Raikkonen Stays on Top at Silverstone

McLaren sent a further warning to their rivals on the final day of testing at the Silverstone circuit, with Finn Kimi Raikkonen going even faster with his MP4-20

Raikkonen Stays on Top at Silverstone

Raikkonen's time of 1:16.953 was over 1.5 seconds faster than the closest of his rivals and over one whole second quicker than what he managed yesterday, when he also topped the times.

Both Raikkonen and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, returning to testing action after skipping yesterday's session, continued working on set-up for the British and Canadian Grands Prix, the Montreal race being the next round of the Championship.

The day stayed sunny for the most part, except for a storm in the afternoon, which affected only some parts of the circuit and which forced the teams to call it a day earlier than planned.

German Ralf Schumacher and Italian Jarno Trulli were second and third quickest for their Toyota team, but both were far from Raikkonen's best laptime.

Italian Giancarlo Fisichella posted the fourth quickest time as his Renault team completed their preparations for the Canadian Grand Prix despite some mechanical problems in the French cars. Teammate Fernando Alonso was seventh quickest.

"We completed another solid day's running, although some problems meant we did not complete as many laps as we hoped to," said Renault's chief test engineer Christian Silk. "However, both drivers obtained good information on the tyres, and we continue the set-up work begun yesterday.

"Some rain showers passed through this afternoon, and we made the most of them to conduct some tyre development on wet and full wet compounds. In spite of not running on Wednesday, this has been a productive week and we are in good shape for the Grand Prix here in several weeks' time."

Mark Webber was joined by Williams test driver Nico Rosberg, who took over from German Nick Heidfeld at the wheel of the second BMW-powered car. The Williams drivers caused the two red flags in today's session, with Webber going off the track and Rosberg stopping with mechanical problems.

The Red Bull team tested with three drivers today, with American Scott Speed finally completing his planned test, which was postponed from Wednesday. Speed, competing in GP2, is hoping to impress Red Bull to land the third seat for the American Grands Prix.

David Coulthard was the quickest of the Red Bull trio, but Speed showed good form and finish less than a tenth behind the Scot, with Austrian Christian Klien right behind.

Rubens Barrichello, in the only Bridgestone-shod car on track, finished at the bottom of the times with the Ferrari.

Today's times:

Pos  Driver        Team-Engine         Tyres  Time     Laps
 1.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:16.953  82 
 2.  R.Schumacher  Toyota               (M)  1:18.575  81 
 3.  Trulli        Toyota               (M)  1:18.856  79 
 4.  Fisichella    Renault              (M)  1:19.126  85 
 5.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes     (M)  1:19.163  59 
 6.  Webber        Williams-BMW         (M)  1:19.618  81 
 7.  Alonso        Renault              (M)  1:19.714  82 
 8.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth    (M)  1:19.928  70 
 9.  Rosberg       Williams-BMW         (M)  1:19.949  70 
10.  Speed         Red Bull-Cosworth    (M)  1:19.992  68
11.  Klien         Red Bull-Cosworth    (M)  1:20.151  68 
12.  Barrichello   Ferrari              (B)  1:20.155  73 

All Timing Unofficial

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