Final practice - Vettel leads Red Bull one-two 23 Jul 2011
Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber showed that things are pretty much back to normal at Red Bull now that the off-throttle blown diffuser ban has been lifted, as they deposed Fernando Alonso and set the two fastest times in this mornings final practice session at the Nurburgring.
The Spaniard went to the top with 1m 31.138s in the final 15 minutes, before Webber posted 1m 31.049s and then Vettel trimmed that to 1m 30.916s. By then, however, Alonso had stopped running, so it may be assumed that the Ferrari is right on the pace too.
It was a better day for McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button fourth and fifth on 1m 31.578s and 1m 31.623s respectively, though the gap between the silver cars and the red one is more significant than that between the red one and the two blue cars.
Nico Rosberg was up there again for Mercedes in sixth, on 1m 31.694s, leaving Felipe Massa a second off his team mate with 1m 32.144s for seventh in the second Ferrari.
Adrian Sutil continued his strong form at home with eighth for Force India on 1m 32.391s, ahead of Michael Schumacher on 1m 32.523s in the other Mercedes, late improver Pastor Maldonado on 1m 32.751s for Williams, Vitaly Petrov on 1m 32.777s in the leading Renault and Paul di Resta in the second Force India on 1m 32.813s.
Nick Heidfeld was 13th on 1m 33.072s for Renault, now running their forward-facing exhausts again after Friday's test of a rearward design, from Williams' Rubens Barrichello in 1m 33.179s, Sergio Perez in the lead Sauber on 1m 33.531s, his team mate Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 33.671s and Sebastien Buemi on 1m 33.948s.
Jaime Alguersuari was 18th on 1m 34.125s in the other Toro Rosso, with a big gap to on-form Heikki Kovalainen who put his Lotus 19th on 1m 35.385s.
Behind them there was the usual dogfight with Timo Glock just emerging ahead of a gripping battle between Tonio Liuzzi for HRT (who is set to drop five grid places due to a gearbox change) and Glock's Virgin partner Jerome DAmbrosio. This resolved itself: Glock 1m 36.724s; Liuzzi 1m 36.804s; DAmbrosio 1m 36.894s.
Karun Chandhok survived a spin early on in Turn Four and was for a while within two-tenths of Lotus team mate Kovalainen until another big spin in Turn Nine right at the end. His best was 1m 36.959s, which left him ahead of HRT's Daniel Ricciardo, who got within hundredths of Liuzzi at one point but thereafter wasnt able to string all his best sector times into a strong lap. His best was thus an unrepresentative 1m 37.554s.
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