• Turkish Grand Prix

Vettel shows Red Bull's true potential in final practice

ESPNF1 Staff
May 29, 2010 « Hellmund insists US Grand Prix funding in place | »
Sebastian Vettel topped final practice © Getty Images

Sebastian Vettel showed what the Red Bull is capable of at the Turkish Grand Prix this weekend by setting the fastest time in an action-packed final practice session ahead of qualifying.

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg was second fastest, setting a time just 0.237 seconds shy of Vettel completely out of the blue. In doing so, he threw his name into the mix for a front-row grid slot this afternoon, having struggled for pace alongside team-mate Michael Schumacher on Friday. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will also be a strong contender and set the third fastest time, 0.310 off Vettel.

Hamilton made a mistake earlier in session at turn eight and ended up in the gravel. But with a helping push he managed to get his car back to the pits, dragging his diffuser teh whole way due to three flat tyres. Once the team had patched up the damage he was back on track with no obvious side effects.

Another man struggling to cope through turn eight was Mark Webber. After bolting on soft tyres he also spun off at the 170mph, quadruple apex corner, ruining any chance of setting a competitive lap time in the morning session. He also made mistakes at turn one and turn four in the closing minutes, which will have done nothing for his confidence and chances of securing a third consecutive pole position.

To add to his woes, he had another reliability scare early in the session when he was forced to drive his car very slowly back to the pits on tick-over. The team confirmed over the radio that his electronic throttle was no longer communicating with the engine but had the problem fixed within 15 minutes.

Robert Kubica had no such issues and again impressed in his Renault, setting the sixth fastest time. He was ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari and Schumacher's Mercedes. Jenson Button failed to show the competitiveness he had on Friday and was 0.877 off the pace in eighth, just ahead of Felipe Massa who continued to struggle in his Ferrari.

Adrian Sutil had hoped to be in the running for a top-ten grid position this weekend but was dealt a major blow when his car suffered a hydraulic problem early in the session. He was forced to roll back to the pits in gear and when he got there his car came to an abrupt halt with the transmission completely locked. He didn't return to the circuit for the rest of the session and will go into qualifying somewhat blind having not attempted a proper run in the current track conditions.