BMW Sauber third driver Robert Kubica set the pace in the first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, clocking a best time of 1:16.390 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Second fastest was Honda third driver Anthony Davidson, nearly two ...
BMW Sauber third driver Robert Kubica set the pace in the first practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, clocking a best time of 1:16.390 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Second fastest was Honda third driver Anthony Davidson, nearly two seconds down, and Williams No.3 Alex Wurz was third on the time sheet.
Track temperature was around 25 degrees as the third drivers led out; Kubica, Sakon Yamamoto (Super Aguri), Neel Jani (Toro Rosso), Giorgio Mondini (MF1) and Wurz. Also quickly out for installation laps were the Super Aguris of Takuma Sato and Franck Montagny.
The MF1s of Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro followed on, along with Red Bull third driver Robert Doornbos and Davidson. Wurz set the first time, in the 1:25 area, then lowered it to 1:23.449. Davidson took over with a 1:23.083 then bought it down to 1:21.029 over his next couple of laps.
There were a few laps being put in by other drivers and Kubica slotted into second, seven tenths off Davidson. Mondini came to a halt in the first sector, brining out the yellow flags, while Yamamoto took fourth. Jani went one better for third and Davidson improved to 1:20.767. Kubica closed in to post just under two tenths off the Honda.
Kubica then clocked fastest sectors all round for 1:19.464, over a second up on Davidson. Felipe Massa's Ferrari appeared briefly for an installation lap and Kubica was still out there, his next a 1:18.746. Doornbos posted fourth and Sato sixth and after 20 minutes there were seven drivers on the time sheet.
Jarno Trulli's Toyota and the Toro Rosso of Tonio Liuzzi ventured out but didn't linger, while Franck Montagny posted seventh ahead of Yamamoto. Davidson closed the gap to Kubica to just under six tenths but Kubica responded with a 1:17.998 to stretch out his advantage to just over a second from the Honda.
Doornbos clocked third and Wurz was fourth, followed by Jani, Sato, Montagny and Yamamoto, who was over seven seconds off the pace. Fernando Alonso's Renault and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari went out briefly but with 20 minutes remaining of the session there were still only eight drivers on the time sheet.
Kubica improved his top time to 1:17.059, leaving Davidson nearly two seconds off, while Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault put in an installation lap. Davidson narrowed the gap to a second and a half to Kubica and Red Bull's Christian Klien ventured out but it was a very lethargic session.
In the final 10 minutes Toro Rosso's Scott Speed appeared, followed by the Honda of Rubens Barrichello, and Kubica clocked 1:16.390 at the top. Albers and Monteiro made the time sheet with sixth and ninth respectively and Trulli was a wayward 11th, nine seconds off the pace.
Jenson Button's Honda went out in the last five minutes along with the BMW Sauber of local hero Jacques Villeneuve. BMW teammate Nick Heidfeld followed on, then Red Bull's David Coulthard. Barrichello took third and Button fourth, while Ralf Schumacher's Toyota posted eighth. Brother Michael appeared on the time sheet one better in seventh.
Liuzzi posted ninth and Michael improved to fourth, then right at the end Monteiro stuck the MF1 in the wall. Apart from that it was the usual humdrum Friday morning and Kubica once again put in a good performance. Final top eight classification: Kubica, Davidson, Wurz, M. Schumacher, Barrichello, Button, Jani, Doornbos.