BAR third driver Anthony Davidson set the pace in Friday's opening practice session for the German Grand Prix, clocking a best of 1:15.756. Michael Schumacher's Ferrari was second quickest, just a tenth down, and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was...
BAR third driver Anthony Davidson set the pace in Friday's opening practice session for the German Grand Prix, clocking a best of 1:15.756. Michael Schumacher's Ferrari was second quickest, just a tenth down, and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen was third, half a second off Davidson's pace.
Conditions were warm and dry as the installation laps got under way and it was the third drivers who made the early running. Toyota's Ricardo Zonta clocked the first time, 1:20.561. Jordan's Timo Glock was next to join the time sheet, over a second off Zonta, then Davidson took over the top slot, 1:18.840. Bj?rn Wirdheim's Jaguar took second fastest, eight tenths down.
Gianmaria Bruni was the first Minardi to set a time, fifth fastest, and Felipe Massa the first Sauber, sixth. Massa quickly improved to second, beaten to the top spot by Toyota's Olivier Panis clocking 1:17.432. Giorgio Pantano put his Jordan sixth and Zsolt Baumgartner joined Minardi teammate Bruni on track.
Massa improved his time but stayed second, four tenths off Panis, and Antonio Pizzonia, having his first race weekend with Williams, slotted into fourth. Panis' teammate Cristiano da Matta was fifth and Pizzonia improved to second quickest, two tenths down on the lead Toyota. Zonta then returned to the top with a 1:1:17.264.
Pizzonia was just five hundredths off Zonta in second and Panis a tenth and a half from his teammate. Jordan's Nick Heidfeld made eighth fastest on his first effort and Juan Pablo Montoya hurled his Williams to the top of the times, 1:16.795 and half a second up on Zonta. Jaguar's Christian Klien managed 11th on his initial flyer, then climbed to tenth, and Minardi third driver Bas Leinders joined in 15th.
Schumacher was the first Ferrari on track and took the top spot with a 1:15.864, nine tenths quicker than the Williams, while teammate Rubens Barrichello slotted into seventh. Davidson improved to second, two tenths off Schumacher, and Barrichello moved up to third. Takuma Sato put his BAR eighth and Jarno Trulli slotted his Renault into 11th.
Fernando Alonso had a lazy first effort then wound up to sixth in the second Renault, and Jenson Button clocked fourth fastest in the BAR. Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella made fifth on his first effort, then improved to third. McLaren made an appearance in the last 20 minutes, David Coulthard taking seventh quickest but then the session was red-flagged when Glock lost his front wing on the kerbs and scattered debris on the track.
Practice resumed ten minutes later and the Minardi drivers improved their times but stayed at the bottom of the list. Davidson took over at the top, 1:15.756, and Zonta moved up to third. The Toyotas also improved but stayed on the edge of the top ten after being shuffled down the order. Schumacher took second and Raikkonen was a late starter, clocking third in the last ten minutes.
Davidson came to a halt on track right at the end of the hour and Jaguar's Mark Webber didn't set a time at all. A quiet start to the Hockenheim weekend, with the third drivers putting in the most laps. Difficult to draw any conclusions from one session -- no surprises so far. Final top eight classification: Davidson, Schumacher, Raikkonen, Zonta, Fisichella, Panis, Barrichello, Button.