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British GP: Nico Rosberg pips Lewis Hamilton in final practice

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, British GP 2013, SilverstoneNico Rosberg snatched the top spot from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the final seconds of British Grand Prix practice three at Silverstone.

Hamilton had established himself as the fastest man by the end of the hard-tyre runs with a 1m31.750s lap.

He looked set to improve on that when on mediums late on, but slid over the run-off at Brooklands.

While Hamilton gathered himeself up for another go, Rosberg came through with a 1m31.487s to grab first place.

Hamilton also improved on his last lap but had to settle for second on a 1m31.633s, 0.146 seconds off his team-mate.

Mercedes enjoyed a half-second cushion over the rest of the field.

Sebastian Vettel secured third with his last lap, just ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.

Romain Grosjean was fifth for Lotus, while Toro Rosso's impressive weekend continued as Daniel Ricciardo took sixth.

The session had to be red-flagged early on after Sergio Perez's left rear tyre blew.

The incident will be a concern to Pirelli on the weekend when it introduces its new bonding process, designed to prevent delaminations.

A brief stoppage was required to remove tyre debris from the circuit.

Perez's McLaren sustained quite a lot of damage at its rear end, but was able to rejoin for the final minutes, only for the Mexican to slide off at Becketts.

Fernando Alonso also had a moment at the same spot before putting his Ferrari seventh.

Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus and the Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta completed the top 10.

Home driver Jenson Button was back in 12th for McLaren.

Felipe Massa spent the final minutes parked in the Ferrari garage with an apparent problem and was only 15th.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m31.487s           18
 2.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m31.633s  +0.146s  20
 3.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m32.037s  +0.550s  20
 4.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1m32.078s  +0.591s  17
 5.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m32.391s  +0.904s  18
 6.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m32.440s  +0.953s  19
 7.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m32.454s  +0.967s  18
 8.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1m32.459s  +0.972s  22
 9.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m32.536s  +1.049s  17
10.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m32.571s  +1.084s  17
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m32.580s  +1.093s  15
12.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m32.926s  +1.439s  18
13.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m33.133s  +1.646s  17
14.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m33.225s  +1.738s  16
15.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m33.273s  +1.786s  16
16.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m33.309s  +1.822s  25
17.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m33.370s  +1.883s  19
18.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1m33.607s  +2.120s  9
19.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m34.971s  +3.484s  18
20.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1m34.990s  +3.503s  17
21.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m36.694s  +5.207s  16
22.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m37.443s  +5.956s  18
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