Fisichella Fastest in Practice 4 - France

Giancarlo Fisichella put Renault on top in Saturday morning's final practice session for the French Grand Prix as the drivers made the most of a dry track ahead of afternoon qualifying

Fisichella Fastest in Practice 4 - France

McLaren had dominated most of the session and looked set for a one-two finish but Fisichella posted a late lap to jump to the top with a time of 1:14.466.

Ralf Schumacher showed his Magny-Cours form has not faded when he finished second fastest for Toyota, setting a time just 0.137 seconds behind the leading Renault late in the session.

The former French Grand Prix winner, who has not raced at Magny-Cours since his triumph for Williams in 2003, showed no hangover from his crash at the United States Grand Prix two weeks ago.

Kimi Raikkonen finished third for McLaren, 0.054 seconds behind Schumacher and 0.183 seconds off the lead pace, with Championship leader Fernando Alonso fourth in the second Renault.

World Champion Michael Schumacher, who won the last race in the United States, finished fifth fastest, a little more than half a second off the lead pace in his Ferrari.

Takuma Sato finished sixth for BAR-Honda with his teammate Jenson Button down in ninth place while the second Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello ended up seventh.

Juan Pablo Montoya was more than six tenths of a second slower than teammate Raikkonen in eighth and Jarno Trulli, who claimed pole at Indianapolis, completed the top ten in the second Toyota.

The track had dried after a damp first practice and Raikkonen headed out on grooved tyres, the first driver of the day to do so, to put in a lap of 1:16.251 in temperatures of 20 degrees Celsius.

With 20 minutes gone all drivers apart from Williams' Nick Heidfeld and Jordan's Tiago Monteiro had set a time, all on dry tyres, with Raikkonen leading Alonso by 0.142 seconds and Trulli in third.

Raikkonen stepped up the mark when he pushed his time into the 1:15s, giving him almost a one-second advantage over Alonso, then Fisichella jumped into third, three tenths behind his teammate.

Montoya then moved to the top with a time of 1:15.223 but was still almost a second slower than McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa's fastest time of 1:14.460 from Friday and was ultimately beaten.

Alonso set the fastest time in the first session with a lap of 1:23.939 putting him 0.983 seconds ahead of Fisichella and Kimi Raikkonen 2.544 seconds slower in third.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:14.466 16 2. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:14.603 + 0.137 13 3. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:14.649 + 0.183 14 4. Alonso Renault (M) 1:14.792 + 0.326 12 5. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:14.979 + 0.513 14 6. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:15.177 + 0.711 18 7. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:15.218 + 0.752 15 8. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:15.223 + 0.757 15 9. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:15.228 + 0.762 18 10. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:15.249 + 0.783 15 11. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:15.305 + 0.839 16 12. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:16.080 + 1.614 12 13. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:16.095 + 1.629 17 14. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:16.125 + 1.659 15 15. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:16.372 + 1.906 12 16. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:16.454 + 1.988 17 17. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:17.846 + 3.380 14 18. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:17.929 + 3.463 16 19. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:18.195 + 3.729 14 20. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:18.310 + 3.844 14 All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Ralf: Brother Michael Now in Contention
Previous article

Ralf: Brother Michael Now in Contention

Next article

Red Bull Unlikely to Appeal

Red Bull Unlikely to Appeal
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022