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Kimi fastest in final practice

Kimi Raikkonen put McLaren on top of the pile in Saturday's final practice session before first qualifying for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix as rain hampered running at Albert Park and world champion Michael Schumacher only managed seventh fastest time.

Raikkonen set a time of 1:27.297, just two seconds slower than the fastest time in Friday's dry sessions, to finish 0.112 seconds ahead of Spaniard Fernando Alonso as McLaren and Renault traded times at the top.

Juan Pablo Montoya, who had looked set to top the session with one minute to go, finished third, some 0.959 seconds slower than his team-mate simply because of the rapidly drying track surface late in the session.

And Italian Giancarlo Fisichella made it an all-McLaren and Renault top four when he finished fourth fastest, just ahead of the leading BAR-Honda of Briton Jenson Button.

Australian Mark Webber gave home fans a boost by finishing sixth fastest, just ahead of Schumacher, while Takuma Sato finished eighth but stopped his BAR-Honda on track late in the session. Scot David Coulthard finished ninth for Red Bull Racing with Rubens Barrichello completing the top ten is his Ferrari.

The wet track had dried out a little by the start of the second session and air temperatures had risen by two degrees to 14 degrees Celsius when the first car came out on track for the second 45 minutes.

With 20 minutes of the session completed Renault drivers Fisichella and Alonso, who had limited running in the previous sessions, were on top of the pile, both having taken almost five seconds off Schumacher first session lap of 1:40.540.

Jordan driver Narain Karthikeyan, who was fined for speeding in the first session on Friday, continued to be hampered by bad luck and he stopped out on track to bring out the yellow flags for the second time in as many sessions.

The Indian driver spun off dramatically at turn nine, the rear of his car burst into flames and he had to call on the track fire marshals to extinguish the fire before he found his own way back to the pits.

Just 12 drivers set a time in the first morning session but when Michael Schumacher came out in his Ferrari with 29 minutes of the session gone he became the last of the field to get out on track.

Schumacher went second behind Raikkonen, who had surpassed the Renault duo as a dry line began to form around the Albert Park track, while Felipe Massa slotted into third in the lead Sauber.

The times tumbled as the session came to a close but Barrichello appeared to have a problem, remained in the Ferrari garage throughout the session and only managed his first timed lap with five minutes to go.

And former world champion Jacques Villeneuve suffered an embarrassing incident in the dying minutes of the session when his Sauber team allowed him out of the pits with a tyre warmer still wrapped around his rear tyre.

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