Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 1 - Belgium

Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 1 - Belgium

Championship challenger Kimi Raikkonen started the Belgian Grand Prix weekend in aggressive mood when he out-paced his McLaren team test driver Alexander Wurz to take top spot in Friday's opening practice session.

Raikkonen, who is chasing a 27-point deficit to championship leader Fernando Alonso, put the team on top again at a wet Spa-Francorchamps circuit with a late lap time of 1:48.206 in the opening one-hour session.

Austrian Wurz finished just one hundredth of a second slower than Raikkonen in a McLaren one-two but their third driver Juan Pablo Montoya did not get out of the garage during the session.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso also chose to stay in the pits rather than put mileage on his engine but his Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella finished third fastest to show the team are also on the pace here.

Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta ended up fourth fastest with Australian Williams driver Mark Webber fifth, Briton Jenson Button sixth for BAR-Honda and Italian Jarno Trulli, in the second Toyota, seventh.

World Champion Michael Schumacher, who struggled for form in the last two races, finished eighth fastest for Ferrari having been hoping for rain to give him a chance this weekend.

His brother Ralf Schumacher finished ninth fastest in the third Toyota and Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, of Red Bull Racing, rounded out the top ten with his teammates Christian Klien and David Coulthard both failing to complete a lap.

Clear blue skies on Thursday were replaced by cloud and the overnight heavy rain, which lightened up in the morning, had ensured the track was wet by the time the session began.

Few drivers ventured out onto the circuit even though their teams are expected to need a strong wet set-up with worsening weather predicted for the rest of the weekend.

With less than 20 minutes to run just five cars had set a time with Zonta leading the way on a time of 1:50.580 ahead of Red Bull tester Liuzzi and Jordan tester Kiesa third.

But a flurry of activity, as usual, in the closing minutes of the session saw the times drop as the racing line on the track dried out with only Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya choosing not to run a lap.

Minardi test driver Enrico Toccacelo lost control on the slippery track at Blanchimont and spun into the gravel, touching the barrier lightly as he came to a stop.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:48.206 5 2. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:48.216 + 0.010 18 3. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:48.619 + 0.413 6 4. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:49.445 + 1.239 22 5. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:49.692 + 1.486 4 6. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:49.890 + 1.684 7 7. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:50.542 + 2.336 9 8. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:50.564 + 2.358 4 9. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:50.820 + 2.614 8 10. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:50.951 + 2.745 17 11. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:51.003 + 2.797 7 12. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:51.177 + 2.971 5 13. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:52.173 + 3.967 7 14. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:52.236 + 4.030 9 15. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:53.148 + 4.942 9 16. Pizzonia Williams-BMW (M) 1:53.535 + 5.329 4 17. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:53.807 + 5.601 9 18. Kiesa Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:54.437 + 6.231 17 19. Doornbos Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:54.973 + 6.767 8 20. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:55.174 + 6.968 7 21. Toccacelo Minardi-Cosworth (B) 2:02.502 + 14.296 5 21. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) No Time 1 22. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) No Time 1 23. Alonso Renault (M) No Time 0 24. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) No Time 0 All timing unofficial 
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