Alonso Fastest in Practice 3 - France

Fernando Alonso finished fastest for Renault in Saturday morning's opening practice for the French Grand Prix as teams limited running on a damp track at Magny-Cours

Alonso Fastest in Practice 3 - France

Overnight rain left the track damp in places but predictions of no further rain left many of the teams deciding not to put in serious running in the drying conditions.

Renault were the only team to put in more than a handful of laps as Alonso and teammate Giancarlo Fisichella dominated with a total of 21 laps between them.

Alonso's time of 1:23.939 put him 0.983 seconds ahead of Fisichella with Kimi Raikkonen, in a McLaren with a new engine, 2.544 seconds slower in third having set his lap earlier in the session.

David Coulthard was fourth fastest for Red Bull Racing with Jenson Button fifth in his BAR-Honda followed by the Williams duo Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld in sixth and seventh respectively.

Minardi pair Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers completed the timesetters with the eighth and ninth fastest times, Albers finishing 7.933 seconds off the pace.

All the other 11 runners chose not to set a time in the 45-minute session while World Champions Ferrari decided not even to send their cars out for an exploration lap.

Albers put in an early run on a set of intermediate tyres but Heidfeld posted the first time of the session with a lap of 1:30.935, going wide during his lap.

Fisichella soon moved ahead with the Renault man on a time of 1:26.651 then Alonso, who was forced to take to the run-off during one of his laps, moved ahead as the line continued to dry out.

With ten minutes of the session remaining Alonso was still on top but only eight of the 20 cars in the field had set a time and the Ferrari duo had not even ventured out onto the track.

Webber came out with five minutes but failed to improve significantly then several other drivers gave the crowd something to watch and Fisichella went ahead then Alonso went top with seconds to go.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Alonso Renault (M) 1:23.939 11 2. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:24.922 + 0.983 10 3. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:26.483 + 2.544 5 4. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:27.019 + 3.080 3 5. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:27.276 + 3.337 6 6. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:27.313 + 3.374 8 7. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:27.510 + 3.571 7 8. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:30.166 + 6.227 5 9. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:31.872 + 7.933 6 10. Trulli Toyota (M) No Time 3 11. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) No Time 1 12. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) No Time 1 13. Sato BAR-Honda (M) No Time 1 14. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) No Time 2 15. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) No Time 2 16. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) No Time 1 17. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) No Time 1 18. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) No Time 1 19. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) No Time 20. Barrichello Ferrari (B) No Time All timing unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Fernando Alonso
Author Will Gray
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