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Alonso paces final practice.

Fernando Alonso raised the bar another notch in final free practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, taking the benchmark time for a lap of the Marina Bay circuit down into the 1min 44s for the first time.

As he had on Friday night, the two-time world champion waited until the end of the session to make his mark, deposing nemesis Lewis Hamilton from P1 with a lap of 1min 44.506secs. The time, however, did suggest that Renault - which also had Nelson Piquet Jr in fourth place - had focused on its qualifying effort, while others were continuing their long-term programmes, as Alonso ended the hour fully six-tenths clear.

Hamilton ended the early evening session in second spot, a tenth ahead of championship rival Felipe Massa, with Piquet Jr and Nico Rosberg rounding out the top five. The Williams driver again looked more impressive than he has for much of the season, while Jenson Button gave Honda another boost by taking the sixth best time, putting the beleaguered Brackley team ahead of BMW Sauber, seventh with Robert Kubica, Red Bull (Mark Webber) and Toro Rosso, which rounded out the top ten with Italian GP winner Sebastian Vettel and the improving Sebastien Bourdais.

Alonso, however, was not immune to the wiles of the Marina Bay circuit, being caught out along with day one victim Webber, but the biggest error befell Giancarlo Fisichella, who hit the wall hard after finding his Force India airborne over the kerbs. Kazuki Nakajima and Kimi Raikkonen also had moments, the world champion stalling his Ferrari in an escape road.

Hamilton's McLaren's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, fourth fastest on day one, was only 13th fastest as he bedded in a fresh engine after invoking his 'joker', while Raikkonen ended the session way down in 17th, one ahead of David Coulthard, the Scot the only driver not to get into double figures in terms of laps as his Red Bull fell victim to hydraulic problems.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Singapore F1 Grand Prix, 26th-28th, September 2008
25.06.2017 - Race, The race stopped, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.06.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.06.2017 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
25.06.2017 - Race, Alain Prost (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Team Special Advisor
25.06.2017 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 and Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.06.2017 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Renault Sport F1 Team RS17 leads Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team VF-17
25.06.2017 - Race, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32
25.06.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
25.06.2017 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12

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