Raikkonen sets the pace
Kimi Raikkonen celebrated his newly signed Ferrari extension with a top spot on the timesheets in Friday's second practice at Monza.
The Ferrari driver, who is desperate for victory this weekend in Italy, clocked a 1:23.861sec lap to beat the BMWs of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld.
Following the morning session's heavy showers Heikki Kovalainen led the drivers out for the installation laps on a damp track but with no rain falling.
The McLaren driver stayed out to post not only the first time of the session but also his first time of the day having opted against completing any laps in the morning.
He was soon overhauled by Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel while Mark Webber, Nelson Piquet Jr, Seb Bourdais and Kazuki Nakajima slotted in behind him. Bourdais improved to first place while Webber went second as the drivers quickly began to put together some decent times.
Kovalainen and the two Toro Rosso drivers swapped fastest lap for fastest lap before being overhauled by the arrival of Kimi Raikkonen. The reigning Champ, who was just confirmed as a Ferrari driver for the 2010 season, immediately went quickest with a 1:33 and continued to lap, lowering the benchmark on his way. Team-mate Felipe Massa went third behind Vettel while Rosberg, Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello completed the top eight at the half an hour mark.
Bourdais was the first to put on the dry tyres, putting in two fastest sector times on his way to a 1:32.8, which put him just half a second behind Raikkonen. The following lap, which more heat in the rubber, he went P1, outpacing the reigning Champ by 0.14s.
Timo Glock was the next to go quickest, followed by Vettel, Jenson Button and Vettel again. Halfway through the session the lead time was a 1:27.607 belonging to Vettel while Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, David Coulthard and both Force Indias had yet to set times.
Hamilton, though, came out shortly after and went second quickest before taking the top spot on his next lap, almost a full second up on Vettel's bet time. The McLaren driver took a further seven tenths off his next lap, setting fastest times in all three sectors. He was joined at the top of the timesheets by Massa, Robert Kubica, Adrian Sutil and Kovalainen.
Raikkonen joined the battle for the lead, taking it off Hamilton while Alonso went P7 despite straightlining the Roggia chicane. Massa moved up to second place, a tenth off Raikkonen, as Kubica improved to fourth place, slotting in behind Hamilton.
With the track almost completely dry the times continued to tumble with Massa the next to come to the fore followed by Kubica. The Polish driver put in an impressive 1:24.287 to extend his lead over Hamilton, who found himself almost a full second off the pace.
Nelson Piquet Jr brought out the yellow flags as he spun his Renault, stopping it at the kerb at the first chicane. Moments later Sutil spins at Lesmo II but is able to continue.
Kubica was able to hold onto the top spot until the final four minutes when Raikkonen edged him with a 1:23.861.
01 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:23.861 31 laps
02 R. Kubica BMW 1:23.931 26 laps
03 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:23.947 29 laps
04 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:23.983 25 laps
05 N. Rosberg Williams 1:24.110 33 laps
06 F. Massa Ferrari 1:24.247 34 laps
07 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:24.365 29 laps
08 M. Webber Red Bull 1:24.521 35 laps
09 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:24.669 22 laps
10 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:24.773 35 laps
11 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:25.100 25 laps
12 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:25.192 39 laps
13 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:25.204 24 laps
14 R. Barrichello Honda 1:25.296 25 laps
15 J. Button Honda 1:25.309 34 laps
16 K. Nakajima Williams 1:25.330 28 laps
17 T. Glock Toyota 1:25.397 28 laps
18 F. Alonso Renault 1:25.481 22 laps
19 J. Trulli Toyota 1:25.753 29 laps
20 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:26.195 23 laps