Takuma Sato came close to giving Super Aguri another shot at the top ten in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, only to be denied by BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld, who pulled out all the stops to make the cut after an error on his first flying lap.

The German had opted to cut the final chicane on his first run and his time, good enough for sixth spot, was duly deleted by the stewards. After gathering his thoughts and bolting on another set of the supersoft Bridgestones, he started a do-or-die effort with twelve seconds remaining, and completed it with a time good enough for third fastest, pushing Sato out of the top ten into the bargain.

The Japanese driver had hauled himself up to ninth with his final flier, but Nico Rosberg's improvement from tenth left him exposed to Heidfeld's late late show - the German completed his lap some 90secs after the chequered flag - and broke Aguri hearts.

Joining Sato on the sidelines were David Coulthard, whose weekend woes continued with a lack of pace on an uncertain set of laps, Tonio Liuzzi, both Hondas and Scott Speed.

Lewis Hamilton threw down the gauntlet to McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso with the fastest lap of the weekend so far - a 1min 15.486secs effort - to top the session, but the Spaniard ran his rival close to end the session just 0.06secs adrift.

Heidfeld's lap split McLaren from Ferrari, which took fourth with Felipe Massa, with Rosberg and an on-form Mark Webber completing the top six.



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