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Raikkonen shines as Michael fluffs it

NEWS STORY
24/04/2005

As we prepare for the start of today's qualifying session, the air temperature is 16 degrees C, while the track temperature is a very cool 16 degrees, which is sure to suit the Bridgestones.

Furthermore, overnight rain will have washed away much of the rubber on the track, all of which will conspire to make the forthcoming session even more interesting.

At 10:00 precisely, Patrick Friesacher exits the pits, the session is underway.

The Austrian is pushing hard even on his out lap, although the conditions don't help. Despite his best efforts it's a wild lap, he's really fighting the car. At the line it's 1:30.564.

Next out is teammate Christijan Albers. At the first split he's 0.7s up on his teammate, however he makes a massive mistake at Variante Alta, losing the back of the car. He brushes the wall, game over.

Tiago Monteiro is already on his out lap, at the first split he's already 1.8s up on Friesacher, extending the gap to 2.7s by the second split. At the line he posts 1:29.152, a good lap from the youngster.

Karthikeyan is next out in the second Jordan. He's a massive 1.9s up on the Portuguese driver at the first split, while at the second the gap is still 1.9s. At the line the Indian posts 1:28.976, a good solid lap.

Last out before the break is Tonio Liuzzi. At the first split the Italian Red Bull driver is a whopping 2.3s up on Karthikeyan. At the second split the gap is up to 3s, the youngster using every inch of track. He goes wide at the second Rivazza but still manages to post 1:26.351. A good lap.

Next out is Giancarlo Fisichella, who was clearly unhappy following yesterday's session. At the first split the Melbourne winner is just 0.3s on Liuzzi, while at the second split the gap is a more respectable 0.8s. At the line it's 1:25.002, a conservative lap.

David Coulthard is the second of the Red Bull drivers to run, At the first split the Scot is a full second down on Fisichella, while at the second split the gap has risen to 1.2s. At the line the veteran posts 1:26.438, a disappointing lap, more due to the car than the driver.

Jacques Villeneuve is on track in the Sauber, the Canadian finishing the first sector 0.7s up on Fisichella. He's still up on the Italian at the second split, going on to cross the line at 1:25.260, to take provisional pole. A great lap.

Ralf Schumacher completes the first sector 0.3s ahead of Villeneuve, maintaining the gap in the second sector. At the line the German posts 1:24.422, one of his best laps thus far this weekend.

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello is next out. At the first split the Brazilian is just 0.1s down on the Toyota driver. At the second split he's up, but it's marginal. At the line the Ferrari star posts 1:24.351, to take provisional pole.

At the second break, it's: Barrichello ahead of Ralf, Villeneuve, Fisichella, Coulthard, Liuzzi, Karthikeyan, Monteiro and Friesacher.

Takuma Sato leaves the BAR garage to begin his out lap. At the first split the Japanese driver is 0.2s up on Barrichello, and at the second he's still 0.2s up on the Ferrari. At the line it's 1:23.807, provisional pole for the BAR driver.

WilliamsF1's Nick Heidfeld is on track, the German completing the first sector just 0.02s up on Sato. At the second split he's lost time, he's now 0.1s down on the BAR driver. At the line it's 1:24.389, he goes second.

At the first split, Alexander Wurz is marginally up on Sato, extending the gap to 0.1s by the end of the second sector. At the line it's 1:24.389, as he's very cautious in the final chicane. He goes third.

At the end of the first sector, Felipe Massa is already 0.1s up on Sato, although he loses some of this 'lead' in the second sector. He crosses the line at 1:24.337, to go third… however he loses ten spots because of that engine change on Friday.

At the end of the first sector, Jarno Trulli is a massive 0.5s up on Sato. He loses a little ground in the second sector, but he's still ahead of the BAR driver. He ragged around Rivazza, but crosses the line at 1:24.026, to take provisional pole. Not the best of laps, but good enough.

At the final break, it's: Trulli, Sato, Wurz, Massa, Heidfeld, Barrichello, Ralf, Villeneuve, Fisichella and Coulthard.

Next out is Jenson Button, who, never mind pole, will be out to beat his teammate. At the end of the first sector the Englishman is up on Trulli, but it's marginal. At the end of the second sector he's 0.3s to the good, the car looking superb. At the line it's 1:23.641, provisional pole for BAR.

Mark Webber begins his lap, completing the first sector 0.1s shy of Button. He loses more ground in the second sector, finally crossing the line at 1:24.069, which puts him second.

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