Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 3 - Belgium

World Championship challenger Kimi Raikkonen claimed the fastest time of the opening Saturday practice session for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix, as clear blue skies returned to the Ardennes forests at Spa-Francorchamps

Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 3 - Belgium

After a wash-out day of practice on Friday, the skies cleared and the fans flocked in to see the action with teams needing plenty of track time to develop their set-ups for the race.

The session, run on a dry track, finished with Raikkonen on a time of 1:48.125, leading teammate Juan Pablo Montoya by 0.391 seconds as McLaren, who are expected to dominate this weekend, secured a confident one-two.

After talk of concerns over the cancellation of the race and predictions that the weather would worsen for the rest of the weekend, the bright sunshine was a welcome sight for all the drivers.

Renault driver Giancarlo Fiscihella finished third fastest, proving Renault will also be on form this weekend, but he was 0.758 seconds back and his teammate Fernando Alonso, in fourth, was more than a second slower than the lead McLaren.

Outgoing World Champion Michael Schumacher, a six-time winner at Spa, was fifth fastest for Ferrari with Jenson Button sixth for BAR-Honda and Mark Webber seventh for Williams.

David Coulthard claimed the eighth fastest time for Red Bull Racing, Ralf Schumacher finished ninth for Toyota and Antonio Pizzonia, preparing for his second race as injured Nick Heidfeld's replacement, completed the top ten.

Montoya was the first driver out but there was no sudden rush of cars out on the track when the circuit opened and with half the session gone just 12 of the 20 cars had gone out and none had set a time.

The two Red Bull Racing cars were the first to set a time, with around 15 minutes of the session left to run, but their arrival preceded a flurry of cars in the late part of the session.

The McLarens moved to the top, as expected, with Montoya leading the way despite a brief off down the escape road at La Source, but Alonso then moved to the top with two minutes remaining.

Former World Champion Jacques Villeneuve spun his Sauber and Jarno Trulli went off track in his Toyota during the session but all drivers made it through the session unscathed.

Pos  Driver         Team                  Time                  Laps
 1.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:48.125                7
 2.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:48.516  +    0.391    9
 3.  Fisichella    Renault           (M)  1:48.883  +    0.758    8
 4.  Alonso        Renault           (M)  1:49.286  +    1.161    7
 5.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  1:49.520  +    1.395   11
 6.  Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  1:49.780  +    1.655    8
 7.  Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  1:50.066  +    1.941    5
 8.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:50.139  +    2.014   14
 9.  R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  1:50.403  +    2.278    8
10.  Pizzonia      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:50.449  +    2.324    9
11.  Trulli        Toyota            (M)  1:50.451  +    2.326    9
12.  Sato          BAR-Honda         (M)  1:50.750  +    2.625   10
13.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:50.877  +    2.752    8
14.  Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:50.907  +    2.782   14
15.  Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:51.655  +    3.530    8
16.  Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:51.953  +    3.828    9
17.  Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:53.250  +    5.125    8
18.  Doornbos      Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:53.278  +    5.153    8
19.  Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:53.480  +    5.355    5
20.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  No Time                  

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