Alonso Fastest in Practice 3 - Canada

Fernando Alonso led a Renault one-two in Saturday morning's first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, as the Championship leaders turned tables on race favourites McLaren at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

Alonso Fastest in Practice 3 - Canada

Alonso set a time of 1:15.582 to finish 0.176 seconds ahead of teammate Giancarlo Fisichella while chasing McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen had to settle for third, 0.244 seconds off the lead pace.

BAR-Honda showed promising form as they continue their recovery from a two-race ban when Takuma Sato set the fourth fastest time, half a second slower than Alonso, and Jenson Button slotted into fifth.

World Champion Michael Schumacher sat in a Williams sandwich in seventh, just behind sixth-placed Mark Webber and just ahead of German compatriot Nick Heidfeld, who was the final driver to get within one second of Alonso.

Juan Pablo Montoya, in the second McLaren, finished ninth fastest and Felipe Massa completed the top ten in his Sauber, six tenths of a second faster than 13th-placed teammate and home favourite Jacques Villeneuve.

Organisers were forced to make repairs to the newly laid track overnight and drivers were faced with concrete patches at turns one, six, seven, nine, 10 and 15 when they hit the circuit on Saturday morning.

Steamy humid heat saw temperatures rise to 29 by the start of the session and with 20 minutes gone only Jordan driver Tiago Monteiro and Minardi's Patrick Friesacher had set a lap time.

With 15 minutes to go seven more drivers had set a time and Renault were on top of the pile with Fisichella fastest after a lap of 1:17.589 and Alonso 0.308 seconds behind in second.

But the times tumbled by a further one-and-a-half seconds before the end of the session with Alonso jumping to the front of the pack in the closing stages of the 45-minute run.

Pos  Driver        Team                  Time                  Laps
 1.  Alonso        Renault           (M)  1:15.582               13
 2.  Fisichella    Renault           (M)  1:15.758  +    0.176    8
 3.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:15.826  +    0.244    9
 4.  Sato          BAR-Honda         (M)  1:16.109  +    0.527   10
 5.  Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  1:16.386  +    0.804    5
 6.  Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  1:16.463  +    0.881    9
 7.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  1:16.538  +    0.956    9
 8.  Heidfeld      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:16.569  +    0.987    8
 9.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:16.749  +    1.167    8
10.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:16.816  +    1.234    5
11.  R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  1:16.999  +    1.417    9
12.  Trulli        Toyota            (M)  1:17.441  +    1.859    5
13.  Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:17.469  +    1.887    6
14.  Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:17.595  +    2.013    9
15.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  1:17.908  +    2.326   10
16.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:17.992  +    2.410    9
17.  Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:18.338  +    2.756   11
18.  Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:18.710  +    3.128   15
19.  Friesacher    Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:21.031  +    5.449   14
20.  Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:21.882  +    6.300    7

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