Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 4 - Europe

McLaren set themselves up for Saturday's grid-deciding qualifying session for the European Grand Prix with a perfect performance in final practice, as Kimi Raikkonen narrowly beat Juan Pablo Montoya to the top time

Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 4 - Europe

Raikkonen left it late to beat Montoya, as the McLaren pair matched each other throughout the session, and he finished with a time of 1:29.680, as the Renault pair of Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella settled for second best.

Alonso finished 0.307 seconds slower than Raikkonen with Fisichella 0.391 seconds back as the teams completed their final preparations for the grid-deciding qualifying session.

Jarno Trulli finished fifth fastest for Toyota, with Nick Heidfeld sixth for Williams and Takuma Sato seventh as BAR-Honda continue their racing return after being banned from the last two events.

Ralf Schumacher, in the second Toyota, split the two BAR drivers in eighth with Jenson Button ninth fastest and Michael Schumacher put Ferrari inside the top ten with a lap some 1.346 seconds slower than the lead pace.

Indian Narain Karthikeyan suffered a high-speed 360-degree spin early in the session when he lost control of his Jordan on the main straight and careered onto the tarmac run-off and Jarno Trulli missed the apex at the chicane.

Montoya led the session early on but Alonso put in a lap of 1:29, 987, the first time anyone has broken the 1:30s barrier this weekend, with 20 minutes of the session left to run.

Raikkonen then went quicker still, faster by almost two tenths of a second, as track temperatures rose to 39 degrees Celsius with air temperatures up to 26 degrees and blue skies above the circuit.

Montoya upped the pace even further when he moved ahead of Raikkonen by just 0.009 seconds but Raikkonen then exerted his authority in the closing seconds to claim top spot by 0.109 seconds.

Pos  Driver        Team                  Time                  Laps
 1.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:29.680               11
 2.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:29.789  +    0.109   13
 3.  Alonso        Renault           (M)  1:29.987  +    0.307   15
 4.  Fisichella    Renault           (M)  1:30.071  +    0.391   14
 5.  Trulli        Toyota            (M)  1:30.552  +    0.872   12
 6.  Heidfeld      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:30.559  +    0.879    9
 7.  Sato          BAR-Honda         (M)  1:30.645  +    0.965   12
 8.  R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  1:30.692  +    1.012   14
 9.  Button        BAR-Honda         (M)  1:30.773  +    1.093   13
10.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  1:31.026  +    1.346   14
11.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  1:31.449  +    1.769   10
12.  Liuzzi        Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:31.572  +    1.892   17
13.  Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  1:32.054  +    2.374    9
14.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:32.079  +    2.399   11
15.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:32.172  +    2.492   14
16.  Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:33.140  +    3.460   14
17.  Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:33.977  +    4.297   16
18.  Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:34.527  +    4.847   17
19.  Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:34.640  +    4.960   12
20.  Friesacher    Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:35.087  +    5.407   14

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