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Hamilton tops the timesheets when it matters most

NEWS STORY
16/06/2007

Ahead of today's all-important qualifying session the air temperature is 34 degrees C, while the track temperature is 56 degrees. It remains warm and sunny.

World Champion Fernando Alonso has been the pace-setter in every session thus far, however, his McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton, not to mention Ferrari and BMW haven't been too far behind.

The lights go green but it is almost two minutes before a car heads down the pitlane, it's David Coulthard. Sutil, Albers and Davidson soon follow.

The Scot posts the first time of the session, crossing the line at 13.837, despite locking up at a couple of turns. Moments later Albers posts 14.597 to go second.

On his second flying lap, Coulthard posts 13.424, as Schumacher goes second ahead of Webber, Liuzzi and Speed.

As Raikkonen leaves the pits fellow-Finn Heikki Kovalainen goes quickest with a 12.998. Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella goes second.

All but Kovalainen, Coulthard and Albers are on track, as Hamilton takes the top spot with a 12.563. Rosberg goes third and Button fifth.

Alonso, Massa and Raikkonen are all on hot laps. As the Finn goes second, Alonso goes quickest in the second sector, finally crossing the line at 12.416 to go to the top of the timesheets. Heidfeld goes fifth and Vettel sixth.

With just over four minutes remaining, Barrichello is in the danger zone as are the Spykers and Super Aguris. Meanwhile, Heidfeld goes quickest in the second sector, crossing the line at 12.543 to go second. Teammate Vettel goes fourth, ahead of Massa and Raikkonen.

Further misery for Honda as Button appears to have suffered a technical problem when leaving the weighbridge. The Englishman is tenth, but could still be bumped down.

Davidson goes ninth, and immediately shed a small piece of bodywork from his car.

Though Button does get out of the pits in time, Coulthard spins off on to the grass.

The chequered flag is out, but the 16 drivers on track still have time to improve. One of these is Barrichello who goes twelfth.

The first phase ends with Wurz missing the cut along with Sato, Liuzzi, Speed, Sutil and Albers.

Alonso was quickest, ahead of Heidfeld, Hamilton, Vettel, Massa, Raikkonen, Schumacher, Kovalainen, Rosberg and Davidson.

The Red Bull and Honda drivers will have to pull out all the stops if they are to make it to the third phase.

The lights go green and the second phase gets underway, however, as usual there is no rush to get things going.

Finally, after a three minute 'delay', Anthony Davidson heads down the pitlane, followed by Trulli, Coulthard and Schumacher.

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