Vettel hits the front in final practice

Sebastian Vettel shrugged off his lack of Friday running to go quickest in the final practice session ahead of Turkish Grand Prix qualifying

Vettel hits the front in final practice

The Red Bull driver edged out countryman Michael Schumacher by just a thousandth of a second as Mercedes continued to show very promising form and took second and fourth places, with Mark Webber putting the second Red Bull third ahead of Nico Rosberg.

After his Friday crash, Vettel had insisted that the loss of the afternoon's dry running would not hold him back - and he proved his point by hitting the front 25 minutes into today's session, and remaining on top until the late qualifying-style soft tyre runs started.

The usual flurry of changes at that juncture saw Sebastien Buemi, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, and both Mercedes take turns at the front in quick succession, before Vettel reclaimed the top spot by setting a 1m26.037s with a minute a go. It was just 0.001s ahead of Schumacher's time, but some of Vettel's advantage had been lost when he came across Tonio Liuzzi's Hispania in the final corners.

Mercedes had held first and second going into the closing minutes before both Red Bulls made their late improvements to take first and third.

The McLarens were fifth and sixth, Jenson Button ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Behind Vitaly Petrov's seventh-placed Renault, the Ferraris of Alonso and Massa were eighth and ninth. The former slowed after his soft tyre run, reporting that his car was stuck in sixth gear.

Buemi's soft tyre time in the Toro Rosso was good enough to keep him in 10th. His team-mate Jaime Alguersuari had the only notable incident of the session when he spun off at Turn 4.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m26.037s 17 2. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m26.038s + 0.001s 17 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m26.404s + 0.367s 16 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.420s + 0.383s 19 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.578s + 0.541s 17 6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m26.726s + 0.689s 14 7. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m26.755s + 0.718s 20 8. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.819s + 0.782s 12 9. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m26.883s + 0.846s 12 10. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m27.080s + 1.043s 16 11. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.121s + 1.084s 20 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m27.255s + 1.218s 18 13. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m27.318s + 1.281s 19 14. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m27.379s + 1.342s 17 15. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m27.528s + 1.491s 19 16. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m27.644s + 1.607s 18 17. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m27.724s + 1.687s 15 18. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m27.976s + 1.939s 19 19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m28.911s + 2.874s 15 20. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m29.697s + 3.660s 17 21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m31.097s + 5.060s 25 22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m31.175s + 5.138s 19 23. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m31.375s + 5.338s 19 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m32.009s + 5.972s 15 All timing unofficial 
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