Nico Rosberg did it again in first practice for the Turkish Grand Prix as the Williams driver went fastest in the final moments of the session.
The German, who has set the pace 10 times in practice sessions this year, beat World Champion Lewis Hamilton with a last-gasp lap after the McLaren man had occupied the top spot for much of practice.
With the track extremely dirty early on - so much so that plumes of dust were thrown up by the cars on their installation laps – it was a long time before anyone set a time.
When they did, more than 30 minutes into the 90, it was Hamilton that laid down a marker with a 1m33.992s lap. But that circulation featured an off at the first corner -a regular feature in the first session –and the Briton subsequently improved to a 1m32.205s on his next tour.
Several drivers joined the McLaren on the bumpy and green circuit, and thus many men also swiftly left the track unprompted at various points, though all rejoined.
Jarno Trulli showed Toyota's potential in Turkey when he went fastest at the halfway stage, but he was quickly bumped down the order by Kazuki Nakajima in the other Williams.
The Japanese Williams driver stayed on top for all of five minutes before the Felipe Massa moved to the top in the Ferrari. But he too was swept aside, first by Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull and then again Hamilton.
With just 18 minutes of the session to go, Massa was seeking to retake the top position when he ran wide on the exit of Turn 1, just as has several other drivers had done previously, and ripped up some of the AstroTurf lining the kerbs. This caused the session to be stopped while repairs were made.
The stoppage triggered a late rush that saw Hamilton improve his time to 1m29.263s. But it wasn't enough, as Rosberg did his usual trick and waited until the very last moment to go fastest with a 1m28.952s.
Trulli ended up third ahead of Vettel, with Massa fifth and Nakajima sixth. Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso, Rubens Barrichello and Heikki Kovalainen completed the top ten. World championship leader Jenson Button was 11th.
Of the several spinners, Timo Glock, Giancarlo Fisichella, Massa and Vettel were notable, while many other drivers ran wide at the hot spot points of Turns 1, 4 and 8.TIMES:
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:28.952 24
2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:29.263 + 0.311 23
3. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:29.271 + 0.319 26
4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:29.337 + 0.385 17
5. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:29.342 + 0.390 22
6. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:29.371 + 0.419 21
7. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:29.398 + 0.446 24
8. Alonso Renault (B) 1:29.422 + 0.470 24
9. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:29.525 + 0.573 24
10. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:29.590 + 0.638 19
11. Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1:29.747 + 0.795 20
12. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:29.864 + 0.912 21
13. Glock Toyota (B) 1:29.934 + 0.982 25
14. Piquet Renault (B) 1:30.132 + 1.180 18
15. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:30.176 + 1.224 21
16. Kubica BMW-Sauber (B) 1:30.645 + 1.693 22
17. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber (B) 1:30.689 + 1.737 19
18. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:30.729 + 1.777 22
19. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:30.838 + 1.886 24
20. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:30.944 + 1.992 25
All Timing Unofficial