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Saturday practice - full report 09 Jul 2005

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R25.
Formula One World Championship, Rd11, British Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Silverstone, England, 9 July 2005

Kimi loses another ten places; Renault go quickest

Renault displaced McLaren at the top of the times at Silverstone this morning, as teams completed their final running prior to qualifying. But the even worse news for McLaren was that pre-race favourite Kimi Raikkonen suffered yet another Mercedes-Benz engine failure on his first flying lap in the second session, and will thus get a 10 grid place penalty for the second consecutive race.

Fernando Alonso was the fastest man in another overcast and relatively cool session, lapping his Renault in 1m 20.077s to pip Juan Pablo Montoya's 1m 20.128s. Earlier, just after Raikkonen's problem, the Colombian had put McLaren hearts in mouths by running wide at Copse, but all was otherwise well and the team's best hope now is that Montoya can come good and win to prevent anyone else from scoring the 10 points that Raikkonen will struggle to attain.

Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher were third and fourth for Toyota in the second session, with laps of 1m 20.449s and 1m 20.524s respectively. And there was good news for British fans when Jenson Button lapped his BAR in 1m 20.763s, to go ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella and Michael Schumacher on 1m 20.798s and 1m 20.893s.

Late improvements left Williams in something of a quandary. Mark Webber leapt up to eighth with 1m 21.004s, just ahead of Nick Heidfeld on 1m 21.052s. Where the Australian retained the latest MkII aerodynamic package, Heidfeld had reverted to the MkI and was little slower, so now they have a tough choice to make for qualifying.

Christian Klien was pushed back by their late rush, and having gone off the road again, this time at Luffield, the Austrian pushed his Red Bull to 10th best time of 1m 21.064s. Team mate David Coulthard was left on 1m 23.165s in 17th place after his RB1 rolled to a halt with mechanical problems at Farm.

In 11th place Rubens Barrichello's 1m 21.371s beat the similarly-engined Saubers of Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa, who lapped in 1m 21.476s and 1m 21.704s. Both Sauber drivers had the benefit of new front wings, which arrived after practice yesterday afternoon.

Takuma Sato was 14th for BAR on 1m 21.931s, ahead of the Jordans. Tiago Monteiro recorded 1m 22.036s, but having had an engine change on Friday he needed another one after his Toyota failed at Copse in this morning's second session. Narain Karthikeyan lapped in 1m 22.634s.

Behind Coulthard, Christijan Albers only narrowly fended off Patrick Friesacher in the Minardi camp, the Dutchman's best of 1m 23.444s comparing to the Austrian's 1m 23.586s.

Raikkonen did not record a time.