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Alonso fastest in final Monaco practice.

Fernando Alonso stole the limelight from more expected frontrunners as the practice phase of this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix came to an end, posting a late 1min 15.164secs to keep Jenson Button from the top of the timesheets.

Top spot changed hands with some regularity towards the end of the hour but, unlike other races on more conventional circuits, the big guns continued to feature, with Brawn, McLaren and Ferrari all putting at least one driver in P1.

Alonso, running without KERS this weekend, moved to the front with a couple of minutes remaining, with Button lagging 0.069secs behind the Renault as the chequered flag fell. The remainder of the top five, meanwhile, was within a couple of tenths, with Heikki Kovalainen, Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa next up.

Ferrari and McLaren continued to hint at better form this weekend, with Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton both among the pacesetters, the Briton having been the man to beat until the latter stages, when he appeared to allow others centre stage. Nevertheless, he finished the hour in seventh spot, and should be a threat for a solid qualifying position.

Red Bull, by contrast, appeared to be keeping its powder dry, with Sebastian Vettel only eighth, and Mark Webber tenth, and half a second off the pace. The pair sandwiched regular FP3 pacesetter Nico Rosberg, with the second Williams, of Kazuki Nakajima, in eleventh spot.

The Japanese driver was the last of those within a second of Alonso's time, with Adrian Sutil only just missing the bracket as he lapped 1.064secs shy in the best of the Force Indias. The Silverstone team showed promise with Giancarlo Fisichella 14th, despite one lairy moment at the seafront chicane, but may have been running lighter than its rivals as it moved away from the lower reaches of the table.

Force India's usual positions were filled by 'unlikely lads' Toyota and BMW Sauber, which failed to break out of the bottom four with any of its drivers. Nelson Piquet Jr and Sebastien Buemi filled the space between Fisichella and the stragglers.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29, Monaco F1 Grand Prix, 21st-24th, May 2009
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Luis Fernando Ramos (BRA), Journalist
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16

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