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Last Updated: Friday, 13 August, 2004, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Raikkonen underlines intent
By Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor at the Hungaroring

Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen races to Friday's fastest lap in Hungary
Kimi Raikkonen revived hopes that Ferrari will face a genuine threat at the Hungarian Grand Prix by setting the pace in practice on Friday.

The McLaren driver set a fastest lap of one minute 20.884 seconds, 0.125secs ahead of Michael Schumacher's Ferrari.

Juan Pablo Montoya in a Williams, which has a revised nose design, was third, with David Coulthard's McLaren fourth.

Olivier Panis' new Toyota, BAR's Takuma Sato, Williams' Antonio Pizzonia and Jenson Button's BAR were next up.

Several of Schumacher's rivals have predicted that this will be the closest race of the season.

Heading into the weekend, McLaren, Renault and BAR were all expected to be able to challenge Ferrari for victory.

Raikkonen, who has been Schumacher's closest rival for the last two races, has looked quick from the outset.

Michael Schumacher at the Hungaroring
Schumacher's supremacy is threatened this weekend
He was on course to beat Schumacher's fastest time in the first session on Friday morning until he was held up by a Minardi.

And he followed that up with an impressive pace in the afternoon in a car that appears, as expected, to be well suited to the tight and twisty Hungaroring track.

Raikkonen said: "The car is not too bad, but I'm sure there are still improvements to make.

"It has the speed in the races as long as we get everything right - if we get the set-up right we can challenge for first place."

Schumacher was particularly impressive in his ability to guide the Ferrari to a series of consistently fast laps, and that may be ominous for hopes of a competitive race on Sunday.

His team-mate Rubens Barrichello showed a similar ability, although he was not able to match Schumacher's pace.

Williams will be encouraged by the pace of their car, which features a new nose design in a bid to improve its aerodynamics downforce.

The team have abandoned their distinctive "walrus" nose in favour of a more conventional design.

Second practice times:

1. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren 1:20.884
2. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:21.009
3. Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) Williams 1:21.165
4. David Coulthard (GB) McLaren 1:21.203
5. Olivier Panis (Fra) Toyota 1:21.352
6. Takuma Sato (Jap) BAR 1:21.364
7. Antonio Pizzonia (Bra) Williams 1:21.574
8. Jenson Button (GB) BAR 1:21.665
9. Rubens Barrichello (Bral) Ferrari 1:21.712
10. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:21.946
11. Mark Webber (Aus) Jaguar 1:21.999
12. * Anthony Davidson (GB) BAR 1:22.356
13. * Bjorn Wirdheim (Swe) Jaguar 1:22.559
14. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Jordan 1:22.651
15. * Timo Glock (Ger) Jordan 1:22.697
16. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Sauber 1:22.743
17. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Renault 1:22.788
18. Ricardo Zonta (Bra) Toyota 1:22.808
19. Giorgio Pantano (Ita) Jordan 1:22.937
20. Christian Klien (Aut) Jaguar 1:23.003
21. * Ryan Briscoe (Aus) Toyota 1:23.170
22. Felipe Massa (Bra) Sauber 1:23.188
23. * Bas Lienders (Bel) Minardi 1:25.339
24. Zsolt Baumgartner (Hun) Minardi 1:25.450
25. Gianmaria Bruni (Ita) Minardi 1:26.365

* denotes test drivers who will not race on Sunday

Button expresses optimism
12 Aug 04  |  Formula One
Coulthard keen to drive on
12 Aug 04  |  Motorsport
Button 'crazy' to leave BAR
12 Aug 04  |  Formula One
Renault hopeful for Hungary
09 Aug 04  |  Formula One

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