Raikkonen leads Ferrari one-two in first practice

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SAO PAULO, Oct 19 (Reuters) Championship contender Kimi Raikkonen led a Ferrari one-two today in a wet first free practice for the title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Finn, seven points behind McLaren's 22-year-old championship leader Lewis Hamilton and three adrift of Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso, lapped the slippery Interlagos circuit in one minute 19.580 seconds.

Brazilian Felipe Massa, last year's winner in his home city but bound to do his best to help team mate Raikkonen this time, was second on the timesheets, 0.482 slower than the Finn.

Both Ferrari drivers stayed off the track for most of the session, venturing out only in the final 15 minutes to set the best times.

Raikkonen needs to win Sunday's race and hope that his McLaren rivals slip up if he is to have a realistic chance of lifting a Formula One crown that has eluded him before.

Hamilton, who had not seen the Sao Paulo circuit until yesterday afternoon, was fifth fastest while Alonso failed to set a time.

The Spaniard has won both his previous titles at Interlagos and hopes for a third in a row on Sunday to make him the first driver since Juan Manuel Fangio in 1957 to win back-to-back championships with different teams.

With a steady drizzle falling, the Spaniard ventured out but did not complete a timed lap in the misty conditions.

BMW Sauber drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica also remained off the timesheets along with Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella.

Renault's Heikki Kovalainen was third fastest, ahead of Germany's Nico Rosberg for Williams.

Reuters BJR RN2229

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