Sao Paulo: Renault’s Robert Kubica kept Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel off the top of the timing screens in a wet final practice for the potentially title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Pole lapped the undulating anti-clockwise Interlagos circuit in one minute 19.191 seconds, with Vettel’s best lap 0.309 slower.
Vettel, fourth in the championship and one of five contenders for the Formula One title with one race remaining after Brazil, had been quickest in both Friday sessions.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, experimenting with different rear wings in a search for more performance, was third fastest ahead of the Ferrari pairing of Brazilian Felipe Massa and championship leader Fernando Alonso.
Alonso can become the sport’s youngest triple champion on Sunday if results go his way.
The Spaniard is 11 points clear of Red Bull’s Australian Mark Webber and 21 ahead of Hamilton. Vettel is 25 points off the lead and McLaren’s 2009 world champion Jenson Button barely in contention with 42 points to make up.
Button was ninth in a session that started with all drivers on extreme wet tyres, Webber 11th after being second fastest in both on Friday.
The Australian completed just six laps, compared to Vettel’s 17 however.
More rain was forecast for the later qualifying session.
While Alonso is the only driver who can win the title this weekend, the blunt-speaking Webber has attracted more headlines with comments accusing his team of favouring Vettel and depicting himself as an ‘inconvenient’ contender.
The Australian has also been dogged by paddock speculation that he could leave Red Bull at the end of the season, despite having a contract for 2011.