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Final practice - Piquet surprises to keep Renault in front 21 Jun 2008

Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault R28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Practice Day, Magny-Cours, France, Friday, 20 June 2008 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari F2008.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Practice Day, Magny-Cours, France, Friday, 20 June 2008 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1 VJM01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, French Grand Prix, Practice Day, Magny-Cours, France, Friday, 20 June 2008

The one thing you can say about the upper half of the field after Saturday morning’s final practice session in Magny-Cours is this: it will be different this afternoon.

Nelson Piquet carried on where Fernando Alonso left off on Friday, making low-fuel runs to set the fastest time for Renault of 1m 15.750s. Towards the end of the hour-long session, Mark Webber wheeled his Red Bull round 0.009s slower, for 1m 15.759s. He was chased by Sebastian Vettel in the visually similar Toro Rosso with 1m 15.827s, and Nico Rosberg’s Williams on 1m 15.974s.

The first of the drivers who will vie for pole this afternoon was Kimi Raikkonen on 1m 16.003s for Ferrari, just ahead of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, who very late in the session lapped in 1m 16.147s to push McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton down a place. The Briton had been fastest for a while on 1m 16.182s, while focusing on race running.

The top 10 was completed by Sebastien Bourdais for Toro Rosso on 1m 16.235s, Felipe Massa for Ferrari on 1m 16.256s and David Coulthard for Red Bull on 1m 16.282s.

The times remained close all the way down to BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld in 18th place on 1m 16.687s, the German being separated from Coulthard by: Toyota’s Timo Glock (1m 16.344s); Renault’s Alonso (1m 16.437s); McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen (1m 16.545s); BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica (1m 16.617s); Kazuki Nakajima for Williams (1m 16.644s); Honda’s Jenson Button (1m 16.651s) and team mate Rubens Barrichello (1m 16.658s). The Force Indias of Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 17.365s) and Adrian Sutil (1m 17.612s) completed the order.