Formula One: Kubica tops final practice in Japan
BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica topped the timesheets on Saturday in the third and final practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix.india Updated: Oct 11, 2008 09:06 IST
BMW Sauber driver Robert Kubica topped the timesheets on Saturday in the third and final practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix.
The Pole, who won his maiden Formula One race in Canada in June, recorded a lap of 1min 25.087 seconds in the dying stages of the one-hour session, which started on a damp track after heavy rain earlier in the day.
Kubica edged Toyota's Timo Glock, the surprise leader after Friday's afternoon practice, by 0.084 seconds for top spot.
Renault's Nelson Piquet, Kubica's teammate Nick Heidfeld and Williams' local hope Kazuki Nakajima rounded out the top five.
World championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who led the times early in the session, finished in 11th place for McLaren, while main rival Felipe Massa of Ferrari was seventh.
Hamilton leads Massa by seven points in the championship race with three Grand Prix remaining in the 18-round season -- at Japan, China, and Brazil.
Massa's teammate, reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen, languished back in 16th place after a lurid spin at the last corner with eight minutes remaining.
While the wet surface caught out many drivers, particularly at the end of the 1.4-kilometre straight where eight different cars ran off, just three men -- Raikkonen, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso for Renault and Toyota's Jarno Trulli -- spun.
All returned to the fray without further incident.
While no rain fell in the session, local forecasts suggest a chance of showers for Saturday afternoon's hour-long qualifying session.
Hamilton won last year's race at Fuji Speedway after qualifying on pole and then dominating the race from the front in torrential rain.