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Ferrari one-two in final practice 06 May 2006

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari 248 F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, 5 May 2006 Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) BMW Sauber F1.06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, 5 May 2006 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, 5 May 2006 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF105.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, 5 May 2006 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Nurburgring, Germany, 5 May 2006

Qualifying this afternoon is set to be a dramatic affair - at least if some of the times set in Saturday morning’s final practice session are anything to go by.

A whole load of people had the honour of being the fastest - among them Nico Rosberg, Christian Klien and Tonio Liuzzi in addition to more familiar faces such as Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher. But the surprise came when Schumacher suddenly lopped 1.316s off Button’s 1m 32.104s best in the final 10 minutes with a startling lap of 1m 30.788s for Ferrari. Massa backed that up with 1m 31.093s to go second, and it was Ralf Schumacher who thrust his Toyota up into third right at the end with 1m 31.395s, six-tenths off brother Michael.

Jacques Villeneuve was also very quick, with 1m 31.531s for BMW Sauber, leaving the Renaults only fifth and sixth. Giancarlo Fisichella (who earlier had slid off-road in Turn 2) was the faster on 1m 31.584s, while Alonso did not better 1m 31.807s. These two will go relatively quicker, for sure, but there were not too many smiling faces at Renault after the session.

Button’s time held up for seventh, ahead of Klien on 1m 32.197s, Liuzzi on 1m 32.290s and Kimi Raikkonen, whose 1m 32.320s best right at the end still left him only 10th for McLaren. It’s going to be interesting to see how much quicker those who focused on race running this morning will be able to go this afternoon.

Rosberg’s once-fastest lap of 1m 32.459s left him 11th ahead of Scott Speed’s Toro Rosso on 1m 32.505s, then came Rubens Barrichello on 1m 32.534s for Honda, Mark Webber in the second Williams (in which he narrowly avoided running into Schumacher when the Ferrari driver slowed suddenly entering the pit lane) on 1m 32.711s, Nick Heidfeld on 1m 32.773s, David Coulthard on 1m 32.779s and Juan Pablo Montoya on 1m 32.986s.

Jarno Trulli’s troubled weekend continued with 18th best time of 1m 33.120s for Toyota, while Tiago Monteiro held the initiative at Midland with 1m 33.744s ahead of team mate Christijan Albers on 1m 34.469s.

At the back, Franck Montagny continued his strong Super Aguri debut, taking his SA05 round in 1m 35.706s to head team mate Takuma Sato on 1m 36.082s.