Ferrari claimed the top of the times in the second Friday practice for the British Grand Prix and once the reds were there nobody else could move them. Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa held first and second for most of the session, Raikkonen's ...
Ferrari claimed the top of the times in the second Friday practice for the British Grand Prix and once the reds were there nobody else could move them. Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa held first and second for most of the session, Raikkonen's 1:20.639 being the best time of the day and Massa was half a second behind.
"It was a good day," said Raikkonen. "We worked in a different way to usual, covering a high mileage. I would say we have a good base from which we can improve the car for qualifying and the race. We have to do well and we will give it our all. Track conditions were a bit difficult because of the wind, while it seems that, compared to the test two weeks ago, the track surface is a bit slipperier."
Massa was slightly hampered by a brief rain splash but was satisfied overall. "I am very satisfied with the work done in these two free practice sessions. The car worked well in a reasonably similar way to what we had seen in the test here two weeks ago and I can only be happy with that. We worked on long runs and the performance was very consistent"
Toyota showed well in the afternoon with Ralf Schumacher third and Jarno Trulli fifth. They were split by the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton who managed to set exactly the same time as Schumacher but the Toyota driver did it first. The second McLaren of defending champion Fernando Alonso was sixth, marginally under a second off Raikkonen.
Schumacher commented: "Both sessions were positive and we had no technical problems so we are quite happy with what we have achieved so far. The wind was strong both in the morning and the afternoon so that made it difficult to make accurate comparisons. But we made it through everything that we had planned so it sets us up well for the rest of the weekend."
Williams' Nico Rosberg, seventh, was the last of the drivers to be within a second of the leader although teammate Alex Wurz was just a hundredth over in eighth. Mark Webber made it into the top 10 for Red Bull with ninth and David Coulthard, who was today confirmed for another year by the energy drink team, was 14th.
Super Aguri's Anthony Davidson rounded off the top 10, 1.5 off the top, while teammate Takuma Sato was a further three and a half tenths adrift in 16th. The Renaults were again line astern with Heikki Kovalainen leading Giancarlo Fisichella in 11th and 12th respectively and just over a tenth separated them and Davidson.
BMW Sauber slipped down the times from the morning, Robert Kubica 13th and Nick Heidfeld 15th. Rubens Barrichello was the lead Honda in 16th, one place ahead of team test driver Christian Klien. Jenson Button suffered back pain after the morning session and Honda opted to put Klien in the car instead.
The Austrian, who previously raced for Jaguar and Red Bull, had an industrious afternoon of 45 laps on his first Friday outing for Honda, the most of any driver. For a good amount of time he was quicker than Barrichello but by the end of it he was just over three tenths down, which was not an unreasonable margin.
The Toro Rossos followed on, Scott Speed 19th and Tonio Liuzzi 20th, and the Spykers rounded off the field at the back. Christijan Albers was 21st and Adrian Sutil, who went off and hit the barriers at Copse, was 22nd. As in the morning session there were several off-track moments but most, aside from Sutil, were brief.
It was a change to see the Toyotas mixing it with the Ferraris and McLarens but it's hard to imagine it will last the whole weekend. Williams also showed well but the rest were pretty much unremarkable. Final top eight classification: Raikkonen, Massa, Schumacher, Hamilton, Trulli, Alonso, Rosberg, Wurz.