Two-time world champion, Fernando Alonso set the pace this morning for McLaren-Mercedes in the final practice session prior to qualifying for Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

Alonso, who also topped the overall times in practice on Friday, set a best time of 1 minute 22.054 seconds in his MP4-22, just over a tenth up on his team-mate and current championship leader, Lewis Hamilton.

Conditions were again sunny and dry at Monza, like on day 1, however, competitors had a lot less running than normal, after Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen crashed around 25 minutes into the session bringing out the red flags.

The Finn went off and head on into the tyres barriers on the approach to Ascari and while he escaped unhurt, the car didn't come off so well.

Consequently he missed the rest of the session and finished proceedings right at the bottom of the timesheets. Although the reason for the off is not yet known, early reports suggest it was not driver error.

As a result of Raikkonen's accident, the session was stopped for around 20 minutes, while marshals repaired the tyre barriers. The action then resumed up around 11.45 hours local time although by then around a third of the allocated time had been lost.

Felipe Massa was thus left to fly the Ferrari flag alone at the team's home track and he headed the chasing pack, after the two McLarens, albeit over half a second off Alonso in his F2007.

BMW Sauber duo Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica rounded out the top five, the former the only other driver to break into the 1 minute 22 second bracket. Kubica was four tenths off his team-mate in the sister F1.07.

Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz were sixth and seventh for Williams, something that bodes well ahead of qualifying for the Grove-based outfit, while Toyota's Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen and Mark Webber completed the top ten. Trulli and Kovalainen incidentally both set an identical time - a 1m 23.672s.

Honda's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello came in eleventh and twelfth, while Sebastian Vettel was 13th, four tenths up on his Toro Rosso team-mate, Vitantonio Liuzzi, who ended FP3 in 19th.

Of the rest, Giancarlo Fisichella and Anthony Davidson rounded out the top 15, followed by Takuma Sato, David Coulthard and Ralf Schumacher, the latter having suffered a spin on his first run.

Raikkonen was 20th on the time-sheets, with Spyker duo Sakon Yamamoto and Adrian Sutil bringing up the rear, which will be rather disappointing for the Silverstone-based outfit, especially as they have switched to using their B-spec car this weekend.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...