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Raikkonen fastest in practice 1 - Monaco

Kimi Raikkonen beat Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, in a session interrupted by a long red flag to attend to a loose drain cover.

The 16-minute stoppage began just before the one-hour mark, after officials noticed the problem with the drain cover on the hill out of Sainte Devote. It was repaired in time for the session to resume for the final 21 minutes.

Hamilton had been quickest for McLaren prior to the interruption, having lapped in 1:17.078 early on. He then improved the benchmark to 1:16.216 shortly after the session was restarted

But with nine minutes to go, he was usurped by Raikkonen, as the Ferrari driver produced a 1:15.948 to beat Hamilton by 0.268 seconds. Those times would stand as neither driver managed a clear lap on their last runs.

Heikki Kovalainen beat Raikkonen's initial sector times in the second McLaren, but could not sustain the advantage around the final part of the lap and ended up third.

Raikkonen's teammate Felipe Massa completed the top four in the second Ferrari, with Williams' Nico Rosberg beating BMW's Robert Kubica to fifth place in the closing seconds.

Double Monaco winner Fernando Alonso took seventh, as his Renault teammate Nelson Piquet continued to struggle. The rookie was only 18th fastest in the session, 1.5 seconds slower than Alonso.

Behind Honda's Rubens Barrichello and Red Bull's Mark Webber, Monaco specialist Giancarlo Fisichella achieved an excellent 10th place for Force India, while the new Toro Rosso showed early promise as Sebastien Bourdais claimed 13th place.

Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld were the only drivers to fall foul of the barriers in the opening session. A brush with the wall on the approach to the tunnel broke the Toyota's suspension, and Trulli had to park on the exit of the chicane.

Nick Heidfeld came to a halt at Casino Square around the same time after apparently damaging the rear of his BMW - the German quizzically examing the back of the car after exiting the cockpit - while a throttle problem on his Red Bull prevented David Coulthard from completing a flying lap, as his car came to a halt between the chicane and Tabac.

Pos  Driver        Team                     Time              Laps
 1.  Raikkonen     Ferrari             (B)  1:15.948            26
 2.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:16.216  + 0.268   27
 3.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:16.248  + 0.300   28
 4.  Massa         Ferrari             (B)  1:16.292  + 0.344   26
 5.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:16.653  + 0.705   27
 6.  Kubica        BMW Sauber          (B)  1:16.834  + 0.886   23
 7.  Alonso        Renault             (B)  1:17.498  + 1.550   25
 8.  Barrichello   Honda               (B)  1:17.511  + 1.563   26
 9.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:17.798  + 1.850   23
10.  Fisichella    Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:17.835  + 1.887   26
11.  Glock         Toyota              (B)  1:17.942  + 1.994   26
12.  Button        Honda               (B)  1:18.153  + 2.205   26
13.  Bourdais      Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:18.245  + 2.297   30
14.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber          (B)  1:18.263  + 2.315   13
15.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:18.274  + 2.326   28
16.  Trulli        Toyota              (B)  1:18.360  + 2.412   16
17.  Sutil         Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:18.360  + 2.412   25
18.  Piquet        Renault             (B)  1:18.955  + 3.007   32
19.  Vettel        Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:19.176  + 3.228   35
20.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault    (B)  No time              3

All Timing Unofficial
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