Hamilton tops final Sepang practice

Lewis Hamilton was quickest in final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, as the McLaren driver edged out the Red Bull of Friday pacesetter Mark Webber

Hamilton tops final Sepang practice

Hamilton set his best time of 1m36.360s with four minutes to go, during the traditional late scramble on soft tyres.

Webber was 0.290 seconds slower when he completed his qualifying-style run a few minutes later, so had to settle for second, while his world champion team-mate Sebastian Vettel was only fifth, having been in the thick of traffic on his final flying lap. Jenson Button was third in the second McLaren.

Vettel had ended up on top during the 'race preparation' part of the session before drivers switched to the soft tyres in the final 10 minutes, the Red Bull getting down to a 1m38.016s. The champion had earlier complained that his DRS wing did not feel like it was working correctly, so pitted for the problem to be investigated, and then lost his on-board camera on his last run.

Renault had a strong session, showing no ill effects from the time lost to yesterday's suspension failures as Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov took fourth and seventh.

Fernando Alonso had a spell on top for Ferrari after being one of the first to try soft tyres, but by the end he was down to sixth, two places ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa.

Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber) was ninth, followed by the two Mercedes.

At the rear of the field, both Hispanias were again outside the 107 per cent qualifying margin based on practice pace, with Tonio Liuzzi - who only made it out for the final 11 minutes - a tenth of a second away from making the theoretical cut and Narain Karthikeyan a further 0.236s slower.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car              Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes      1m36.340s            11
 2.  Mark Webber         Red Bull-Renault      1m36.630s  + 0.290s  16
 3.  Jenson Button       McLaren-Mercedes      1m36.762s  + 0.422s  14
 4.  Nick Heidfeld       Renault               1m37.115s  + 0.775s  17
 5.  Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      1m37.175s  + 0.835s  14
 6.  Fernando Alonso     Ferrari               1m37.284s  + 0.944s  11
 7.  Vitaly Petrov       Renault               1m37.297s  + 0.957s  17
 8.  Felipe Massa        Ferrari               1m37.762s  + 1.422s  12
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari        1m38.059s  + 1.719s  18
10.  Michael Schumacher  Mercedes              1m38.300s  + 1.960s  20
11.  Nico Rosberg        Mercedes              1m38.307s  + 1.967s  20
12.  Sergio Perez        Sauber-Ferrari        1m38.448s  + 2.108s  17
13.  Adrian Sutil        Force India-Mercedes  1m38.464s  + 2.124s  16
14.  Pastor Maldonado    Williams-Cosworth     1m38.597s  + 2.257s  15
15.  Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m38.665s  + 2.325s  14
16.  Rubens Barrichello  Williams-Cosworth     1m38.681s  + 2.341s  16
17.  Jaime Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m38.716s  + 2.376s  14
18.  Paul di Resta       Force India-Mercedes  1m38.864s  + 2.524s  13
19.  Heikki Kovalainen   Lotus-Renault         1m39.260s  + 2.920s  19
20.  Jarno Trulli        Lotus-Renault         1m39.699s  + 3.359s  15
21.  Jerome D'Ambrosio   Virgin-Cosworth       1m41.215s  + 4.875s  17
22.  Timo Glock          Virgin-Cosworth       1m41.414s  + 5.074s  18
23.  Vitantonio Liuzzi   HRT-Cosworth          1m43.147s  + 6.807s  6
24.  Narain Karthikeyan  HRT-Cosworth          1m43.383s  + 7.043s  11

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