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Raikkonen breaks a million Spanish hearts

NEWS STORY
26/04/2008

Ahead of today's qualifying session, the air temperature is 23 degrees C, while the track temperature is 38 degrees. It remains bright and sunny.

Although Kimi Raikkonen was quickest in both of yesterday's sessions, he was down in thirteenth this morning. Meanwhile, this morning's pace-setter was Nick Heidfeld. Fact is, ahead of this session nobody really knows the true pecking order.

It appears that Ferrari is quickest, while behind them it is hard to say whether McLaren or BMW has the edge. The Renaults have been quick, but then, so have the Toyotas, Williams, Red Bulls, Hondas, Toro Rossos and even the Force Indias, having been blindingly quick on Friday.

Furthermore, there is confusion as to tyres, with some teams claiming that there is little to choose between the two options (medium and hard).

The lights go green, and first out is Sutil, followed by Bourdais, Glock, Davidson and Fisichella.

Sutil's car looks very twitchy as the German posts a 23.224 to set the benchmark. Bourdais goes second, ahead of Fisichella and Davidson. Michael Schumacher watches from the pit-wall as Kimi Raikkonen heads down the pitlane.

Bourdais goes quickest in the first two sectors, crossing the line at 22.803 to go quickest as Raikkonen goes eighth (26.457). However, in the first sector of the next lap the Finn goes quickest, maintaining the pace in the second sector. As Hamilton goes quickest in the first sector, Raikkonen crosses the line at 22.050 to go quickest.

Hamilton posts 21.366 to take the top spot, but it is unlikely that he will be there at the end of the session, the McLaren not appearing to be the match of the Ferrari this weekend.

Jarno Trulli goes third (22.043), ahead of Nakajima, Rosberg and Bourdais, as Webber begins his first flying lap of the day having suffered a throttle problem this morning.

Button produces a 22.229 to go fourth, as Alonso heads down the pitlane, much to the partisan crowd's delight. The Spaniard responds by going third, crossing the line at 21.895.

A 21.704 sees Nakajima go second, the Japanese driver having gone quickest of all in the final sector. However, all eyes are on Massa who leapfrogs the Williams driver with a 21.614.

With just over five minutes remaining, Kovalainen finally leaves the pits, the Finn the only driver yet to post a time.

Bourdais goes sixth with a 22.803, though it takes the timing screen a few moments to realise.

As Kovalainen begins his flying lap, Kubica goes second with a 21.423. The Finn goes quickest in the second sector, crossing the line at 21.430 to go third.

Raikkonen is back on track, the Finn going quickest in the first two sectors and maintaining the pace in the third. He crosses the line at 20.701, a very, very impressive lap.

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