Raikkonen quickest as the pace hots up

11/06/2005
NEWS STORY

As the drivers prepare for today's second, and final, free practice session, the air temperature is 28 degrees C, while the track temperature is 39 degrees.

The lights go green, and a few moments later, Christian Klien is first out on track, followed by Kimi Raikkonen, who appears eager to get to work. Monteiro and Webber are also 'early birds'.

Klien sets the benchmark with a 1:19.714, however, within seconds, Raikkonen has gone quicker, by over 2s.

A 1:17.908 sees Mark Webber go second, however Fisichella is soon atop the timesheets, having lapped that Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 1:16.626.

There are 11 cars on track, as Michael Schumacher goes fifth, ahead of Monteiro. Next time around, the German improves with a 1:17.424, to go third.

McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya goes quickest with a 1:16.383, however, this is soon eclipsed by both Fisichella and Webber, the Italian crossing the line at 1:15.659. Teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, goes third posting 1:16.000.

As Button (sixth) goes quickest in the second sector, Montoya goes quickest in the first, the pace is fast and totally furious.

The Englishman improves to fourth, which puts him behind his teammate and ahead of Raikkonen.

As Alonso begins a hot lap - going quickest in the first sector - Button shoots to the top of the timesheets with a 1:15.639.

The Englishman's moment of glory is just that, a moment, for Alonso takes the top spot with a 1:15.435. Elsewhere, Barrichello goes fourteenth.

Alonso, Button, Fisichella, Montoya, Sato, Raikkonen, Webber, Michael, Heidfeld and Ralf - that's the order with twenty-seven minutes remaining.

Ralf improves to eighth, as Barrichello also improves, to twelfth.

Jarno Trulli remains in the Toyota garage where his mechanics are working on his car, he hasn't been out in the session, yet.

It's a Renault 1-2 again as Fisichella takes the top spot with a 1:15.274, just 0.071s separates the two teammates. Next time around the Italian improves to 1:15.226.

Webber improves to seventh, as Fisichella goes quickest in the first sector. However, the Italian fails to maintain the pace and therefore fails to raise the benchmark any higher.

With twenty minutes remaining, we experience one of the traditional lulls, as the drivers prepare for the final onslaught, the last minute tweaks before qualifying.

Juan Pablo Montoya goes quickest in the first and second sectors, going on to cross the line at 1:14.745, the fastest time we've seen today, and only slightly off yesterday's best time.

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen is quick in the first two sectors, but a mistake in the third - he goes wide - means he fails to improve. Fernando Alonso, however, is the second driver to break the 1:14s barrier today, closing to within 0.011s of Montoya.

Takuma Sato is on a hot lap, the Japanese driver going quickest in the second sector, and finally crossing the line at 1:14.883, to go third. Meanwhile, his teammate goes fifth with a 1:15.282.

With thirteen minutes remaining, Jarno Trulli is finally on track.

Just six drivers on track, amongst them the Schumacher siblings. As Trulli goes twelfth, the Schumachers fail to improve, Michael, in particular, having a messy lap. Next time around however, the Ferrari driver posts 1:15.316, to go sixth.

With eight minutes remaining, more and more drivers take to the track, Montoya is currently quickest, ahead of Alonso, Sato, Fisichella, Button, Michael, Heidfeld, Webber, Raikkonen and Ralf.

Fisichella is the first of the 'big guns' to improve, taking second spot with a 1:14.746.

Barrichello goes ninth (15.995) as Trulli improves to twelfth, just ahead of his Toyota teammate - the Japanese cars not looking convincing this weekend.

That said, Ralf improves with a 1:15.369 to go seventh. Next time around he posts 1:15.280, which is enough to put hum fifth.

Alonso goes quickest with a 1:14.670, but seconds later he's demoted to second by Raikkonen, who crosses the line at 1:14.232.

The session ends with the McLarens and Renaults 'sharing' the honours yet again, with BAR leading the best of the rest.

Raikkonen tops the timesheets, from Alonso, Montoya, Fisichella, Sato, Ralf, Button, Michael, Heidfeld and Webber.

Barrichello is eleventh, ahead of Massa, Trulli, Coulthard, Villeneuve, Klien, Karthikeyan, Monteiro, Friesacher and Albers.

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Published: 11/06/2005
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