Practice 3: Ralf still rules

Williams are looking stronger and stronger as the Suzuka weekend ticks by, with Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya leading the way in a much faster second morning session. Ralf in particular looked to have a car that was superglued to the road and should go into qualifying with huge confidence.

Practice 3: Ralf still rules

Michael Schumacher was next along behind the Williams duo, the Ferrari half a second back from his brother's 1m31.149s lap. Ralf's best was 1.8 seconds quicker than his first session effort. The Renaults set the early pace this time around, then finishing more respectably in fourth and eighth.

Kimi Raikkonen was lucky to run a few laps in David Coulthard's car, having damaged his own in the first session. That meant that Coulthard couldn't get so much as a lap in, given all the time needed to adjust the car for Raikkonen. Kimi managed sixth-best time, but was the best part of two seconds down on the pace.

This morning's practice seems to point towards nothing more than a straight fight between Williams and Michael Schumacher. Raikkonen is on the back foot but not incapable of fighting back in qualifying, whilst it would seem wrong to discount Renault based purely on their morning positions.

"Kimi's a tough competitor," warned Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn after practice. "I don't think his problems need be too much of a setback."

Qualifying at 0600 BST will reveal all.

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