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Raikkonen spoils Michael's European swansong

NEWS STORY
09/09/2006

Ahead of today's qualifying session, the air temperature is 28 degrees C, and the track temperature is 41 degrees. It remains warm and sunny.

First out is Liuzzi, followed by Sato, Yamamoto and Trulli. Alonso is another 'early riser'.

Liuzzi posts the first time of the first phase of the session, crossing the line at 1:24.344, as Sato and Yamamoto go second and third.

Trulli posts 24.510 to go second, but is quickly demoted by Scot 'Boner' speed. That said, Coulthard and Klien go first and second, the Scot posting 23.453.

With five minutes gone, the red flags come out as Yamamoto's left-rear tyre delaminates, leaving a large chunk of rubber on the track. Button, Barrichello and Raikkonen were all on track.

Yamamoto makes a great job of getting the Super Aguri back to the pits in one piece. Credit where credit's due.

Of course, the failure of the tyre is sure to worry the other Bridgestone runners.

The marshals clear the debris from the track - with the session scheduled to restart at 14:13.

The lights go green and first out is Massa, who is greeted with enthusiasm by the fans at the first chicane. Michael leaves the pits moments later.

Unsurprisingly, the Brazilian is quickest in the first two sectors, finally crossing the line at 1:22.028, to go quickest. However, Heidfeld and Michael are both on hot lap with the Ferrari driver posting 21.711 to go quickest.

Heidfeld goes second (21.764), ahead of Raikkonen, as Button goes fifth ahead of Barrichello.

De la Rosa posts 22.422 to go fifth, as Alonso and Fisichella begin their first flying lap. Rosberg goes seventh, to split the Hondas.

Alonso posts 21.747 to go second, as Fisichella goes eighth with a 22.486. Meanwhile, Kubica and Speed are still in the danger zone, as are the Super Aguris and Midlands.

Kubica is on a good lap, which puts Coulthard in danger. That said, the Scot goes twelfth and Kubica goes eighth. Meanwhile, Klien spins off, bringing out the yellow flags.

The first big name victim of the day is Webber, who falls at the first hurdle, along with Liuzzi, Albers, Monteiro, Sato and Yamamoto.

Michael was quickest, ahead of Alonso, Heidfeld, Raikkonen, Massa, Trulli, de la Rosa, Kubica, Fisichella and Button.

The second phase gets underway, but nobody seems keen to get to work.

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