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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.

© Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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