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Friday testers dominate final session

NEWS STORY
20/10/2006

As we prepare for today's second session, the air temperature is 21 degrees C, and the track temperature is 31 degrees. It remains cool, thoroughly overcast and miserable.

The lights go green and first out is Vettel, followed by Ammermuller, Davidson, Wurz, Jani… oh hell, you know the drill by now.

Wurz posts the first time of the session, crossing the line at 1:16.347, though moments later Vettel raises the benchmark with a 16.140. However, Davidson gets serious, the Honda tester - seemingly destined for super Aguri - posts a 14.396.

Eight minutes into the session, Jarno Trulli is the first of the big guns to go out, followed, moments later, by teammate Ralf Schumacher.

The Italian goes second (15.578), as Ammermuller has a massive lock-up. Ralf, meanwhile, can only manage sixth, with a 16.316.

There are some massive, dark clouds in the distance.

As Albers and Monteiro leave the pits, Ralf goes second, courtesy of a 15.889. However, moments later, Wurz, Trulli and Vettel all go quicker.

Rosberg and Webber make their first appearance of the day, as Vettel posts 14.330 to go quickest.

As de la Rosa and Coulthard leave the pits, Webber goes sixth with a 15.624. Next time around, the Australian improves to fourth, as Rosberg goes eighth. However, a 14.532 sees de la Rosa demote the Australian to fifth.

Twenty minutes into the sessio9n, Michael Schumacher heads down the pitlane, and thus begins his final Grand Prix weekend.

de la Rosa goes quickest with a 14.235, ahead of Vettel, Davidson and Wurz, as Fisichella and Mass leave the pits.

Michael is pushing, however he appears to have little grip at the front. That said, and despite a lock-up, he goes quickest on his first lap, crossing the line at 1:14.161. Next time around, although quickest in the first sector, he spins off, though he's able to continue. Told you that the car looked a handful!

Alonso is on track, as Fisichella goes seventh, ahead of Massa and Trulli. Meanwhile, Michael posts 13.850 to consolidate his place at the top of the timesheets.

Alonso goes fifth, but Fisichella is already on a hot lap, having gone quickest in the first sector. The Roman goes third (14.053), ahead of de la Rosa, Vettel, Alonso, Wurz, Webber and Massa.

Alonso sets personal bests in each sector, which is enough to see him go second (13.855), a mere five-thousandths of a second down on hit title rival. Meanwhile, Kubica and Vettel both appear to be on good laps.

The Pole can only manage sixteenth, however, the former Formula BMW Germany Champion goes quickest, crossing the line at 1:13.655.

Only three drivers haven't set times, Heidfeld, Button and Raikkonen, however, the German and the Englishman are already on track. Indeed, the BMW driver goes twenty-fifth, and the Honda driver twenty-seventh.

Twenty minutes remaining and there is no change to the order at the top, Vettel, Michael, Alonso, Davidson, Fisichella, Wurz, Button, de la Rosa, Raikkonen and Ralf. Yes, Kimi finally decided to come out and play.

Doornbos stops in the final sector, his session over.

Other than Montagny (tenth) and Barrichello and Kubica, nineteenth and twentieth, there are no major surprises. Yet!

Vettel improves yet again, the German youngster posting 13.393, increasing the cushion to Michael to 0.457s.

Clearly stirred on by our report, Barrichello improves to fourteenth (14.829), albeit 1.436s off Vettel's pace. Elsewhere, Fisichella posts a personal best in the second sector, but fails to improve overall.

Davidson goes quickest in the first sector, as Montagny goes fourth overall, the Super Aguri must running on fumes.

Davidson goes quickest (13.136), as Ralf goes third (13.765), however, it's clear that the Englishman isn't finished yet. Sure enough, he posts a 1:12.653, putting 0.740 between himself and Vettel.

The German isn't finished yet either, and crosses the line at 12.897, closing to within 0.244 of his Honda counterpart.

There are twenty-three cars on track, as Wurz goes quickest in the second sector, the Austrian going on to post 12.547, and thereby take the top spot. Meanwhile, from out of nowhere Trulli goes fourth, ahead of Button and Michael.

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