Nick Heidfeld surprised everyone by going fastest of all in the final free practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa. The BMW driver set a lap of 1m45.388s to go top, denying Force India's Adrian Sutil FP3 glory for the second week running in the process.
Sutil had set the pace for the last third of the session, and third is also the position he ended up in after Jarno Trulli sneaked ahead on his final lap as well to go second.
Romain Grosjean again outpaced his senior Renault teammate Fernando Alonso to go an impressive fourth fastest. He was another to set his 1m45.878s later on, but on the following tour, the Frenchman was lucky to escape a wild ride across the curbs at Fagnes when he over-stepped the limit on the tricky option tires.
Timo Glock continued Toyota's strong run in fifth ahead of Robert Kubica in the second BMW, Nico Rosberg and Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian was forced to use a back-up front wing for much of the session after hitting a small animal with his initial one early on. Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button completed the top 10.
Kimi Raikkonen was 11th fastest after an early off on the exit of Rivage cost him time for repairs to the Ferrari chassis, while his team-mate Luca Badoer finally faired slightly better.
Felipe Massa's substitute was 18th -- outpacing a rival for the first time this weekend -- and was only 1.6sec away from the ultimate pace, as things seem to be finally clicking inside the cockpit of the #3. Though it may still be a case of too little, too late.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:45.388 17
2. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:45.462 + 0.074 18
3. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:45.677 + 0.289 20
4. Grosjean Renault (B) 1:45.878 + 0.490 18
5. Glock Toyota (B) 1:45.908 + 0.520 18
6. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:45.987 + 0.599 18
7. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:46.040 + 0.652 19
8. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:46.114 + 0.726 21
9. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:46.301 + 0.913 17
10. Button Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:46.406 + 1.018 20
11. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:46.409 + 1.021 19
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:46.417 + 1.029 19
13. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:46.462 + 1.074 17
14. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:46.747 + 1.359 14
15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:46.814 + 1.426 22
16. Barrichello Brawn GP-Mercedes (B) 1:46.815 + 1.427 19
17. Alonso Renault (B) 1:46.926 + 1.538 14
18. Badoer Ferrari (B) 1:47.055 + 1.667 20
19. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:47.078 + 1.690 19
20. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) No time 3
All timing unofficial