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Alonso heads Ferrari 1-2 in final practice

Apr 13, 2013, 12:11 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-CHN-F1-PRACTICE Getty Images

Fernando Alonso has finished the final free practice session ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix quickest, leading a superb team display from Ferrari.

The Spanish driver took advantage of the soft tires late on in the session to post a quickest time of 1:35.391, a full six-tenths clear of teammate Felipe Massa. The Brazilian did show strong pace though, and he will be hoping to challenge for his first pole position in almost five years.

Lewis Hamilton finished third for Mercedes, and the 2008 world champion looked set to finish the session quickest until the Ferraris made their way out late on. Sebastian Vettel finished fourth, but he required a late lap to move up from outside the top ten. He was closely followed by Mark Webber, who finished over one second behind Alonso at the top.

The Red Bulls were followed by Adrian Sutil and Kimi Raikkonen, both of whom will be pleased with their pace, whilst McLaren showed signs of improvement to finish P8 and P9, with Button leading Perez.

Toro Rosso will be pleased with their showing in FP3, finishing 11th and 12th as they look to build upon Jean-Eric Vergne’s point in Malaysia. However, things were less bright for Nico Rosberg, as a hydraulic failure forced him to miss the final soft running, thus leaving him in 14th place.

Once again, tire management was key, and most drivers only opted for one run on the soft tire. During the long runs, there was little to separate Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes, presenting a close battle for qualifying later today.

For a complete classification of results, click here.

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