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2013-08-24 13:52

RED BULL TRUMPS FREERARI: Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel tops the time sheets for the second time ahead of qualifying for the Belgian GP. Image: AFP

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium - Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel led Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at the top of the time sheets in final practice for the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix.

Vettel lapped the 7km circuit, the longest and second fastest on the 2013 calendar, with a best time of 1min48.327 set in the last two minutes of the dry session on the medium tyre.

Alonso had been quickest until then with a time 0.105 slower.


Alonso and Vettel, the 2013 Championship leader, were quickest during the first and second practice sessions respectively.

They were also at the centre of a flurry of concern about the Pirelli tyres when both suffered right rear punctures within seconds of each other during second practice.

After a full investigation, Pirelli ruled out any tyre-related issues and placed the blame on a metal plate shed from another car and found on the track during a later inspection.

There were no visible tyre problems in during third practice session.

Mark Webber, Vettel's team mate, was third fastest as he limbered up for what will be his last Belgian Grand Prix before moving to sportscar racing with Porsche at the end 2013.


Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne was fourth with Ferrari's Felipe Massa fifth. McLaren's Jenson Button, 2012 race winner from pole, was an encouraging sixth on the timesheets.

Mercedes appeared to be struggling, however, with Lewis Hamilton, who will be chasing his fourth successive pole later, only 12th fastest with team mate Nico Rosberg ninth.

The timings meant Hamilton, the 2008 world champion and winner of the previous race in Hungary, had failed to appear in the top 10 in any of the three practice sessions.

Vettel leads Kimi Raikkonen by 38 points with nine of the 19 races remaining. Alonso is a point behind Raikkonen and Hamilton a further nine adrift.

2013 Belgian Grand Prix at de Spa-Francorchamps:
Final practice results

1 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min48.327
2 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min48.432
3 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull  1min48.533
4 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso  1min48.776
5 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min48.788
6 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min48.882
7 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber  1min48.930
8 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus  1min48.967
9 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min48.993
10. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus  1min49.008
11. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso  1min49.035
12. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min49.046
13. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India  1min49.122
14. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams  1min49.177
15. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India  1min49.226
16. Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 1min49.417
17 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber  1min49.478
18. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams  1min50.418
19 Charles Pic (France) Caterham  1min51.416
20. Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham  1min51.800
21 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia  1min52.221
22 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia  1min53.507

Second practice
First practice

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Belgian GP weekend.

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