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Vettel fastest in final Valencia practice

Sebastian Vettel headed a Red Bull 1-3 in final practice for the European Grand Prix, with Robert Kubica in between.
Despite Red Bull Racing not being tipped as favourite to succeed on the Valencia street circuit that hosts the European Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel claimed the fastest time of the weekend so far in third and final practice.

The German swapped times with RBR team-mate Mark Webber through the heart of the hour-long session before emerging on top with a lap of 1min 38.052secs, over a second quicker than Ferrari's Fernando Alonso managed on Friday. Webber remained a threat to the end, eventually taking the chequered flag a couple of tenths adrift of Vettel, but was pushed back to third overall as Renault's Robert Kubica sneaked into second spot.

The Pole, a dark horse for qualifying after his previous street circuit showings in Australia and Monaco, wound up just over a tenth off the pace, while Adrian Sutil threw his hat into the ring for a qualifying surprise of his own with fourth place for Force India, the German the best Mercedes runner and ahead of Friday pacesetter Alonso.

Having dominated the opening session, Mercedes found itself further down the order than expected, with Tonio Liuzzi taking seventh in the second Force India ahead of Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, in ninth, tenth, eleventh and 15th overall. Last year's Valencia racewinner, Rubens Barrichello, added to the surprises by taking sixth spot for Williams, while Felipe Massa completed the top ten runners.

Heikki Kovalainen again headed the new teams in 19th spot, but was 1.7secs off the last of the established entries, Pedro de la Rosa's Sauber.



Related Pictures

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Friday Practice1, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
Race, Robert Kubica (POL), Renault F1 Team, R30 and Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM03
Friday Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 practices a pit stop.
23.02.2017.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 practices a pit stop.
23.02.2017.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 practices a pit stop.
23.02.2017.
Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 practices a pit stop.
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(L to R): Andrew Green (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Technical Director; Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1; Dr. Vijay Mallya (IND) Sahara Force India F1 Team Owner; Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 Team; Robert Fernley (GBR) Sahara Force India F1 Team Deputy Team Principal, and the Sahara Force India F1 VJM10.
22.02.2017.
(L to R): Bob Bell (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chief Technical Officer with Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director; Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President; Thierry Koskas, Renault Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing; and Louise Ekland (GBR).
21.02.2017.
Renault Sport Academy Drivers (L to R): Max Fewtrell (GBR); Jack Aitken (GBR); Jarno Opmeer (NLD); Sun Yue Yang (CHN). 
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Sun Yue Yang (CHN) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
21.02.2017.
Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Renault Sport F1 Team Third Driver.
21.02.2017.
Jarno Opmeer (NLD) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
21.02.2017.
Max Fewtrell (GBR) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
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Max Fewtrell (GBR) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
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Max Fewtrell (GBR) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
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Jack Aitken (GBR) Renault Sport Academy Driver.
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Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team.
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