McLaren set the pace in free practice


McLAREN limbered up for their title showdown with Renault by setting the pace in yesterday's practice for the season-ending Chinese Grand Prix. 

McLaren's Spanish test driver Pedro de la Rosa, who will not race tomorrow, lapped 1.8 seconds faster than anybody else in the first session and was also quickest in the second. 

Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello, without a win since last year's inaugural Chinese Grand Prix, returned as the fastest race driver in the morning but McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen filled that slot in the afternoon. 

McLaren need to score two points more than Renault in the season-ending race to take the constructors' title for the first time since 1998. 

Friday's free practice session: 1. Pedro de la Rosa (Spa) McLaren 1:32.834; 2. Ricardo Zonta (Bra) Toyota 1:32.977; 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren 1:34.092; 4. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:34.226; 5. Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren 1:34.541;  

6. Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Ferrari 1:34.618; 7. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault 1:34.932; 8. Mark Webber (Aus) Williams 1:35.035; 9. Jenson Button (Gbr) BAR 1:35.072; 10. Felipe Massa (Bra) Sauber 1:35.196;  

11. David Coulthard (Gbr) Red Bull 1:35.201; 12. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Ita) Red Bull 1:35.306; 13. Takuma Sato (Jpn) BAR 1:35.397; 14. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:35.567; 15. Christian Klien (Aut) Red Bull 1:35.613;  

16. Antonio Pizzonia (Bra) Williams 1:35.709; 17. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) Sauber 1:35.894; 18. Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 1:36.051; 19. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:36.079; 20. Nicolas Kiesa (Den) Jordan 1:36.644;  

21. Robert Doornbos (Ned) Minardi 1:36.993; 22. Christijan Albers (Ned) Minardi 1:37.173; 23. Tiago Monteiro (Por) Jordan 1:37.435; 24. Narain Karthikeyan (Ind) Jordan 1:37.467. 

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