Alonso takes charge in final practice 24 Jun 2006
Things gathered pace in Montreal this morning as the Renaults jumped to the top of the timesheets, closely followed by the BMW Saubers, the McLarens and Michael Schumachers Ferrari.
Fernando Alonso was fastest, with 1m 15.455s, chased closely by team mate Giancarlo Fisichella on 1m 15.521s. But Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld managed 1m 15.554s and 1m 15.616s respectively, Kimi Raikkonen 1m 15.902s, Schumacher 1m 15.959s and Juan Montoya 1m 15.975s.
In fact, Schumacher might have gone quicker still, but made an impatient gesture to Raikkonen after the Finn inadvertently baulked him round the back of the circuit on the Germans final run.
There were the usual faux pas at the chicane Turn 8 and in the final corner Turn 15 as Franck Montagny, Nico Rosberg, Fisichella, Jenson Button, Jarno Trulli, Felipe Massa, Tiago Monteiro, Alonso, Villeneuve, Christian Klien, Raikkonen and Vitantonio Liuzzi had minor grass-cutting adventures. Christijan Albers went down the escape road at the hairpin Turn 10 but Michael Schumacher was the only man actually to spin, at the same place. Nobody damaged their cars.
Rubens Barrichello was eighth for Honda on 1m 16.334s, from Massa (1m 16.348s), Scott Speed (1m 16.493s), Klien (1m 16.660s), Button (1m 16.673s), Mark Webber (1m 16.710s), David Coulthard (1m 16.765s), Rosberg (1m 16.892s) and Liuzzi (1m 16.928s).
The Toyotas were only 17th and 19th, courtesy of respective laps of 1m 17.503s and 1m 18.212s by Trulli and Ralf Schumacher, and they sandwiched Monteiro who posted 1m 17.747s for Midland. Takuma Sato was again the faster Super Aguri driver with 1m 18.926s, leaving team mate Montagny 21st on 1m 19.160s and Albers last with 1m 19.531s.
The closeness of the times bodes well for this afternoons qualifying session which, like practice this morning, has been brought forward an hour to enhance television scheduling.