Felipe Massa was the fastest man in the second practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Ferrari's best time of 1:21.778 a tenth and half slower than McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen in the morning. Over a second behind Massa in the afternoon was...
Felipe Massa was the fastest man in the second practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, the Ferrari's best time of 1:21.778 a tenth and half slower than McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen in the morning. Over a second behind Massa in the afternoon was Renault's Fernando Alonso and the Spaniard's teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was third.
The track temperature was only a couple of degrees higher than the morning as Williams No.3 Alex Wurz led out. Robert Kubica, newly promoted to a BMW Sauber race seat, was next, and the Toro Rosso of Scott Speed and Super Aguri's Sakon Yamamoto. Honda and Red Bull third drivers Anthony Davidson and Robert Doornbos followed on.
Takuma Sato's Super Aguri and MF1 third driver Markus Winkelhock also joined the track, and the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld. Wurz clocked 1:25.631 to start with but was quickly overtaken by Davidson's 1:25.606. Toro Rosso No.3 Neel Jani took third, Doornbos fourth, Winkelhock fifth and Sato and Yamamoto sixth and seventh.
Wurz returned to the top but was immediately ousted by Davidson's 1:24.132, over a second up. Tiago Monteiro's MF1 arrived in seventh and Ralf Schumacher's Toyota in fifth. Michael Schumacher put his Ferrari second on his initial flyer and Rubens Barrichello's Honda slotted into sixth. Massa's Ferrari went straight to the top on his first effort, 1:21.778.
Jarno Trulli's Toyota posted 10th and Speed managed 14th, while Jenson Button's Honda took seventh. Teammate Barrichello improved to fourth and Tonio Liuzzi's Toro Rosso clocked 10th. Button climbed to fifth and Jani to sixth after being moved down the order. David Coulthard's Red Bull took the 10th spot but dropped on when Liuzzi snatched it back.
Christijan Albers' MF1 started with 18th and Fisichella was on a quick lap but spun in the middle sector. Pedro de la Rosa put his McLaren 11th, followed by teammate Raikkonen into 13th. Alonso's Renault began with a lowly 21st then jumped up to second, 1.3 off Massa.
Christian Klien's Red Bull started with 15th and Winkelhock improved to 10th. Kubica finally set a time after half an hour, ninth, then moved up to fourth. Teammate Heidfeld followed suit and posted seventh then took the fourth spot off Kubica. Fisichella had another go and clocked eighth, then third, which just left the Williams pair to run.
Nico Rosberg appeared first and managed 18th then moved up to 13th, but Mark Webber wasn't in a hurry to get out on track. Sato jumped up to 13th from the back and Doornbos did likewise from the midfield to fourth. Things slowed down again in the last 15 minutes, Massa still at the top followed by Alonso and Fisichella.
Ralf, who had been loitering in the midfield, improved to fifth and Trulli followed suit, up to sixth from a similarly low position. With 10 minutes to go Webber finally made the time sheet in 23rd then moved up to 19th. Monteiro improved from the back to 15th and Albers and Speed did likewise to 20th and 22st respectively.
Albers then came to a halt in the middle sector with an engine problem but it was near enough the end of the session anyway. Davidson, who had been shuffled down the list, made a late improvement to fifth but he was the last significant mover. Ferrari and Renault were the strongest looking teams in general, both with both cars in the top eight.
"Today, as usual, we have worked on evaluating the tyres and on finding the best set-up car for the car," said Massa. "The track is very dirty and so it was very difficult to drive. We will have to look at all the information we have very carefully to make the right choices for qualifying and, even more importantly, for the race."
Alonso said the lack of grip made the car unbalanced but overall it was a normal day. "I was having some problems with the rear end to begin with, but we managed to calm it down during the session and we will carry on working in that direction tomorrow," he commented. "The times seem competitive, so I think we are on the right track."
Fisichella's spin was caused by a traction control gremlin, which the team was able to fix. "It's much colder than usual here in Hungary, and that means the conditions are very low grip indeed, coming from the track but also the tyres," said the Italian. "The car was quite tricky to drive because of this, but we made some good changes and need to do some more overnight."
Toyota and BMW also seemed quite competitive but both McLarens were outside the top 10, Raikkonen way down in 25th. However, they didn't do a great deal of laps so it doesn't necessarily mean anything. Honda, Williams and Red Bull were not particularly noticeable, apart from the third drivers, but Saturday morning should be a better indicator.
MF1 wasn't too bad and Sato did well to get the Super Aguri up to 17th but Yamamoto was at the back, as usual; Toro Rosso was much the same. It was a largely uneventful Friday and the only surprise was the weather being much cooler than expected. Final top eight classification: Massa, Alonso, Fisichella, Doornbos, Davidson, R. Schumacher, Trulli, M. Schumacher.