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DATE News (chronologically)
04/04/09
f1
Malaysia Practice 3: Rosberg again on top  
Nico Rosberg was fastest again in final practice
(GMM)  Both Brawn runners had a worryingly smoky final practice session at Sepang on Saturday afternoon, but the team insists it remains on track.

"It's just that we're running maximum oil level," engineer Jock Clear, alluding to engine overfill, told a concerned Rubens Barrichello during the session.

The Brazilian completed the session without problem and ninth quickest, and teammate Jenson Button was tenth, the Briton having also reported "a big puff" of white smoke from his customer Mercedes at the exit of a corner.

Engine failures this year do not attract penalties until a driver has run through eight power plants, but a problem in round two would put the Brawn pair behind schedule for the season.

Williams' Nico Rosberg finished the practice session fastest, for the fifth time out of the six practice sessions so far in 2009.

Runners for Red Bull, Ferrari and Toyota were also in the top seven, but the two McLarens and Renaults continued their struggle for pace.

Melbourne winner Button believes Ferrari is the favorite to win on Sunday.

"You might think I'm crazy or that I'm trying to talk us down but I think that Ferrari are the team to beat at this moment," said the Brawn driver.

McLaren mechanics sent reporters and FIA scrutineers into a spin during the session, when they were spotted spraying a tire with a can of unidentified liquid.

"I have never seen that before in formula one," former driver and BBC commentator Anthony Davidson said.

It turned out the can contained only water, as the mechanics were hunting for an apparent small puncture.

It has been confirmed that BMW's Nick Heidfeld, but hot his taller teammate Robert Kubica, will again use KERS this weekend.

It was a hot and humid practice session, with heavy cloud overhead and a few minor spots of rain.

Heikki Kovalainen dealt with the heat by clutching at a bag of ice when in the garage, while Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel revealed on Friday that he is using a bag of dry-ice this weekend "which I put next to my balls".

Practice 3 Results

Pos

Driver Car Time Behind Laps
1. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:35.940 +0.000 19
2. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:36.048 +0.108 13
3. Massa Ferrari 1:36.089 +0.149 13
4. Trulli Toyota 1:36.132 +0.192 21
5. Glock Toyota 1:36.189 +0.249 22
6. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:36.194 +0.254 14
7. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.322 +0.382 14
8. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:36.325 +0.385 18
9. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.519 +0.579 19
10. Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:36.541 +0.601 17
11. Kubica BMW-Sauber 1:36.563 +0.623 18
12. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.657 +0.717 15
13. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:36.742 +0.802 13
14. Alonso Renault 1:37.004 +1.064 16
15. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 1:37.026 +1.086 18
16. Piquet Renault 1:37.032 +1.092 18
17. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:37.118 +1.178 18
18. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:37.282 +1.342 17
19. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:37.322 +1.382 16
20. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:37.398 +1.458 19

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