Friday, September 12, 2008

Sutil leads in wet session, Raikkonen back on top

Quoted and edited from

Force India driver Adrian Sutil led in a very wet opening practice of the Italian Grand Prix. Rain fell for most of the morning at an extremely gloomy Monza, with the track damp initially and only a handful of teams choosing to go out before further showers prevented quick times being set. Although the precipitation did stop briefly, the track had no chance to dry before a massive downpour began in the final 20 minutes, convincing all those who had ventured out for some wet practice to return to shelter in the pits - although even the garage floors started getting damp as the pitlane drains overflowed. The session was ultimately officially red-flagged with four minutes remaining due to the severity of the rain, although by that point no-one had attempted to leave the pits for nearly a quarter of an hour.

The reigning champion, Kimi Raikkonen beat the BMWs of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld to the top spot, with points leader Lewis Hamilton taking fourth for McLaren in the 2nd Session of Friday practice. 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 slick tires after 20 minutes, and although at first he was five seconds off the pace, within six laps he was matching and then beating early pacesetter Raikkonen.

BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica led the way until the final flurry of soft tire 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.

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