The feud between Ferrari and McLaren -- the on-track one -- continued in the final practice for the British Grand Prix and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen won out with a best time of 1:19.751. Fernando Alonso's McLaren was a tenth and a half behind in ...
The feud between Ferrari and McLaren -- the on-track one -- continued in the final practice for the British Grand Prix and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen won out with a best time of 1:19.751. Fernando Alonso's McLaren was a tenth and a half behind in second and Felipe Massa's Ferrari trailed the reigning champion by less than a tenth in third.
The conditions remained cool but the track temperature was a little higher than Friday, 31 degrees at the start of the session. The Spykers of Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil were quickly out, as were the Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumcher and the Super Aguris of Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson.
Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen also went out in the Renaults, along with the BMW Saubers of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, Toro Rosso's Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed and the Red Bulls of David Coulthard and Mark Webber. The Williams duo of Nico Rosberg and Alex Wurz followed on.
Honda's Rubens Barrichello joined as did teammate Jenson Button, back in action after sitting out Friday's second practice with back pain. The McLarens of Alonso and Lewis Hamilton completed the pack of installation laps, which left only the Ferraris of Raikkonen and Massa to make an appearance.
Button was first to set a time and after a few flying laps he settled on 1:23.184. Davidson took second and Sutil third then Trulli and Davidson displaced Button in quick succession, followed by Kubica then Trulli went back to the top, 1:22.447. Liuzzi slotted into second, three and a half tenths off.
Kubica was next to the top of the list, 1:21.996, and Speed managed third behind Trulli. He was quickly ousted by Heidfeld and Liuzzi went fastest, 1:21.933. Kubica took over with a 1:21.868, Liuzzi second, Speed third, then came Schumacher, Trulli, Heidfeld, Davidson, Button and the Renaults of Kovalainen and Fisichella making up the top 10.
Heidfeld posted 1:21.609, with Schumacher two tenths off, and Rosberg took the third spot. Raikkonen was the first Ferrari to arrive and clocked 1:20.886 on his initial flyer, seven tenths up on Heidfeld. Schumacher then moved into second and narrowed the gap to four tenths. Raikkonen was still going and his next was a 1:20.607.
Massa took second on his first hot lap, two and a half tenths off Raikkonen, and the Finn responded with a 1:20.278. Meanwhile, Alonso had taken the third slot, less than a tenth off Massa, then upped his pace to 1:20.168 for a tenth up on Raikkonen. There was a lull in activity for a while, a few laps being put in but no significant change on the list.
Into the last 20 minutes Raikkonen put in purple first and last sectors on the time board to go four tenths faster than Alonso, 1:1:19.751. Massa was just fractionally behind the Spaniard but Hamilton in fourth was over a second off. He made amends and closed the gap to seven tenths and Speed was having a good morning, regularly in the top six.
Liuzzi joined his teammate in the last 10 minutes with sixth fastest, one behind Speed, while Heidfeld, Schumacher, Rosberg, and Kovalainen made up the top 10. Rosberg then climbed to fifth to be the last within a second of Raikkonen's top time. The Toro Rosso's top 10 glory was shuffled away by others improving in the last few minutes.
Schumacher and Kovalainen went up to sixth and seventh and Davidson improved to ninth. Alonso narrowed the gap to Raikkonen slightly, a tenth and half, and those two and Massa in third were the only three in the 1:19 bracket. Liuzzi just managed to jump back up to seventh as time ran out on a fairly sedate morning.
Once again it was a McLaren and Ferrari fight at the front but BMW was still lagging a little from its usual third best. One would suspect that it may well be a red car on pole this afternoon but what's the betting that McLaren will be going all out to get Hamilton up there? Final top eight classification: Raikkonen, Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Rosberg, Schumacher, Liuzzi, Kovalainen.