Raikkonen quickest in second practice
|By Matt Beer
||Friday, September 12th 2008, 13:33 GMT
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