By Andrew Benson
BBC Sport at Silverstone
McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa was fastest in Friday practice at the British Grand Prix to cement his team's status as pre-race favourites.
2nd PRACTICE TIMES
1. P de la Rosa
2. R Zonta
3. JP Montoya
4. K Raikkonen
5. R Schumacher
6. J Trulli
7. F Alonso
8. V Liuzzi
Red Bull 1:21.004
9. D Coulthard
Red Bull 1:21.034
10. M Schumacher
The Spaniard set a lap of one minute 18.589 seconds to beat his Toyota counterpart Ricardo Zonta by 0.375secs.
McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen were third and fourth, and easily the fastest race drivers.
Montoya, 1.722 seconds behind De la Rosa, was 0.132secs ahead of Raikkonen with Ralf Schumacher's Toyota fifth.
The McLaren drivers all produced impressively fast multi-lap runs as they did their homework on the car and tyre choices ahead of qualifying and the race.
Toyota's Jarno Trulli was sixth fastest, ahead of world championship leader Fernando Alonso's Renault.
Spaniard Alonso, who has warned that his team will struggle to compete with McLaren on raw pace at Silverstone this weekend, was 0.6secs behind Raikkonen.
Alonso is focusing on limiting the damage to his championship lead - he has a 24-point advantage over Raikkonen with Ferrari's Michael Schumacher a further five points adrift.
The reigning world champion was fastest at one point during the session, but ended it 10th overall, behind the two Red Bulls of Vitantonio Liuzzi and David Coulthard.
The varying fuel loads and tyres used by the teams throughout the session make it very difficult to divine too much about pre-race form from practice times.
However, Raikkonen said: "It is going well and it is a good start for the weekend.
"The car was not perfect, I was not very happy with it, but the lap time seems to be okay. It is only the first day, but it looks like we are in good shape."
Team-mate Montoya added: "We look stronger than Renault, and I think if we can get a top five (in qualifying) we will be looking really strong for the race."
Follow the British Grand Prix live on the BBC Sport website. Qualifying is at 1300 BST on Saturday 9 July, with the race at the same time on Sunday.