Anthony Davidson was the fastest man of the day at Indianapolis on Friday, as in the second session he bettered his morning time by less than a tenth of a second. Honda's third driver clocked 1:12.013 in the afternoon practice for the US Grand...
Anthony Davidson was the fastest man of the day at Indianapolis on Friday, as in the second session he bettered his morning time by less than a tenth of a second. Honda's third driver clocked 1:12.013 in the afternoon practice for the US Grand Prix, nearly eight tenths ahead of BMW Sauber counterpart Robert Kubica. Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella was the fastest race driver in third.
It continued to be hot at Indianapolis, with the track temperature up in the mid forties at the start of the session. Once again the third drivers led out and after the installation laps Red Bull's Robert Doornbos was first on the time sheet, 1:15.963. He was swiftly demoted by Davidson's 1:13.980, with Kubica and the Williams of Alex Wurz slotting in behind.
MF1's Giorgio Mondini took fourth and Toro Rosso's Neel Jani fifth, while Christijan Albers' MF1 clocked seventh behind Doornbos. Super Aguri third driver Sakon Yamamoto posted eighth and the second MF1 race car of Tiago Monterio took seventh. Super Aguri's Takuma Sato managed ninth but then the yellow flags came out when his teammate Franck Montagny spun in the first sector.
Meanwhile, Toro Rosso's Scott Speed had taken sixth and teammate Tonio Liuzzi managed eighth. Speed them improved to third and Liuzzi to seventh, while Kubica set fastest sectors all round to clock 1:13.224. David Coulthard's Red Bull was next on track and took eighth, followed by the Ferrari of Felipe Massa into second less than half a tenth off Kubica.
The Toyotas of Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher ventured out, along with the Honda of Rubens Barrichello and Michael's Ferrari. Barrichello went fourth and Ralf started with a lowly 14th then climbed to 10th. Michael took to the time sheet in fourth and the BMW Sauber of Jacques Villeneuve was 15th on his first timed lap. Trulli did a couple of laps before setting a time then posted sixth.
Jenson Button's Honda and the Williams race drivers Nico Rosberg and Mark Webber were next to join the action, along with the Red Bull of Christian Klien. In quick succession Webber clocked sixth, Button fifth, Rosberg 14th and then Klien took the place off him. Fisichella was also out on track and slotted into sixth. The Italian kept going and went to the top on his next lap, 1:12.933.
That left Kubica three tenths down and the second Renault of Fernando Alonso took seventh on his initial flyer. By half way through only the BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld and the McLarens of Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya had not set a time. Kubica demoted Fisichella with a 1:12.809, just over a tenth up, and Heidfeld appeared on the time sheet shortly afterwards in eighth.
Montoya followed on into ninth and Raikkonen did likewise into 12th. Mondini jumped up from near the back to 11th then Jani took the spot off him but there was little change in the order for a while. Villeneuve improved a few places to 10th but virtually nothing happened as far as the time sheet was concerned. In the last 10 minutes a few drivers geared up for a last effort.
Klien went up one place to 15th and Mondini had a stellar middle sector, the fastest of the session at the time, to move up to fifth. Liuzzi improved from the low midfield to 10th and Albers from near the back to 18th. Davidson scorched round with fastest sectors in one and two to clock 1:12.013, which left Kubica nearly eight tenths adrift. Speed also improved from way down the times to ninth.
Raikkonen was late to make a move, up from 20th to eighth then Monteiro went up to seventh. What are those MF1s running on today? To see Michael in an MF1 sandwich you'd think he would be at the back of the field but this was in the top 10! A good effort from Mondini and Monteiro. Alonso looked to be on a last gasp flier but backed out of it in the final sector and that was pretty much the end of the session.
"We had a very conclusive tyre test so my work is done on that side of things and Michelin have some positive results all round," said fastest man Davidson. "We also had a trouble free day. I feel much more at home in the car this weekend than I did in Canada and I think everybody in the team has done a great job to make such a good start to the weekend."
Kubica had one or two issues but was happy enough. "This morning we had some problems with the set up but this afternoon it was much better. I have done three long runs with the main goal to see how the tyres would perform and what the degradation would be. We have a good pace, some things to resolve still but it was much better than this morning."
Fisichella was decidedly enthusiatic. "This was one of the best Friday sessions of the season so far for me," said the Italian. "The R26 felt comfortable to drive straight away, and as we made set-up changes it got better and better. The balance is quite good, and we know we are moving in the right direction. We have understood how the tyres are working as well, so it all looks encouraging for tomorrow."
There's not a great deal to say about who is looking competitive as the field was quite mixed up. Renault and Ferrari were solidly in the top 10 but the rest were scattered around. McLaren and Honda were not far off the pace but it was a rather more inconclusive day than usual. Final top eight classification: Davidson, Kubica, Fisichella, Massa, Mondini, M. Schumacher, Monteiro Button.