Fernando Alonso dominated this weekend's final practice session in Singapore this evening, clocking a time of 1m44.506s to go over six tenths of a second clear at the top of the timesheets. After topping last night's second practice, Alonso clocked his time on the super soft Bridgestone tyre, just seconds after former team-mate Lewis Hamilton had displaced Felipe Massa from the top with a time of 1m45.119s. Massa completed the top three with a 1m45.246s.
Like yesterday, conditions were dry but humid as the cars took to the track for the final hour of running ahead of qualifying, with the Force India duo of Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil leading the pack. Toyota's Timo Glock got the ball rolling with a time of 1m48.097s after ten minutes, before Nelson Piquet, Kimi Räikkönen and Seabstian Vettel took over at the top.Nelson Piquet then took the lead for 20 minutes with a time of 1m45.249s, before Massa pipped him by three thousandths of a second.
In fifth place, Nico Rosberg continued to underline the potential of the Williams package here, with a time of 1m45.386s. Jenson Button was similarly impressive in the Honda, clocking the sixth-fastest time of 1m45.409s. Robert Kubica (1m45.425s), Mark Webber (1m45.450s), Sebastian Vettel (1m45.477s) and Sébastien Bourdais (1m45.599s) rounded out the top ten drivers.
Nick Heidfeld (1m45.689s) secured 11th, followed by Kazuki Nakajima and Heikki Kovalainen who both clocked identical times of 1m45.982s, with Nakajima getting 12th by setting the time first. 14th went to Rubens Barrichello (1m46.073s), followed by both Toyotas, with Glock (1m46.180s) ahead of Trulli (1m46.221s). Kimi Räikkönen ended the session down in 17th (1m46.794s) after he was unable to turn his Ferrari around after running up an escape road at turn 7 on his second run. Having been in fourth after the end of his first run, he slipped through the field as others improved.
Having lost two of the three hours running yesterday on Mark Webber's car, Red Bull were dealt a further blow when David Coulthard lost almost the entire session today thanks to a gearbox problem. The Scot cruised back to the pits at the end of his installation lap at the start of the hour, stuck in third gear. He was eventually able to return to the track after repairs, with just five minutes left on the clock. Giancarlo Fisichella (1m47.166s) in 19th lost 15 minutes of running when he crashed his Force India into the barriers at turn 10, having lost control after hitting the notoriously high kerbs, before going head-on into the barrier. The Italian still ended up faster than team-mate Sutil (1m47.727s).
Other than the incidents involving Fisichella and Räikkönen, there was little to report, with some drivers making a number of small mistakes. The apex of turn 2 was a popular corner to miss, while Mark Webber had to take to the escape road at turn 18 twice, in an attempt not to replicate his crash from yesterday. Jarno Trulli also had to take to an escape road, after braking too late for turn 13.
Undoubtedly, the big questions emerging from today and yesterday's sessions is whether or not Fernando Alonso and Renault will be able to mount a serious challenge for pole position. The Spaniard is a renowned street track specialist, having won at Monaco twice, and after the blistering pace he showed here this evening, he will definitely go into qualifying with a decent chance of a good result. Team-mate Piquet in fourth underlines the R28 pace around here, with McLaren and Ferrari likely to be wary of the threat to their grid positions.
Qualifying begins at 22.00 local time in Singapore, or 14.00 GMT.