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Raikkonen quickest in second practice


Kimi Raikkonen celebrated the announcement of his Ferrari contract extension by setting the pace in a busy second practice session at Monza.

The reigning champion beat the BMWs of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld to the top spot, with points leader Lewis Hamilton taking fourth for McLaren.

Practice began on a damp track, but unlike the first session, this time conditions steadily improved. Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais was the first man to switch to dry weather tyres after 20 minutes, and although at first he was five seconds off the pace, within six laps he was matching and then beating early pace-setter Raikkonen.

Inevitably the order was then rapidly turned inside out as drivers flocked onto dry Bridgestones, and the next 20 minutes saw Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso), Jenson Button (Honda), Nico Rosberg (Williams), Hamilton and Raikkonen all appear in first position before Kubica hit the front.

The Pole was briefly usurped by Massa, shrugged off a swift spin at the first chicane, then regained the top spot and then extending his advantage when he switched to soft dry tyres.

The BMW driver led the way until the final flurry of soft tyre runs, when Raikkonen returned to the front with a 1:23.861, 0.07 seconds quicker than Kubica.

With none of the other front-runners improved on their final flying laps, Raikkonen remained on top until the end, ahead of the BMWs, Hamilton and Williams' Nico Rosberg.

Felipe Massa took sixth in the second Ferrari, with Heikki Kovalainen seventh for McLaren, followed by Red Bull's Mark Webber.

Morning practice star Adrian Sutil ran as high as sixth in an eventful session that saw him spin at the Lesmos and then missed the pitlane entry when returning to the pits after the chequered flag.

He was pushed down the order as others improved, but still finished the day in a promising ninth place. Vettel completed the top ten.

Nelson Piquet ended the afternoon at the foot of the timing screens after spinning at the first chicane and beaching his Renault on the 'speed bumps' between the kerbs. He was ordered to switch the engine off by his team as its temperatures rose while Piquet appealed for a push from the marshals.

Pos  Driver        Team                     Time              Laps
 1.  Raikkonen     Ferrari             (B)  1:23.861            31
 2.  Kubica        BMW Sauber          (B)  1:23.931  + 0.070   26
 3.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber          (B)  1:23.947  + 0.086   29
 4.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:23.983  + 0.122   25
 5.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:24.110  + 0.249   33
 6.  Massa         Ferrari             (B)  1:24.247  + 0.386   34
 7.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:24.365  + 0.504   29
 8.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:24.521  + 0.660   35
 9.  Sutil         Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:24.669  + 0.808   22
10.  Vettel        Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:24.773  + 0.912   35
11.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:25.100  + 1.239   25
12.  Bourdais      Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:25.192  + 1.331   39
13.  Fisichella    Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:25.204  + 1.343   24
14.  Barrichello   Honda               (B)  1:25.296  + 1.435   25
15.  Button        Honda               (B)  1:25.309  + 1.448   34
16.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:25.330  + 1.469   28
17.  Glock         Toyota              (B)  1:25.397  + 1.536   28
18.  Alonso        Renault             (B)  1:25.481  + 1.620   22
19.  Trulli        Toyota              (B)  1:25.753  + 1.892   29
20.  Piquet        Renault             (B)  1:26.195  + 2.334   23

All Timing Unofficial
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