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BMW's Kubica fastest in final European GP practice

BMW's Kubica fastest in final European GP practice

BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica timed the fastest lap in the final practice for the European Grand Prix at the new Valencia street circuit Saturday.
Kubica covered the 5.4-kilometer (3.4-mile) course in 1 minute, 38.754 seconds to edge Nico Rosberg of Williams, who had 1:38.877.
Kubica is fourth in the championship standings with 49 points, 13 behind leader Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.
Toro Rosso's Sebastian Bourdais was third fastest in the session with 1:39.009 while Japan's Kazuki Nakajima of Williams and Ferrari's Felipe Massa rounded out the top five.
The top two drivers in the overall standings all lagged behind, with Hamilton in seventh place after clocking 1:39.314. Ferrari's defending world champion Kimi Raikkonen, who is five points behind Hamilton in the standings, only managed 15th with 1:39.810.
Raikkonen had set the pace in practice Friday, narrowly ahead of Renault driver Fernando Alonso, who was 13th on Saturday.
An overnight deluge of rain caused concerns about a slippery track, but there were no serious incidents. At least four drivers had run-offs, including Raikkonen on turn 11 while Hamilton spun off momentarily at turn four.
The final practice session was held beneath storm-threatening clouds but the rain held off. Prior to the session, Alonso handed out little Spanish flag stickers to each of the drivers to place on their helmets in homage to the victims of the air crash in Madrid on Wednesday.
On Friday, the teams, organizers and Valencia authorities held a minute of silence at the track as part of Spain's three days of mourning.
Qualifying for grid positions in Sunday's 57-lap race _ the 12th of 18 races this season _ was to take place later Saturday.


Updated : 2021-05-15 23:44 GMT+08:00