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Vettel reigns supreme as the big guns fail to deliver

NEWS STORY
13/09/2008

Ahead of today's qualifying session, the air temperature is 20 degrees C, while the track temperature is 18 degrees.

Like yesterday's opening free practice session, this morning's session was pretty much a wash-out. Indeed, at one stage, such was the intensity of the rain, Nick Heidfeld advised that the FIA would do well to consider postponing this afternoon's 'shoot-out' should conditions be similar.

With half an hour to go the rain has stopped, but it remains overcast, and there is widespread belief that qualifying will see further downpours.

As happened this morning, as the cars prepare to go out, the rain begins to fall. However, unlike this morning it is not a light drizzle, this time around it's heavy from the outset.

The lights go green and Heidfeld heads the queue of drivers keen to get to work. The German is advised that the rain is strongest at the Lesmos. All twenty drivers are on track, all on extreme wets. As if to prove his crew right, spins 360 through the Parabolica while still on his out lap. Elsewhere, Alonso gets the first chicane wrong and Raikkonen is stuck behind a Honda.

This morning's pace-setter, Timo Glock, sets the benchmark, crossing the line at 1:39.655. Bourdais goes second, ahead of Sutil, Piquet and Alonso.

As Raikkonen goes fifteenth, Hamilton goes quickest with a 39.259. Within seconds, Glock and Sutil have both gone quicker. As Raikkonen slips down to twentieth, Kovalainen goes second (37.571).

Glock consolidates his top spot as Webber goes quickest in the first sector. Raikkonen improves to tenth, as Webber goes fifth (37.911).

Kovalainen goes quickest with a 36.405 as teammate Hamilton goes ninth. Next time around, the Finn improves with a 35.830, as Vettel goes second.

A 36.1345 sees Hamilton go second, making it a McLaren 1-2. Rosberg goes third ahead of Vettel and Alonso.

As Massa escapes the danger zone, moving up to fifth, Hamilton gets it wrong at Ascari losing precious time.

Rain-master Nick Heidfeld goes second with a 35.992, as Button gets it wrong at the first chicane.

With seven minutes remaining, Raikkonen is in the danger zone, along with Webber and Trulli. Rosberg improves to fifth, ahead of Massa, Alonso and Kubica. Next time around Massa (second) and Rosberg (third) both improve.

Raikkonen takes seventh with a 36.335, as Hamilton fits a new set of extreme wets.

Kovalainen goes quickest in the first sector, as Webber seeks to improve on nineteenth. As the Australian takes tenth (36.679), Kovalainen posts 35.214.

Most of those in the danger zone are the usual suspects, however, Kubica, Coulthard, Alonso and Webber are far from safe.

Bourdais improves to third with a 35.794, with just over a minute remaining. Elsewhere, Alonso is really struggling, going off twice on successive laps.

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