Raikkonen fastest on British GP Friday

Raikkonen fastest on British GP Friday

Kimi Raikkonen ended the second practice for the British Grand Prix at the top of the time sheet and set the fastest time of the day. The McLaren driver's best was 1:18.655, nearly half a second faster than Rubens Barrichello's quickest in the ...

Kimi Raikkonen ended the second practice for the British Grand Prix at the top of the time sheet and set the fastest time of the day. The McLaren driver's best was 1:18.655, nearly half a second faster than Rubens Barrichello's quickest in the morning session. Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella was a very good second fastest, just five thousandths behind Raikkonen, and Micheal Schumacher's Ferrari was third.

Kimi Raikkonen.
Photo by DaimlerChrysler.

Conditions were much the same as the earlier session, track temperature slightly higher, and it was an initial rush out on the circuit. David Coulthard took the top of the times, 1:21.110, followed by McLaren teammate Raikkonen in second. Then came BAR third driver Anthony Davidson, the Ferrari of Schumacher and Renault's Fernando Alonso all in quick succession to make up the top five.

Recovered from his earlier car troubles, Alonso improved to second, nine hundredths down on Coulthard. BAR's Jenson Button took sixth, Williams' Marc Gen? seventh and the three Jaguars made up the top ten, third driver Bjorn Wirdheim ahead.

Toyota third driver Ricardo Zonta made fourth on his first flyer and the second Renault of Jarno Trulli demoted Mark Webber's Jaguar for 10th. Alonso improved his time but stayed second and Fisichella slotted into ninth. The Italian was forced to have an engine change after troubles in the morning session and will incur a ten place demotion penalty in qualifying tomorrow. Davidson moved into fourth, the times rapidly changing, and Rubens Barrichello put his Ferrari to the top with a 1:20.727.

Felipe Massa's Sauber was just outside the top ten and the Minardis and Jordans were holding fort at the back as usual. Webber improved to eighth and Takuma Sato put his BAR 14th on his first timed lap. Juan Pablo Montoya managed sixth on his first effort while Williams teammate Gen? slipped outside the top ten. Sato climbed to eighth, then Montoya and Davidson to second and third respectively in quick succession.

Nick Heidfeld worked his Jordan up to 17th and Schumacher took over the top with a 1:20.615. Montoya closed in for second fastest, sixth tenths off, then Coulthard took fastest back with a 1:19.451. The Scot stayed there less time than it took to complete a lap, Raikkonen snatching it with 1:19.001, the best of the day so far.

Olivier Panis was the best Toyota, sixth, and Jaguar's Christian Klien made a bold effort for ninth. Fisichella improved to fourth, just ahead of Alonso, and the BARs were pushed back down the times. Massa and Gen? were midfield ahead of Button and Sato and Trulli even further back, in 18th. Button then made a huge effort up to second quickest, four tenths down on Raikkonen. Cristiano da Matta struggled on his first lap, 24th for the Toyota, and Davidson's BAR came to a halt in the last sector with a gearbox problem.

After the first half-hour of frantic activity, things leveled off a bit. Sato moved back into the top ten and Schumacher climbed to second, three tenths down on the McLaren. Webber moved up to 14th, the three Jaguars holding formation in the midfield, Klien ahead. Barrichello took sixth and da Matta improved to 11th, two slots behind teammate Panis.

Starting the last 20 minutes, Raikkonen bettered his own fastest time to 1:18.655, stretching the gap to Schumacher to half a second. Trulli leapt up the field to fifth and shuffles at the back saw third driver Bas Leinders head the Minardi trio. Heidfeld led the Jordans in front of the Faenza squad. Sato took sixth and Massa 12th, then it went quiet again.

Gen?, who had been languishing at the back of the midfield, shot up to fifth but Jordan third driver Timo Glock crashed at Bridge due to a wheel problem. Glock was unharmed although the car suffered heavy damage. The last five minutes saw Montoya return to the top ten in eighth, followed by Barrichello into fifth. Gianmaria Bruni got his Minardi ahead of Giorgio Pantano's Jordan for 22nd and Fisichella bounced from 11th to second, just five thousandths off Raikkonen.

Zonta took 12th but Massa took it straight back again, then Felipe had another go to move up to 10th at the end of the session. Sauber had a strong day over all but there were no big surprises elsewhere. A McLaren at the top of the times has not been usual this season but the MP4-19B is looking good. Raikkonen's 1:18.655 was only fractionally ahead of Fisichella but half a second clear of Schumacher.

Ferrari, of course, is hardly slacking and third and sixth is by no means unusual for the pair at the end of a Friday. Button and Sato in the top ten is excepted from BAR and Davidson would probably have been there too if not for his problem.

Williams didn't carry its pace from the morning session and Renault seemed a bit at odds at the end of second practice. But all in all, about par for the course, Sauber being the notable runners of the day. Final top eight classification: Raikkonen, Fisichella, Schumacher, Coulthard, Button, Barrichello, Gen?, Trulli.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan