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Spa day three - Raikkonen tops final day for Ferrari 13 Jul 2007

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari Formula One Testing, 10-12 July 2007, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. World © Moy/Sutton Sebastian Bourdais (FRA) Toro Rosso Formula One Testing, 10-12 July 2007, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. World © Moy/Sutton Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF107 and Christian Klien (AUT) Spyker Formula One Testing, 10-12 July 2007, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. World © Moy/Sutton Takuma Sato (JPN) Super Aguri F1 SA07 locks a wheel Formula One Testing, 10-12 July 2007, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. World © Moy/Sutton Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Honda Racing F1 Team Formula One Testing, 10-12 July 2007, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium.  World © Moy/Sutton

Kimi Raikkonen kept Ferrari on the top spot during the third and final day of testing at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Thursday. Raikkonen clocked a quickest lap of 1m 47.042s around the Belgian circuit, finishing over two-tenths faster than the second-placed BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica.

Despite an overcast start, the conditions were generally dry and Raikkonen was able to complete a total of 69 laps. The Finn spent the session testing new components and working on set-up.

Kubica, meanwhile, covered 78 laps during his third consecutive day in the car for BMW Sauber. Although he lost some track time due to a technical problem on his F1.07, he still managed to carry out tyre testing and set-up work. The Pole was almost four-tenths faster than McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who finished third fastest.

Alonso completed 75 laps in the MP4-22 as he continued development work and carried out suspension tests. The fourth-quickest driver was Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who took over from team mate David Coulthard for the final day. After spinning on the damp track and damaging the front and rear wing of his RB3, Webber was only able to complete 44 laps.

“The weather and a couple of mechanical bothers meant that overall, we did not cover the sort of mileage we had been hoping for over the three days,” commented Red Bull’s chief test engineer Ian Morgan. “However, on the positive side, we have learnt a lot about a track we had not visited for a while, we completed our tyre comparison programme, as well as trying Bridgestone's rain tyres and we also signed off some new aero and mechanical components for use at next week's European Grand Prix.”

Fifth fastest on Thursday was Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella, who covered 76 laps in the R27. Fisichella evaluated several aero solutions during the day and also carried out some tyre work and general set-up adjustments.

“This was an interesting practice session,” explained the Italian. “It was important to come here and discover the new layout and pursue the team's development programme. I think we've progressed today and the data recorded are encouraging. Personally, I love Spa and driving here is always a great pleasure. The car handled really well and I was able to get the best out of it in the variable conditions.”

Alexander Wurz finished sixth for Williams, after taking over driving duties from team mate Nico Rosberg. Wurz completed 75 laps in the FW29 but a small technical problem meant the Austrian was unable to complete the British team’s planned programme.

Toyota’s Jarno Trulli settled for seventh slot after covering 76 laps in the TF107. Trulli carried out tyre testing in the morning but, when the track had dried in the afternoon, was able to work on suspension and aerodynamics work. The Italian finished just under a one-tenth of a second ahead of Sebastien Bourdais in the Toro Rosso. The three-time Champ Car champion spent a second day in action for the team and completed 91 laps.

In ninth place on the timesheets was Super Aguri’s Takuma Sato, who wrapped up the Japanese team’s programme over 99 laps. Sato worked on finding a good chassis balance in the SA07 and also spent time evaluating the Bridgestone tyres around the Belgian circuit. He finished almost one-tenths up on the Honda of Rubens Barrichello, who worked through an aero evaluation in the RA107. Barrichello completed 78 laps.

At the back of the field, driving for Spyker for the day, was Honda’s test and reserve driver Christian Klien. Klien covered 63 laps, as he evaluated tyres and carried out set-up and brake system work.

“Obviously it was a new team, new car and a new seat and it took some time to get used to it, but there is a good bunch of people here and I felt at home straight away,” explained the 24 year-old Austrian. “We did a lot of mileage, but obviously today's focus was to get used to the car and how the engine and gearbox works. I think it all went well, there is potential in the car.”

With next weekend’s European Grand Prix looming, most teams will now return to their respective factories to continue preparations.

Unofficial Thursday times from Spa:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:47.042
2. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 1:47.265
3. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:47.645
4. Mark Webber, Red Bull, 1:47.699
5. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault, 1:47.724
6. Alexander Wurz, Williams, 1:48.437
7. Jarno Trulli, Toyota, 1:48.491
8. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso, 1:48.585
9. Takuma Sato, Super Aguri, 1:48.610
10. Rubens Barrichello, Honda, 1:48.704
11. Christian Klien, Spyker, 1:49.119