Rubens Barrichello gave his home fans something to cheer about on Friday when he set the best time of the day in the second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Ferrari man clocked 1:11.166, just under two tenths ahead of teammate Michael ...
Rubens Barrichello gave his home fans something to cheer about on Friday when he set the best time of the day in the second practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Ferrari man clocked 1:11.166, just under two tenths ahead of teammate Michael Schumacher. McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest and the top ten were covered by fractionally over a second.
Conditions were similar to the morning session and the initial flurry of track activity saw Raikkonen at the top of the times. The Finn clocked 1:13.512, with teammate David Coulthard a couple of tenths behind. Michael's Ferrari and Fernando Alonso's Renault followed on in third and fourth, then Coulthard took over the top with a 1:13.145.
Toyota's Jarno Trulli moved into the fourth slot, with BAR third driver Anthony Davidson fifth and Sauber's Felipe Massa sixth. Massa's teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was next in line and Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams was eighth. Jenson Button put his BAR second, Barrichello took third and Takuma Sato made it three BARs in the top seven.
Ricardo Zonta's Toyota took the seventh position, then Sato improved to sixth. Just outside the top ten were Renault's Jacques Villeneuve, Jaguar's Mark Webber and Alonso, who had been rapidly shuffled down the order. The Jordans and Minardis were having their usual tussles at the back, along with Toyota No.3 Ryan Briscoe and the Jaguar of Christian Klien.
Webber shot to the top with a 1:13.070, fractionally ahead of Coulthard, but was then demoted by Trulli's 1:12.545, half a second up. Massa was the next to jump up the times, taking third, while Michael climbed back up to fifth. Raikkonen put in a storming lap of fastest sectors across the board to reclaim the top spot, 1:11.953.
Sato followed into second, just three hundredths behind, and Ralf Schumacher's Williams jumped up from the midfield to fourth. Halfway through the session the Ferraris were on the edge of the top ten and the BARs, Saubers and McLarens were making most of the running. Trulli and Webber were holding station in fifth and ninth.
Michael got himself in gear and belted up to the top with a 1:11.743, two tenths up on Raikkonen. Zonta improved to take the fifth spot, teammate Trulli being shuffled down to seventh. Montoya moved up to seventh from down the field and Barrichello to third. Villeneuve was steadily improving but remained outside the top ten. At the back, Nick Heidfeld led the trio of Jordans, 17th, and Zsolt Baumgartner led the Minardis in 22nd.
Alonso put in a flyer that promoted him from the midfield up to fifth and Davidson took second, just under two tenths down on Michael. Button ousted the Ferrari from the top by one hundredth, with a 1:1:11.731. The last 15 minutes were fairly quiet, with little in the way of track activity until the end.
Michael was the first to make a move and posted 1:11.334 for fastest and Villeneuve finally cracked the top ten with 10th. Jordan third driver Robert Doornbos made a good effort for 16th and Barrichello swapped Ferraris at the top, 1:11.166. Massa shifted his Sauber out of the midfield and back into the top ten, one in front of Briscoe for eighth.
Raikkonen moved up to third behind the Ferraris and Doornbos was still climbing, up to 13th by the final minutes. Bruni was the best Minardi in 20th, ahead of Klien, Wirdheim and Glock as well as his teammates. BAR looked strong by the end of the session with all three cars in the top six, as did Ferrari, of course, at the top.
The rest were a mixed bunch, Raikkonen's McLaren showing good pace in third, while Alonso and Massa looked handy for Renault and Sauber respectively. After its impressive showing this morning Williams was at the edge of the top ten, while Coulthard, Fisichella and Villeneuve were some way behind their teammates down in the midfield.
So, no startling events on Friday, although Doornbos was notable for kicking his Jordan up to 13th, and Bruni for being ahead of a Jaguar. The drivers all the way up to, and including, Trulli in 16th were inside Montoya's best time from this morning -- obviously the track greatly improved in the afternoon.
Now that set up and tyres have been assessed, tomorrow morning's practices should give a clearer picture of who's on the pace. Final top eight classification: Barrichello, M. Schumacher, Raikkonen, Button, Davidson, Sato, Alonso, Massa.