Ferraris top time in first practice

Updated: 07 October 2007 17:02 IST

Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa drove their Ferraris to the top times in the first Formula One practice at the Fuji Speedway in 30 years on Friday .

Ferraris top time in first practice

Japan:

Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa drove their Ferraris to the top times in the first Formula One practice at the Fuji Speedway in 30 years on Friday preparing for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

The circuit replaces the venue at Suzuka, whose contract ran out last year.

Fuji Speedway, near the picturesque Mount Fuji, last hosted a Formula One race in 1977 and the circuit has been renovated to prepare for the modern version of Formula One.

Raikkonen and Massa, who were 1-2 in the last race in Belgium, picked up where they left off with the top times. Raikkonen did 1 minute 19.119 seconds with Massa at 1:19.498.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, driving to gain points for themselves and not the team, were third and fourth. Alonso was at 1:19.667 with Hamilton at 1:19.807.

Two-time defending Formula One world champion Alonso has beaten Hamilton in five of the last six races, and the British driver's one-time 14-point lead has shrunk to just two, 97-95, with three races left in the season.

Hamilton is clinging to the chance to become the first rookie to take the F1 title amid a tumultuous two months that has seen McLaren embroiled in dispute over possession of technical data belonging to rival constructor Ferrari.

After being found guilty by world governing body FIA, McLaren is not only out of the constructors' title race and fined US$100 million (euro72 million).

Raikkonen won the last race in Belgium with Massa second. They now have 84 and 77 points respectively.

Even though Raikkonen and Massa trail the McLaren drivers in the driver standings, Ferrari took its 15th team title when McLaren's team points were withdrawn.

The driver's kept their points in return for providing evidence against McLaren during the meeting of the World Motor Council on Sept. 13 that was attended by Hamilton but not Alonso.

There are practices on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Topics : Formula 1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Chinese Grand Prix McLaren
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