Final practice - Vettel takes control in Canada 11 Jun 2011
Mercedes Nico Rosberg and Ferraris Fernando Alonso at one stage shared the fastest time of 1m 13.919s in Saturday mornings final practice session at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Montreals Ile Notre Dame. But, as it so often has been this season, it was Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull who had the last laugh
The reigning world champion clipped down to 1m 13.381s to end the hour-long session 0.320s ahead of Alonso, who had improved his time to 1m 13.701s. Rosberg remained third after failing to go faster, while Felipe Massas strong weekend form for Ferrari continued with 1m 13.956s.
The session ended a trifle prematurely when Sauber stand-in Pedro de la Rosa brought out the red flag right at the end after crashing his C30 exiting Turn Four, but the hour was a major disappointment for McLaren with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton in only fifth and sixth places, a second off the pace on a track where they had expected to set it. Button lapped in 1m 14.335s, Hamilton in 1m 14.469s. Michael Schumacher was right behind them on 1m 14.488s for Mercedes, but each might have argued that De la Rosa stole their final chance of an improvement.
Vitaly Petrov continued to outshine Nick Heidfeld at Renault, lapping in 1m 14.917s for eighth fastest time, ahead of the evenly matched Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta on 1m 15.217s and 1m 15.243s.
Pastor Maldonado was 11th for Williams with 1m 15.312s, ahead of Heidfeld on 1m 15.350s, the Toro Rossos of Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari on 1m 16.138s and 1m 16.145s, Kamui Kobayashis Sauber on 1m 16.236s, Rubens Barrichello in the second Williams on 1m 16.438s and De la Rosa on 1m 16.706s.
Heikki Kovaainen was back in charge at Team Lotus, with an 18th fastest lap of 1m 17.093s, leaving Jarno Trulli one place behind with 1m 17.523s. Then Tonio Liuzzi blew off the Virgins in his updated HRT with 1m 18.910s from Timo Glock in the first of the Dinnington cars on 1m 19.073s, Narain Karthikeyan in the second HRT on 1m 19.213s and Jerome DAmbrosio in his rebuilt MVR-02 on 1m 20.475s.
Poor Mark Webbers luck here doesnt seem to change; he didnt get a run after his Red Bull developed a battery-derived problem with its KERS.
The scene is set for one of the most hard-fought and potentially unpredictable qualifying sessions of the season.
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