SUZUKA, Japan, Oct 6, 2012 (AFP) - Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel on Saturday set the fastest time in final practice for the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.
Germany's Vettel, who has started from pole position three times this season, clocked a best time of one minute 32.136 seconds, just over two-tenths of a second quicker than the Australian.
Third fastest, almost half a second behind Webber, was Felipe Massa, whose position at Ferrari is under intense scrutiny as the season reaches its climax.
Behind the Brazilian was Michael Schumacher of Mercedes, who recovered well from Friday afternoon's crash but faces a 10-place grid penalty for causing a collision in the last race in Singapore.
Fifth and sixth fastest were the Sauber pair of Sergio Perez, the young Mexican who is bound for McLaren in 2013, and Kamui Kobayashi, the only Japanese driver in Formula 1.
Seventh was France's Romain Grosjean in a Lotus, with Briton Jenson Button of McLaren eighth-quickest after being slowed by heavy traffic in a busy end to the one-hour session.
Paul di Resta also fought back well from a Friday accident to finish ninth fastest for Force India, whose other driver, Nico Hulkenberg, crashed heavily with 20 minutes of the session remaining.
Tenth fastest for Williams was Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.
Below the times for the session:
.1. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Red Bull RB8) 1:32.136 .2. Mark Webber (AUS/Reb Bull RB8) 1:32.371 .3. Felipe Massa (BRA/Ferrari F2012) 1:32.824 .4. Michael Schumacher (GER/Mercedes F1 W03) 1:32.918 .5. Sergio Pérez (MEX/Sauber C31) 1:32.920 .6. Kamui Kobayashi (JPN/Sauber C31) 1:32.924 .7. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus E20) 1:33.008 .8. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren MP4-27) 1:33.025 .9. Paul di Resta (GBR/Force India VJM05) 1:33.094 10. Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Williams FW34) 1:33.160 11. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Ferrari F2012) 1:33.093 12. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Lotus E20) 1:33.224 13. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/McLaren MP4-27) 1:33.569 14. Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA/Toro Rosso STR7) 1:33.722 15. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes F1 W03) 1:33.899 16. Bruno Senna (BRA/Williams FW34) 1:33.984 17. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Toro Rosso STR7) 1:34.023 18. Niko Hülkenberg (GER/Force India VJM05) 1:34.369 19. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN/Caterham CT01) 1:35.568 20. Vitaly Petrov (RUS/Caterhan CT01) 1:36.355 21. Timo Glock (GER/Marussia MR01) 1:36.389 22. Charles Pic (FRA/Marussia MR01) 1:36.517 23. Narain Karthikeyan (IND/HRT 112) 1:36.649 24. Pedro de la Rosa (ESP/HRT 112) 1:36.875