Final practice - Button edges charging Lotuses 23 Jun 2012
Things came right for Jenson Button and McLaren after Friday's problems, when the Englishman set the fastest time in final practice on Saturday to pip the Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Kimi Raikkonen and the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta.
Grosjean had beaten Raikkonen in their intra-team shootout, with 1m 38.655s to 1m 38.759s when Button whizzed round in 1m 38.562s, but yet again the top 14 cars were within a second.
Hulkenberg pushed his VJM05 to 1m 38.819s, with Di Resta riding shotgun on 1m 38.892s, to complete the super-elite. Behind them, Sergio Perez was sixth for Sauber on 1m 39.084s from Mercedes' Michael Schumacher on 1m 39.141s and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, who recorded 1m 39.178s but never really got going to improve that. Felipe Massa was on his tail with 1m 39.357s in the faster Ferrari after a slip up under braking left Fernando Alonso 12th on 1m 39.395s.
Between them were Williams' Pastor Maldonado on 1m 39.357s and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 39.358s. Right behind Alonso was Sebastian Vettel, who likewise transgressed under braking, on 1m 39.434s in the lead Red Bull. Bruno Senna was fifth fastest in the other Williams on 1m 39.543s but fell back to 14th when he didn't run at the same time as others improved. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg lost a better time in traffic, and was 15th on 1m 39.946s.
Toro Rosso improved, Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo taking 16th and 17th on 1m 40.037s and 1m 40.134s to move ahead of Caterham. Heikki Kovalainen was 18th on 1m 40.681s in his CT-01 while Vitaly Petrov was 20th on 1m 41.931s.
In between them, Mark Webber sat in the pits for much of the session with a brake problem after lapping in 1m 41.282s in the other Red Bull.
Local hero Pedro de la Rosa made up for Friday's mistake by putting it over on Marussia, taking his HRT round in 1m 42.758s. But it was close; Charles Pic lapped his MR-01 in 1m 42.815s and Narain Karthikeyan did 1m 42.943s in the second F112. At the back a still unwell Timo Glock was 24th on 1m 43.124s for Marussia.
Again, there were plentiful visits to the escape roads in Turns Two and 12; Hamilton, Schumacher and Button joined Alonso and Vettel in erring, while De la Rosa spun in Turn 25.
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