F1

Hamilton top in Turkish GP second practice

Hamilton top in Turkish GP second practice

After the Ferrari charge in the morning, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheet in the second practice for the Turkish Grand Prix with a best time of 1:28.469. He was half a second down on the best time of the day, set by Ferrari's Kimi ...

After the Ferrari charge in the morning, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheet in the second practice for the Turkish Grand Prix with a best time of 1:28.469. He was half a second down on the best time of the day, set by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in the morning. The second McLaren of Fernando Alonso was sixth fastest overall in the afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren Mercedes.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"I am happy with the performance so far, especially as the conditions today were not ideal," Hamilton commented. "It is a shame that both sessions were interrupted, however the work we did was productive and we made some good progress."

Raikkonen was three tenths off Hamilton in second and Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa was fifth. Hamilton stayed at the top of the list nearly all session but the times were closer than they had been in the morning when only Massa was within a second of Raikkonen. This time the top 12 were within that margin and the top six less than half a second apart.

"I am reasonably happy with the way things went in the morning and a bit less so when it came to the afternoon," Raikkonen said. "For some reason, probably a change in the wind direction, conditions were rather difficult and we will have to evaluate very carefully the data from the second session because it is easy to go down the wrong route."

The Toyotas had a good afternoon, Ralf Schumacher third quickest and Jarno Trulli fourth. Massa was just fractionally behind Trulli and Alonso about the same from the Ferrari, so it was all pretty close. Toyota looks competitive but is not unknown to put in some quick laps on a Friday then fall off the pace later in the weekend.

"We went through most of our programme despite the time lost in the second session," said Schumacher. "We worked on set-up and tyre choices and everything seemed to go well. The results today were encouraging with 3rd place in second practice and we hope we can convert our form today into a strong qualifying result."

Nico Rosberg was seventh for Williams and this session Alex Wurz closed the gap to his teammate and was ninth. In the morning he had been over a second off Rosberg. In between them was the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen, eighth, and Giancarlo Fisichella was 12th, the last to be within a second of Hamilton's top time.

Robert Kubica was the lead BMW Sauber in 10th and Nick Heidfeld was 13th, BMW not seeming to have got to grips with the Istanbul circuit yet. David Coulthard's Red Bull had a fire in the morning and it was some time before he got out on track this afternoon, but finished a reasonable 11th. Teammate Mark Webber was nearly a second behind in 17th.

The Hondas of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello were 14th and 15th respectively, exactly where they were in the earlier practice. Takuma Sato was the quicker of the Super Aguris in 16th and Anthony Davidson was 18th. Davidson bought out the yellow flags at the end of the session when he hit the barriers -- he was unharmed.

At the back of the field the Toro Rossos of Tonio Liuzzi and Sebastian Vettel were 19th and 20th ahead of the Spykers, Adrian Sutil 21st and Sakon Yamamoto 22nd. Apart from Davidson's shunt the only other thing that delayed the session was a loose drain cover, which caused a lengthy red flag period while it was put back in place.

Hamilton was solidly at the top this afternoon but the gap to Raikkonen's hot lap in the morning was notable. Still, even the Finn couldn't match his own pace but due to the interrupted session it's not a clear picture performance-wise. Final top eight classification: Hamilton, Raikkonen, Schumacher, Trulli, Massa, Alonso, Rosberg, Kovalainen.

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