh ahead of Ferraris Fernando Alonso on 1m 26.819s. Then there was a tiny gap to Felipe Massa in the other 150° Italia on 1m 26.883s, before on-form Sebastien Buemis 1m 27.080s best for Toro Rosso.
Sergio Perez was again Saubers faster runner in 11th on 1m 27.121s, chased by Williams Pastor Maldonado on 1m 27.255s, Adrian Sutil for Force India on 1m 27.318s, Renaults Nick Heidfeld (who had a pit lane altercation with Buemi) on 1m 27.379s, Rubens Barrichello on 1m 27.528s in the second Williams, Paul di Resta in the second Force India on 1m 27.644s, Toro Rossos Jaime Alguersuari, who stopped out on the circuit early on but recovered to post 1m 27.724s, and Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 27.976s for Sauber.
Lotus easily won the new team section, with Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 28.911s and Jarno Trulli on 1m 29.697s, but there was a good fight between Virgin and HRT. Once again Jerome DAmbrosio in the interim MVR-02 was just ahead of Timo Glock in the fully updated version, 1m 31.097s to 1m 31.175s, while Tonio Liuzzi wrung 1m 31.375s out of his HRT as Narain Karthikeyan could not better 1m 32.009s in his.
There were a few offs, courtesy of Webber, Massa and Perez, but Rosberg earned save of the day after gathering up a big grassy moment on one lap exiting Turn Eight.
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