Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 4 - US

McLaren driver Kimi Raikkonen finished fastest in Saturday's final practice session ahead of the United States Grand Prix as all the Michelin runners returned to the track after apparently solving their safety fears

Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 4 - US

Only two of the Michelin runners, Montoya and Coulthard, were able to set a time in the first morning practice session as teams worked on set-up changes suggested by the tyre manufacturer to avoid compromising safety.

Michelin were unable to guarantee the safety of their tyres following several failures in practice on Friday, one of which put Toyota driver Ralf Schumacher out of this weekend's race.

But after running several installation laps in the opening practice all of the Michelin runners were able to set times in the second 45-minute morning session ahead of qualifying with the French tyre company still ahead.

Raikkonen set a time of 1:10.643 to finish 0.201 seconds ahead of second-placed BAR-Honda driver Jenson Button with Championship-leading Renault driver Fernando Alonso 0.076 seconds further back in third.

World Champion Michael Schumacher finished fourth fastest for Ferrari, the fastest Bridgestone runner, with a time 0.560 seconds slower than the lead McLaren of Raikkonen.

Takuma Sato made it two BAR-Hondas in the top five when he finished just ahead of sixth-placed Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella with Toyota driver Jarno Trulli in seventh.

Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, who set the fastest time in the first morning session, finished eighth with Ricardo Zonta ninth for Toyota and Rubens Barrichello completing the top ten in the second Ferrari.

Zonta, who ran as Toyota's test driver on Friday, was drafted into the team earlier in the morning as a replacement for injured Ralf Schumacher, who pulled out of the race under doctors' orders.

The session began under cloudy skies and in temperatures of 23 degress Celsius and Rubens Barrichello went off at turn one after 11 minutes then Tiago Monteiro went off in his Jordan at turn eight one minute later.

With 20 minutes of the session gone Michelin were back on top with Raikkonen ahead of Alonso, Fisichella third, Trulli fourth, Montoya fifth and Schumacher the first Bridgestone runner in sixth.

Button then slotted into second with Sato moving into fourth as BAR set their first times of the morning then Jacques Villeneuve suffered a bizarre spin as he headed into his Sauber pit but avoided hitting any of his mechanics.

Fisichella went off track at turn 11 in his Renault after 33 minutes of the session and with 10 minutes to go all drivers had set a time with Schumacher moving up to fourth.

Red Bull Racing pair David Coulthard and Christian Klien both went off track within three minutes of each other with the former making his mistake at turn seven and the latter at turns two and eight late in the session.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:10.643 12 2. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:10.844 + 0.201 15 3. Alonso Renault (M) 1:10.920 + 0.277 10 4. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:11.203 + 0.560 12 5. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:11.324 + 0.681 16 6. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:11.375 + 0.732 10 7. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:11.457 + 0.814 7 8. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:11.574 + 0.931 7 9. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:11.760 + 1.117 10 10. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:11.794 + 1.151 13 11. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:11.806 + 1.163 13 12. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:11.875 + 1.232 10 13. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:11.915 + 1.272 10 14. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:12.080 + 1.437 9 15. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:12.186 + 1.543 10 16. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:12.914 + 2.271 7 17. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:13.024 + 2.381 16 18. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:13.051 + 2.408 14 19. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:13.161 + 2.518 11 20. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:13.501 + 2.858 16 All timing unofficial 
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