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Alonso fastest in final Hockenheim practice

Fernando Alonso edges Lewis Hamilton to top final practice - before the rain returns to Hockenheim.
Fernando Alonso claimed the mental edge ahead of qualifying for the German Grand Prix by topping the final free practice session at Hockenheim on Saturday morning.

The Spaniard, who holds a 13-point lead over Mark Webber at the head of the championship, beat both his rivals and the rain to claim top spot in the hour-long session, posting a 1min 16.014secs best before retiring to the pits several minutes ahead of the chequered flag. Anyone who hoped to usurp the Ferrari then had their ambitions dashed by the first drops of rain, which eventually turned into a torrential downpour as the final cars left the circuit.

Alonso's lap narrowly pipped that of Lewis Hamilton, who had early posted a 1min 16.091secs in the best of the McLarens, as the top eleven drivers got to within a second of the ultimate pace. Neither McLaren featured at the sharp end for much of the session, preferring instead to concentrate on the final stages of its evaluation programme before finally bolting on the qualifying set-up and going for a better lap. While Hamilton was able to vault straight into P1, however, team-mate Jenson Button - who had topped the rain-affected Friday times - was caught out by the late precipitation and proved unable to move off the foot of the table.

Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth fastest, both within a couple of tenths of Alonso, while the two Red Bulls were a simialr distance behind the Lotus, Mark Webber ahead of Sebastian Vettel. The Australian, however, will suffer in qualifying after picking up a gearbox penalty prior to the session, joining both Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean, who suffered similar fates in the run-up to the weekend.

Friday afternoon's fastest man, Pastor Maldonado, Felipe Massa, Kamui Kobayashi and Bruno Senna rounded out the top ten, with Grosjean the final man within a second of Alonso's benchmark. Joining Button at the 'wrong' end of the table, meanwhile, were the two Mercedes, with Michael Schumacher 15th and Rosberg 17th, although the seven-times champion was the only one to manage to find time as the rain began.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
20.07.2012 - Free Practice 2, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
20.07.2012 - - Free Practice 1, Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8
06.07.2012- Free Practice 1, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31
20.07.2012 - Free Practice 1, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F2012
Alex Wurz (AUT) and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN), Scuderia Ferrari 
Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA), Team Principal, Scuderia Ferrari 
Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF16-H.
27.08.2016. Qualifying
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF16-H.
27.08.2016. Qualifying
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.08.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34

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July 22, 2012 8:42 AM

It's One of the closest seasons for ages...and its the driver getting the little extra out of the car will decide weekends. From valencia..... Ferrari have caught the bull by its horns.been a long time coming ..but pat fry has made a difference .

R 25

July 22, 2012 9:55 AM

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