Rubens Barrichello topped the first one-lap qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix on Friday, but Kimi Raikkonen showed his intentions of making Ferrari work for the title this season.

Rubens Barrichello topped the first one-lap qualifying session for the Australian Grand Prix on Friday, but Kimi Raikkonen showed his intentions of making Ferrari work for the title this season.

The McLaren driver was fastest in the morning session and later set a time only second to Barrichello. The Brazilian set a time of one minute 26,372 seconds - just 0,179 secs quicker than Raikkonen. Barrichello will now be last on the track on Saturday in the battle for pole position. The slowest driver on Friday, Minardi’s Justin Wilson, will start Saturday’s session first.

“Everything is really new for everyone and I was quite excited going out there and doing the time. It's a good to go and try out the new rules. This session is the best time to try and go as fast as you can," said Barrichello.

The biggest surprise of the session was BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve, who edged out champion Michael Schumacher for third spot. Villeneuve’s team-mate, Jenson Button, took fifth spot. The Canadian’s morning session was shortened after being sidelined by an engine failure.

“We had no time to do any set-up work this morning we had so little running. In fact I didn't even know where to brake! But the car is good and the tyres held up well. We have been here enough times over the years for me to be able to find my way around,” said Villeneuve.

“I am a little but disappointed because I am not usually so far off my team-mate, so I am not the happiest man. But fourth I can easily live with and I should be quicker tomorrow," said Schumacher.

“I felt a bit like a road-sweeping machine for all the other cars, cleaning the track, as I picked up all the dirt. It is obviously a disadvantage to be first on the road. In the end, Rubens did a very good lap and I did not,” the Ferrari driver said. “But I can say I found it a bit strange doing one lap and then having to wait so long to find out what position I had.”

“It is difficult to draw an accurate conclusion from the session as we were first on the track and especially for Michael, it was quite dusty, which affected his time. Rubens did a super job. We need to get used to the new procedure, but today is not so critical and we will see what happens tomorrow,” said Ross Brawn.

David Coulthard was in sixth spot, followed by Renault's Fernando Alonso, who could have been higher than seventh but braked too deep into Turn Three and lost his momentum. The Williams team had a disappointing day, with Juan-Pablo Montoya coming in 10th spot and Ralf Schumacher, who made a mistake early in his lap, could only manage 16th place.

"I cannot complain about anything in particular on my car as I had a pretty decent balance, even if I lost some time in a couple of corners. We took a conservative approach to today’s qualifying but nonetheless we’re a bit surprised to end up where we are," said Montoya.

Meanwhile, the FIA announced on Thursday that a team could use the spare car if a race car suffers mechanical failure before or during the warm-up. The FIA had previously said that the teams could only use a spare car if a team's race car was damaged beyond repair.

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Friday’s sessions times:

1 Rubens Barrichello (Bra) Ferrari one minute 26.372 seconds

2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) McLaren 1:26,551

3 Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BAR 1:26,832

4 Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 1:27,103

5 Jenson Button (GB) BAR 1:27,159

6 David Coulthard (GB) McLaren 1:27,242

7 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:27,255

8 Olivier Panis (Fra) Toyota 1:27,352

9 Jarno Trulli (Ita) Renault 1:27,411

10 Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) Williams 1:27,450

11 Cristiano Da Matta (Bra) Toyota 1:27,478

12 Nick Heidfeld (Ger) Sauber 1:27,510

13 Heinz-Harald Frentzen (Ger) Sauber 1:27,563

14 Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Jordan 1:27,633

15 Mark Webber (Aus) Jaguar 1:27,675

16 Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Williams 1:28,266

17 Ralph Firman (GB) Jordan 1:29,977

18 Jos Verstappen (Net) Minardi 1:30,053

19 Antonio Pizzonia (Bra) Jaguar 1:30,092

20 Justin Wilson (GB) Minardi 1:30,479.