Unsurprisingly it was the third drivers who made the running in the first practice session for the British Grand Prix, with the Williams of Alex Wurz setting the best time of 1:21.946. Honda's Anthony Davidson was just half a tenth behind in...
Unsurprisingly it was the third drivers who made the running in the first practice session for the British Grand Prix, with the Williams of Alex Wurz setting the best time of 1:21.946. Honda's Anthony Davidson was just half a tenth behind in second and BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica was third. Only 14 of the 29 drivers set a time.
For Silverstone it was surprisingly nice weather, with the air temperature around 25 degrees and the track in the high thirties at the start of the session. Third drivers Giorgio Mondini and Kubica led out for MF1 and BMW Sauber respectively, followed by Honda counterpart Davidson.
The Super Aguri of Takuma Sato was next, along with the team's new third driver Sakon Yamamoto. Red Bull and Williams No.3s Robert Doornbos and Wurz joined them, as well as MF1's Tiago Monteiro and Toro Rosso third driver Neel Jani. Franck Montagny's Super Aguri and Christian Albers' MF1 made up the early appearances.
Davidson was first to set a time, 1:24.389 after a couple of laps, and Wurz slotted in behind over two seconds adrift. He and Davidson had the track to themselves early on, as nobody else was inclined to do more than an installation lap. Wurz closed the gap to the Honda to about a second but there was little activity in the first 10 minutes.
Kubica was next to join the time sheet, his 1:23.960 just over four tenths up on Davidson. Mondini took fourth and Yamamoto fifth, then the session was red-flagged briefly when Montagny's Super Aguri came to a halt on track at the end of the start/finish straight. Once the car was cleared Jarno Trulli's Toyota appeared for an installation lap.
Davidson clocked 1:23.264 to return to the top, seven tenths up on Kubica, and Mondini went up one to fourth. Jani posted fifth and Sato seventh, both he and Yamamoto over 13 seconds off the pace. Yamamoto then improved to 10 seconds off, then to eight, then seven -- not a bad effort for his first day in the Super Aguri.
Ralf Schumacher's Toyota went out for a brief trip round the circuit and Kubica demoted Davidson with a 1:22.365, nine tenths up. Wurz followed on with a 1:21.946, four tenths quicker, and Davidson took second, half a tenth off. The Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Fernando Alonso made a quick visit to the track but didn't linger.
In the last ten minutes Red Bull's Christian Klien appeared and a couple of other drivers decided on a late effort. Trulli posted fourth and Honda's Rubens Barrichello took fifth, with Monteiro behind in eighth. Albers took the place off him and Mondini went off track in the last sector. Jenson Button put his Honda sixth and Albers made seventh.
The Ferraris went out in formation and Felipe Massa posted 11th and Michael Schumacher fifth. Sato had improved to just under six seconds off the pace and Yamamoto was a couple of seconds behind. Massa moved up to eighth and that was the session over with only half the field on the time sheet.
Only the third drivers put in any serious track time, Davidson the busiest with 31 laps. Trulli was the most energetic race driver with all of seven laps under his belt -- Friday mornings are just so exciting aren't they? Final top eight classification: Wurz, Davidson, Kubica, Trulli, M. Schumacher, Barrichello, Button, Massa.