Free practice 4: Alonso quickest at home

Fernando Alonso leapt to the top of the timesheets in the final free practice session at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya to get his home crowd excited in anticipation of this afternoon's final qualifying session

Free practice 4: Alonso quickest at home

The Renault driver lapped in a best time of 1m17.670s as the track improved markedly from the earlier session when many found it dirty. This was almost exactly half a second slower than the lap that Michael Schumacher achieved in yesterday's first qualifying session in the new Ferrari F2003-GA but, notably, it was more than half a second ahead of the next fastest time, the 1m18.214s lap set by the other Ferrari driver, Rubens Barrichello.

Emphasising Renault's strong form, Jarno Trulli - second in yesterday's qualifying session - was third fastest on 1m18.263s, with Michael next up on 1m18.623s. Arch rivals McLaren had been fastest in this morning's earlier session, with Kimi Raikkonen fastest of all, but he dropped back to sixth fastest on 1m19.012s, with David Coulthard one place behind on 1m19.150s.

Showing its best form so far this season, Toyota followed up Cristiano da Matta's fourth place in first qualifying with Olivier Panis lapping fifth fastest this morning, in 1m18.985s, although Cristiano slipped back to 11th in this free session.

More to follow.

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