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Raikkonen still the man to beat in final practice 21 Jul 2007

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 21 July 2007 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 21 July 2007 Alex Wurz (AUT) Williams FW29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, European Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Nurburgring, Germany, Saturday, 21 July 2007

McLaren think they have made a little bit of ground on Ferrari here in Germany, and practice this morning bore that out as Kimi Raikkonen was still 0.231 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton as the pair of them got in their quick runs right at the end of the hour-long session.

Fernando Alonso in the second McLaren had up until that point been the fastest with a lap of 1m 32.039s before the Finn and the Englishman did their low-fuel, new-tyre runs.

Then Raikkonen dipped down to 1m 31.396s, Hamilton to 1m 31.627s. Alonso didn’t get a lap in at the end, so he stayed third, his time matched by Robert Kubica who was also running in qualifying trim in his BMW Sauber.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was another not to get the lap, staying down in fifth place on 1m 32.217s ahead of Nico Rosberg (1m 32.344s) in the Williams, new father Nick Heidfeld (1m 32.581s, after his wife Patricia gave birth to their son, Joda, early this morning) for BMW Sauber, Red Bull’s Mark Webber (1m 32.632s), David Coulthard (1m 32.679s) in the second RB3 and Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher (1m 32.788s).

That completed the top 10, but Toro Rosso’s Tonio Liuzzi (1m 32.841s), Honda’s Jenson Button (1m 32.869s), Jarno Trulli in the second Toyota (1m 32.936s) and Scott Speed in his Toro Rosso (1m 32.974s) all got below 1m 33s too.

Behind them, down in 16th place, was Giancarlo Fisichella’s Renault, on 1m 33.154s, just ahead of Rubens Barrichello’s Honda (1m 33.214s) and Fisichella’s team mate Heikki Kovalainen (1m 33.484s). Anthony Davidson led the Super Aguri challenge with 1m 32.792s from partner Takuma Sato (1m 32.945s), and at the back Adrian Sutil again had the upper hand at Spyker with a lap of 1m 34.423s, compared to rookie team mate Markus Winkelhock’s 1m 36.090s.

It was a relatively uneventful session, as far as off-track moments were concerned, only Heidfeld erring after running wide in the first corner.

Currently the sky over Nurburgring is light blue, and the forecast is for similar dry conditions for qualifying.