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Raikkonen stakes claim for pole in practice 11 Jun 2005

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren Mercedes MP4/20 leads Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Montreal, Canada, 10 June 2005 Nick Heidfeld (GER) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2005 Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2005 Patrick Friesacher (AUT) Minardi PS05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2005 Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal on the pit wall.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Montreal, Canada, 11 June 2005

Finn leaves it late to stamp his authority over rivals

After a session of locking wheels, spins and general complaint about concreted repairs that had to be made to the new track surface after yesterday, Fernando Alonso seemed to have done enough to take the fastest times in the closing minute of this morning’s final practice.

he €paniard’s Renault stopped the clocks in 1m 14.670ss, but he had not even completed his slowing down lap before Kimi Raikkonen put himself ahead of McLaren team mate Juan Pablo Montoya for the first time in the session with 1m 14.232s, leapfrogging the championship leader in the process.

It might have been a long time coming, especially after the Finn had earlier spoiled a good lap by cutting the final corner, but it was worth the wait. It also left the Colombian, who had been fastest for a long time on 1m 14.745s, feeling slightly miffed.

Giancarlo Fisichella, too, saw his position drop in that final minute, having run Montoya closest of all in his Renault with 1m 14.746s on a circuit he loves.

Not to be outdone, akuma €ato boosted BAR’s hopes with a strong 1m 14.883s, to round out the ‘aces’ sector despite going off in urn 8 on one lap.

Ralf €chumacher made a late improvement to 1m 15.280s for oyota, pushing Jenson Button down a place after the Englishman had earlier lapped in 1m 15.282s to underline BAR’s revival.

Michael €chumacher improved to eighth after a big brake locking moment in the hairpin and then a spin in urn 7, taking the Ferrari round in 1m 15.316s. eam mate Rubens Barrichello, however, did not better 1m 15.995s for 11th fastest time.

Between them were the Williams with Nick Heidfeld just shading Mark Webber, 1m 15.723s to 1m 15.894s. At one stage the German cut the chicane in urn 9.

Felipe Massa reasserted himself at €auber with a lap of 1m 16.020s, a time almost matched by Jarno rulli’s 1m 16.063s for oyota. David Coulthard was 14th for Red Bull with 1m 16.341s, going off three times in urn 1 in the course of the session, and then Jacques Villeneuve and Christian Klien shared 15th place each on 1m 16.355s. he Austrian had a spin in urn 1.

Narain Karthikeyan was another spinner, in urn 7, but got the upper hand over iago Monteiro and Minardi. he Indian posted 1m 17.215s compared to his team mate’s 1m 17.618s, but the Minardis were close. Patrick Friesacher was 19th on 1m 17.612s, and Christijan Albers recovered from a spin in urn 10 and another in urn 1 to post 1m 17.725s.

With the times so close at the front, strategies are going to be crucially important for qualifying this afternoon.