BRITISH GRAND PRIX 2010: Sebastian Vettel sets the pace in final practice at Silverstone

Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel set the pace in final practice for tomorrow's British Grand Prix - but a late front wing failure will give his team cause for concern ahead of this afternoon's qualifying session.

The German driver's best lap of one minute 30.958 seconds was the best of the Silverstone weekend so far and he looked set to improve on that on his final run before the problem struck.

Heading into the revised Abbey turn, the nose of the Red Bull appeared to partially detach itself from the chassis, dropping the wing down and forcing the German off track.

Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel

Preparing for action: Sebastian Vettel was quickest at Silverstone

Vettel recovered the car to the pits but there will be furrowed brows in the Red Bull garage when he heads out for qualifying this afternoon if the cause of the problem is not diagnosed.

Vettel's team-mate Mark Webber spent the bulk of the session concentrating a long-fuel runs but went out on a light load in the final five minutes and snatched second place, just 0.034sec further back.

The McLarens of home favourites Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button again looked off the pace despite the team's decision to ditch their exhaust-blown diffuser for the remainder of the weekend.

Sebastian Vettel of Germany

Top German: Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton could manage only seventh, his time some 0.2s up on his best yesterday but still over half a second off the front-running Red Bulls.

Button was down in 12th, another 0.4 further back but again around 0.2 quicker than his best yesterday.

McLaren's decision to abandon their new diffuser appears to have given them some performance gain but, on this evidence at least, not enough to challenge for pole position later today.

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton

Doing it for the crowds: Lewis Hamilton is current championship leader

The two Britons each suffered two off-track moments today in a session which will do little to improve the mood in the McLaren camp.

The Ferraris looked on the pace, however, with Fernando Alonso keeping the Red Bulls honest with a strong third, just 0.143 behind Vettel, while team-mate Felipe Massa was fifth.

Sebastian Vettel pit crew

Tinkering: Sebastian Vettel's pit crew

Red Bull's Australian driver Mark Webber

Webber of intrgue: Red Bull's Australian driver Mark Webber on the straight

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg claimed fourth, the German again outpacing compatriot Michael Schumacher, who was eighth.

The consistent Robert Kubica took sixth for Renault, while elsewhere there were
problems for Force India's Adrian Sutil, who set the 15th-fastest time before suffering a gearbox problem which could leave the German facing a five-place grid drop if it needs replacing.

At the rear, there was again problems for Lotus' Jarno Trulli, who suffered with hydraulic issues for the second day in succession.

Meanwhile, McLaren has decided to ditch their exhaust blown diffuser for the remainder of the British Grand Prix weekend.

The Woking-based team had rushed through their own version of the innovative concept that has been on Red Bull Racing's cars since the start of the season.

The device, that channels away exhaust gases so removing wake from the rear wheels as well as creating more downforce and performance, has propelled Red
Bull to eight poles in nine grands prix this year.

McLaren had planned to introduce their design for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in a fortnight, but were eager to give themselves more of a winning
chance at Silverstone this weekend.

However, yesterday's two practice sessions in front of a record-equalling Friday crowd for the British Grand Prix of 85,000, did not go according to plan.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button could only manage eighth and 13th quickest, with the latter in particular admitting to difficulties in trying to find the correct balance.

The team have now returned to the old design of their car which may propel them closer to the front, but undoubtedly gives Red Bull the clear advantage in today's qualifying and for tomorrow's race.

McLaren engineers and test driver Gary Paffett have worked through the night in order to make the changes, with the first test coming in the final hour-long practice session.

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