Having lingered around the foot of the top ten on Friday, Felipe Massa served notice of his intent to maintain an unbeaten recent record in the Turkish Grand Prix by posting the fastest time of Saturday morning practice.
The Brazilian, who has won the last three of the four races held at Istanbul Park to date, reset the benchmark for pace this weekend, ducking into the 1min 27secs range as Ferrari ramped up its performance ahead of qualifying. Clearly using his KERS in one burst exiting turn ten, Massa became the only driver to break out of the 1min 28s, as he lapped a fraction under the barrier - and just 0.039secs clear of his closest rival.
Toyota appeared back on form after its Monaco nightmare, with Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock claiming second and third spots, although both could have bettered their times had the German not spun and been stranded under yellow flags as his team-mate came through on a flier. Trulli nevertheless responded by improving on his previous mark to post a 1min 28.022secs effort late in the session.
A third Toyota-engined car ended the hour fourth fastest, as Kazuki Nakajima maintained his solid showing from day one by lapping 0.139secs off the pace for Williams, while Robert Kubica again hinted at better things for BMW Sauber by rounding out the top five.
Once again, however, the times proved to be close among the chasing pack, with Kubica's 1min 28.320secs effort one of four within four-tenths of Massa's mark, as everyone down to Heikki Kovalainen in 15th spot getting to within a second of the Brazilian.
Kovalainen's lowly appearance underlined how much the track, and strategies, may have changed since Friday, with second fastest day one runner Fernando Alonso reduced to second slowest in final practice as many drivers began reporting increased understeer. Points leader Jenson Button even claimed to have a mix of under and oversteer at various places around the lap, ending the session seventh fastest, one behind Brawn team-mate Rubens Barrichello and ahead of top ten runners Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, the German back on track after his Friday frustrations.
The Red Bull star was clearly pushing, joining a list of those to explore beyond the reaches of the circuit that also included Kovalainen, Button and Raikkonen, and ended the session a couple of tenths - and three places - ahead of team-mate Mark Webber as just 1.4secs covered the entire 20-car field.