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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Ferrari set the pace in French GP practice

Alan Baldwin | June 29, 2007 20:48 IST

Ferrari [Images] dominated French Grand Prix free practice on Friday with Felipe Massa [Images] and Kimi Raikkonen [Images] reviving the Italian team's hopes of ending McLaren's winning streak.

Finland's Raikkonen, off the podium in his last four races, beat Massa in the first session while the Brazilian led a Ferrari one-two at the top of the timesheets in the second on an overcast afternoon at Magny-Cours.

Ferrari-powered cars filled four of the top five slots in the afternoon, with Toro Rosso's American Scott Speed a surprising third-quickest and Italian team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi fifth.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton [Images] suffered a rare mechanical setback in the morning when his McLaren's engine protection system clicked in and forced him to park by the side of the track.

But the 22-year-old rookie, chasing a hat-trick of wins on Sunday after his victories in Canada [Images] and the United States, was still fourth-fastest in the afternoon.

The Briton, whose team boast 100 percent reliability in races so far, is also hoping for an eighth podium appearance in a row.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso [Images] of Spain, 10 points adrift of team mate Hamilton after seven races, went off into the gravel three times in the second session and ended up eighth-quickest with a time half a second slower than Massa.

Britain's David Coulthard, the last McLaren driver to win at Magny-Cours in 2000, was fifth on the timesheets for Renault-powered Red Bull in the morning and sixth in the afternoon.

Ferrari are 35 points behind McLaren in the constructors' championship and have not won a race since Massa led from pole position in Spain on May 13.

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