Spanish GP: Felipe Massa quickest in final practice

Felipe Massa
Felipe Massa

Ferrari's Felipe Massa edged Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen to set the pace in final practice at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Brazilian was just 0.006 seconds quicker than Raikkonen as less than four-tenths covered the top six.

Red Bull's Mark Webber was third, split from team-mate Sebastian Vettel by Lotus's Romain Grosjean.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was sixth having set his time earlier in the session on a slower track - as did Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in 9th.

Alonso was just 0.353secs behind team-mate Massa and the 15 minutes between their laps could easily have accounted for that margin.

Force India's Paul di Resta was seventh, 0.673secs off the pace, and just ahead of team-mate Adrian Sutil.

Toro Rosso suggested they have made a step forward with their car as Jean-Eric Vergne took 10th ahead of Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg.

McLaren continued to struggle, despite a significant upgrade to their car, with Jenson Button down in 12th, 1.25secs off the pace and team-mate Sergio Perez 14th.

The team decided overnight not to use the new front wing they have brought to this race.

Williams, another big name that has had a poor start to the season, have also brought updates and also appear not to have moved forward relative to the competition.

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said: "It was an interesting session. The wind is quite critical and it's getting the sectors together. We're very strong in the final sector but have a bit of work to do in the first sector.

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Inside F1 - Spanish Grand Prix

"You want to be as high up as you can, but as long as you are in the first three rows you should be OK."

Ferrari development driver Pedro de la Rosa said: "We have been working flat out since Bahrain, but F1 races are never easy and we obviously face very tough competitors.

"This is a very special grand prix and if we are going to win a race in the next few weeks let's hope it's this one. But Red Bull, Lotus and Mercedes are so strong here.

"We have done good development in the past few weeks, good testing on Friday, we have a good understanding of the car.

"We are looking towards the race. I am not too worried about qualifying - it is more important to save enough tyres for the race.

"Pole here is not as important as it used to be. But this is one of the strongest circuits for Fernando and he will obviously fight hard."

Third Practice result

1. Felipe Massa - Ferrari - 1:21.901

2. Kimi Raikkonen - Lotus - 1:21.907

3. Mark Webber - Red Bull - 1:22.044

4. Romain Grosjean - Lotus - 1:22.069

5. Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull - 1:22.229

6. Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 1:22.254

7. Paul Di Resta - Force India - 1:22.574

8. Adrian Sutil - Force India - 1:22.729

9. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:22.740

10. Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso - 1:22.759

11. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1:22.839

12. Jenson Button - McLaren - 1:23.151

13. Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber - 1:23.371

14. Sergio Perez - McLaren - 1:23.373

15. Pastor Maldonado - Williams - 1:23.385

16. Nico Hulkenberg - Sauber - 1:23.388

17. Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 1:23.660

18. Daniel Ricciardo - Toro Rosso - 1:23.767

19. Charles Pic - Caterham - 1:24.775

20. Jules Bianchi - Marussia - 1:24.793

21. Max Chilton - Marussia - 1:25.135

22. Giedo van der Garde - Caterham - 1:25.250

Spanish Grand Prix, day two

Saturday, 11 May:
Qualifying: 12:10 BST live BBC One, 12:55 BST on 5 live sports extra, live text commentary online.

Spanish Grand Prix, day three

Sunday, 21 April:
Race: 12:10 BST live BBC One and 13:00 on 5 live, live text commentary online.

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