It was another slow start to a race weekend in Friday's first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix and Williams third driver Alex Wurz topped the times with a best of 1:34.946. BMW Sauber and Honda counterparts Robert Kubica and Anthony...
It was another slow start to a race weekend in Friday's first practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix and Williams third driver Alex Wurz topped the times with a best of 1:34.946. BMW Sauber and Honda counterparts Robert Kubica and Anthony Davidson were second and third fastest respectively and McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya was the quickest race driver in fourth.
Both the air and track temperatures were in the low to mid thirties as the third drivers led out at the start of the session. The Williams of Wurz was first on the time sheet, 1:38.630, followed by Davidson and Kubica. Then came Giorgio Mondini, on duty for MF1, and Super Aguri race driver Yuji Ide.
Felipe Massa was quickly to work for Ferrari; the Brazilian had to have an engine change after Bahrain and will suffer the 10 place grid demotion penalty. His first effort was 1:38.317, three tenths up on Wurz and Torro Rosso third driver Neel Jani slotted in to fifth.
Kubica had a quick stint at the top then was replaced by Davidson, 1:37.485, but as usual it was very quiet on a Friday morning. After half an hour the MF1 of Christijan Albers appeared in sixth and a few others went out for installation laps. Albers' teammate Tiago Monteiro took ninth but was demoted by the Toro Rosso of Scott Speed.
Kubica returned to the top with a 1:37.310 and Red Bull No.3 Robert Doornbos clocked fifth. Takuma Sato joined Super Aguri teammate Ide at the bottom of the 12 car list. Monteiro's MF1 came to a halt with a currently unknown problem and with 15 minutes to go there was still little action.
Davidson removed Kubica from the top, over a second up for 1:35.997, then Wurz did likewise with a 1:34.946. Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli's Toyotas posted fifth and seventh as the last 10 minutes started to tick away. David Coulthard's Red Bull was a late arrival in third and teammate Christian Klien was 10th a few minutes later.
Toro Rosso's Tonio Liuzzi was one of the last to make it onto the time sheet in 13th, then Michael Schumacher's Ferrari and Montoya took fifth and fourth respectively at the end. Wurz was nearly eight tenths clear of Kubica but with so few laps done by most of the race drivers it was pointless trying to make any performance assessments.
Hopefully there will be more track action in the afternoon session. Final top eight classification: Wurz, Kubica, Davidson, Montoya, Coulthard, M. Schumacher, Massa, Doornbos.