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Final practice - Kovalainen tops dry-wet session despite crash 24 May 2008

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren MP4/23.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 22 May 2008 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 22 May 2008

McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton headed the timesheets in Saturday morning's final practice session in Monaco, but the Finn blotted his copybook when his MP4-23 got away from him on super-soft rubber shortly after he had set the benchmark of 1m 16.567s. It happened as he exited the Swimming Pool, and whacked the right rear wheel into the wall.

He had just beaten Hamilton’s best of 1m 17.084s, which was set on the soft rubber, but was saved the embarrassment of dropping down the times as the rain that had just begun at the start of his lap turned into a downpour that prevented anyone from going any faster.

Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest for Ferrari on the soft rubber, with 1m 17.177s, then came on-form Nico Rosberg for Williams (1m 17.503s), BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica (1m 17.687s), Ferrari’s Felipe Massa (1m 17.691s), Red Bull’s Mark Webber (1m 17.856s) and Force India’s Adrian Sutil (1m 17.883s).

The next bracket contained Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima (1m 18.147s), Honda’s Jenson Button (1m 18.225s), Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais (1m 18.367s), Toyota’s Timo Glock (1m 18.424s), Honda’s Rubens Barrichello (1m 18.455s), Renault’s Nelson Piquet (1m 18.615s), Sebastian Vettel in the second Toro Rosso (1m 18.651s), Renault’s Fernando Alonso (1m 18.795s) and Jarno Trulli for Toyota (1m 18.858s).

At the back, Nick Heidfeld lapped his BMW Sauber in 1m 19.024s, ahead of Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 19.131s) and Red Bull’s David Coulthard (1m 20.805s).

Kovalainen’s was the only real incident, but Fisichella explored the escape road at Mirabeau, and Piquet, Kubica, Massa, Glock, Coulthard, Sutil and Rosberg all missed the seafront chicane.

Currently it has begun to brighten up again, but rain remains a possibility for qualifying.