Button edges Vettel

  • Last Updated: November 24 2012, 16:25 GMT

Jenson Button was the driver to beat in final practice in Brazil, topping the times on the hard and medium tyres to finish with a 1:13.188, 0.057s up on Sebastian Vettel.

Jenson Button: Set fastest time on Saturday
Jenson Button: Set fastest time on Saturday

With the track temperature sitting at 38'C, Mercedes got down to business immediately as Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher didn't even bother with an installation lap, instead posting times immediately. A 1:15.034 put Schumacher in the P1 slot after the first ten minutes.

Kimi Raikkonen's practice was over before it even began as the Finn slowed down and parked it after an engine blow-out that spewed smoke from the rear of his Lotus.

Back at the front Jenson Button was leading with a 1:14.419 ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who soon took over from his team-mate. That sparked a brief battle between the McLaren team-mates for supremacy before Sebastian Vettel joined the action, slotting in between the duo while Mark Webber took fourth.

Halfway through the session they were the leading quartet while Fernando Alonso, who was a late starter was seventh, one position behind his team-mate Felipe Massa.

There was a brief lull after as the front runners heading back into the pits to change set-ups and check in before heading back out for another run on the hard tyres.

Schumacher was the first to head out on the medium tyres and was on a much better lap when Bruno Senna spun out ahead of him, forcing the German to take avoiding action as the Williams came back across the track in his path. After the Merc runs silence descended as the fielded headed back into the pits to swap to the softer, faster rubber for the final ten minutes.

Nico Hulkenberg hit the front only to lose out to Paul di Resta who in turn lost out to Button with a 1:13.192. Lap after lap his rivals tried to close the gap only for Button to put in an even quicker 1:13.188. Vettel came the closest to matching him, 0.057s adrift. Webber was third. Alonso put in just one lap on the mediums before heading back into the pits for the final few minutes of practice.

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