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F1 NEWS 

Raikkonen leads the way in Bahrain

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Bahrain testingKimi Raikkonen led the way for Ferrari during testing in Bahrain on Friday, as the weather cleared to finally allow the teams present to get some running.

Ferrari, BMW Sauber and Toyota had all travelled to Bahrain to escape the risk of rain wrecking running in Europe, but have been left frustrated by sand storms instead.

However, the sand clouds finally lifted on Friday to allow the outfits to get some mileage under their belts as they continue preparations for the 2009 season.

It was Raikkonen who topped the times for Ferrari, just edging out Toyota's Jarno Trulli as both completed a large amount of mileage.

"The track was very slippery in the morning, due to the sand, but we managed to go ahead with our programme," said Raikkonen. "It's a pity for the time we lost over the last days, but it didn't depend on us. This happens and you just have to accept it. My first day with the new F60 on a dry track was extremely positive.

"I immediately had a good feeling although it's still too early to say where we are compared to our competitors. The car is improving and there are no especially critical areas. We used the KERS also today and I'm happy with how it works, apart from some minor childhood disease."

Trulli, who completed almost two race distances, said: "This was a good day's work. In the morning the track conditions were still really poor with a lot of dust on the circuit. It was also very windy but the surface cleaned up during the day and got better and better.

"We managed to get through a lot of laps and the car balance felt pretty good. We are still playing around with set-up and other parameters to understand how to get the most out of the package. But it looks promising so far so let's hope we can carry on like this."

BMW Sauber test driver Christian Klien was third fastest as he got his first taste of the new F1.09. He was pleased the team could finally get on with some of the test programme that had been mapped out from the start of the week.

"In the morning the track was still slightly wet as a result of being cleaned after yesterday's sandstorm," said the Austrian. "Because of this it took some time to build up a proper grip level. That gave me the opportunity to get used to the BMW Sauber F1.09, which I drove for the very first time.

"In the afternoon the track conditions were much better and we were able to go ahead with our test programme as scheduled."

The teams will resume testing in Bahrain for four more days next week.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time     Laps
 1.  Raikkonen     Ferrari              (B)  1:33.325  105 
 2.  Trulli        Toyota               (B)  1:33.429  127
 3.  Klien         BMW-Sauber           (B)  1:33.666  125

All Timing Unofficial
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