Ferrari stamped its authority on the last practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix with Michael Schumacher at the top of the times and Felipe Massa second fastest. Schumacher's best was a 1:20.795 and Massa was just under seven tenths off....
Ferrari stamped its authority on the last practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix with Michael Schumacher at the top of the times and Felipe Massa second fastest. Schumacher's best was a 1:20.795 and Massa was just under seven tenths off. BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica was the best of the rest in third, fractionally over a second off Michael.
The conditions were still quite cool, with a track temperature around 30 degrees as Super Aguri's Takuma Sato and Sakon Yamamoto headed out on track. Renault's Fernando Alonso was also out quickly, followed by the MF1s of Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro, and Alonso clocked the first time of 1:25.405.
Yamamoto was three seconds off Alonso but the others didn't do more than an installation lap initially. The Toyotas of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli were next out on track and Alonso improved his time to 1:23.092. Ralf took second, three seconds off the Renault, and Trulli followed into third.
Honda's Rubens Barrichello posted sixth behind the Super Aguris on his first effort, while the Toro Rossos of Scott Speed and Tonio Liuzzi ventured out, along with the BMW Sauber of Robert Kuica and Christian Klien's Red Bull. Barrichello moved up to fourth and Ralf improved his time but was still over two seconds off Alonso.
Several more cars joined the action and there were rapid changes on the time sheet before Jenson Button's Honda stopped on track spouting flames, causing the session to be red flagged. At that point Alonso's time was 1:22.119 -- Klien was second, Button third and Speed fourth. Then came the Red Bull of David Coutlhard, Kubica and BMW teammate Nick Hiedfeld.
Ralf, McLaren's Pedro de la Rosa and Michael made up the top 10. The others on the time sheet were Liuzzi, Trulli, Barrichello, Monteiro, the Williams of Mark Webber, Yamamoto, Massa and Sato last in 18. There was about a 10 minute delay to clear the track, although the clock kept running.
The session resumed with 20 minutes remaining and Nico Rosberg was the first man on the move, the Williams taking the second slot. He was immediately demoted by Webber, who in turn fell just as quickly to the McLaren of Kimi Raikkonen. Albers posted 12th on his first timed effort and Michael improved to seventh.
Barrichello followed into eighth and Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella was last to post a time, 13th. Michael went up to fourth then lost it to Klien, while Fisichella improved to eighth. De la Rosa moved into the second slot, the gap to Alonso three and a half tenths. Massa, who was lurking at the back, woke up and posted 1:21.472 and Barrichello took second.
Kubica replaced Barrichello by a fraction quicker, the gap to Massa three tenths, and Sato jumped from the back to 12th. Ralf improved to 11th after being moved down and Klien, who had also been shuffled down the order, made his way back up to fifth. Liuzzi took eighth, a good effort to split the two McLarens.
In the last couple of minutes Michael put in a late flyer and clocked 1:20.795, the fastest of the weekend so far and nearly seven tenths up on Massa. Monteiro was also a late improver, up to 13th, followed by Speed to 14th. Only Massa was within a second of Michael, although Kubica third and Barrichello fourth were just marginally off.
Renault, McLaren and Red Bull had both their cars in the top 11 but BMW and Honda had mixed fortunes. It's hard to imagine anyone but a Ferrari driver on pole in qualifying but the big question is where Alonso will end up. Final top eight classification: M. Schumacher, Massa, Kubica, Barrichello, Alonso, Fisichella, Klien, de la Rosa.