Sunday, June 12, 2005
McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen turned the tables on Renault in the final practice session at Montreal, outpacing world championship leader Fernando Alonso by nearly half a second.
Both Alonso and Raikkonen set their fastest times on their last lap as the chequered flag flew on the session.
The Finn's flyer of 1m14.232s was comfortably the fastest lap of the weekend so far, and establishes him as the clear favourite for another pole position this afternoon.
Alonso and Renault team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella traded places at the top of the timing charts for the first two-thirds of the 45-minute session, before Juan Pablo Montoya upped the ante with a 1m14.745s.
That kept the Colombian at the top of the pile until the dying moments, when he had to give best to the head-to-head shoot-out between the championship protagonists.
Fisichella likewise seems to be cast in a supporting role at Renault, and completed the leading quartet with a time just 0.001s slower than Montoya!
Takuma Sato continued to carry the BAR-Honda standard in fifth, while Ralf Schumacher hauled himself up to sixth in the leading Toyota.
The Cologne-based team is still struggling compared to its form at earlier races, however, and (as at Imola) the TF105 clearly doesn?t take kindly to the kerb-hopping required at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
Jenson Button was seventh quickest for BAR, some 0.4s adrift of team-mate Sato, while Michael Schumacher battled an ill-handling Ferrari to eighth, 1.1s off the ultimate pace.
Schumacher was one of several drivers to have spins or off-course excursions on the slippery new surface, which has been made more treacherous following some overnight patching work on many corner apexes.
The world champion gyrated at Turn 6 after locking up under braking, but got going again under his own power.
Raikkonen and Alonso both straight-lined the final chicane as they explored the limits of braking from 210mph down to 60, an exercise that the F1 cars are completing in little more than 100 metres.
Minardi Christijan Albers had a harmless spin at the hairpin early on in the session, Sato went lawnmowing at the Turn 8/9 chicane, and Narain Karthikeyan had a long cross-country moment in his Jordan but scrabbled his way back onto the tarmac.
Saturday final practice times from Montreal
1. RAIKKONEN McLaren 1m14.232s
2. ALONSO Renault 1m14.670s
3. MONTOYA McLaren 1m14.745s
4. FISICHELLA Renault 1m14.746s
5. SATO BAR 1m14.883s
6. R.SCHUMACHER Toyota 1m15.280s
7. BUTTON BAR 1m15.282s
8. M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari 1m15.316s
9. HEIDFELD Williams 1m15.723s
10. WEBBER Williams 1m15.894s
11. BARRICHELLO Ferrari 1m15.995s
12. MASSA Sauber 1m16.020s
13. TRULLI Toyota 1m16.063s
14. COULTHARD Red Bull 1m16.341s
15. VILLENEUVE Sauber 1m16.355s
16. KLIEN Red Bull 1m16.355s
17. KARTHIKEYAN Jordan 1m17.215s
18. MONTEIRO Jordan 1m17.618s
19. FRIESACHER Minardi 1m17.621s
20. ALBERS Minardi 1m17.725s
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