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Kubica takes P1 in practice, as Alonso shunts

Robert Kubica claimed top spot in final practice for the Monaco GP, as Fernando Alonso crashed out.

Robert Kubica put his best lap on the line as he secured top spot in final practice for the Renault F1 team, but Fernando Alonso did more than that as he piled his Ferrari into the barriers approaching Massenet and faces a race against time to be ready for Monaco GP qualifying.

Kubica defied traffic late in his flying lap to topple Red Bull's Mark Webber from the top of the timesheets, having thrown his R30 around the streets of the Principality, and survived the final few minutes of the hour-long session in which an equally-lary Felipe Massa also pipped the Australian for second spot. Kubica's time also reset the benchmark for the weekend, lowering Alonso's Thursday best by a tenth as he clocked 1min 14.806secs.

The Pole ended the morning just 0.046secs to the good, however, as Massa defied several close shaves to slot into second spot for a Ferrari team already facing one major rebuild in the two hours before qualifying. The Brazilian appeared to kiss the barriers at the Swimming Pool having already slid wide at Loews Hairpin earlier in the hour. He left the pits after having his wing 'taped up' to set his best lap.

Webber was only just over a tenth off the pace, having moved to the head of the times midway through the session, Paddock wisdom suggests that he, and Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, may have pace in reserve for qualifying but, as the traffic problems of practice showed, no-one is guaranteed a clear lap. Webber himself was forced to break hard after coming across a near-stationary Michael Schumacher at Rascasse, the German having slowed to give himself a clear run behind two cars ahead of him, while others - including Kubica and Schumacher's Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg - ran into notable hold-ups while trying for a time.

In the end, less than a second separated the top dozen drivers, with sevens teams included in the leading group. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, Vettel, Schumacher, Rosberg, Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari and Force India duo Adrian Sutil - who also clanged a wall - and Tonio Liuzzi all featured, with Williams' Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello respectively 1.3 and 1.4secs adrift of the pace.

Joining the Brazilian veteran in that time bracket were Vitaly Petrov and Alonso, the Spaniard no doubt capable of more had he not destroyed the right-hand side of his F10 on the barriers climbing the hill towards Casino Square. Alonso ruefully admitted that the accident had been the result of driver error, and now faces an anxious wait to see if the car can be repaired in time for qualifying - and in a state that will allow him to escape from the opening phase of the knock-out session.

Alonso still had enough pace early in the session to see off the similarly-powered Saubers which, in turn, had a second in hand over the best of the newcomers, Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen. Virgin Racing's Timo Glock, meanwhile, brought up the rear after coasting to a halt at the harbour-front chicane after just three laps.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Thursday Practice1, Timo Glock (GER), Virgin Racing, VR-01
Thursday Practice1, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F10
Thursday Practice2, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and 3rd place Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
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,Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H  leads Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.11.2016 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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Mick - Unregistered

May 16, 2010 1:17 AM

lets not pretend, i am NOT an Alonso fan... but i am a fan of F1. i think each & every driver in F1 is there because they are the best at what they do. i love the bar room banter in here but the swings are beyond belief! you make comments based on one GP...Duhh, "LH will beat JB" "FM will be creamed by FA" as far as i can see (& i race also) if you put almost any of those guys in a front running car, they will do front running times..... why oh why do you predict? Apart from Alonso (oh! did you see his eyebrow wax?) they are nice guys, fast, honest & fair. except maybe FA.... bit of a premadonna.....



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