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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