Friday, 4 April 2008

Bahrain Grand Prix Friday Practice

Under fire Ferrari driver Felipe Massa emerged from Friday's two practice sessions with his head held high after topping the time sheets twice. It was a fairly devastating display of Ferrari dominance all day long, as Kimi Raikkonen finished second in both sessions too. But in the end that wasn't the big story of the day, as McLaren's Lewis Hamilton crashed heavily in the second session causing extensive damage to his MP4-28.

Hamilton ran too high on the kerbs between turns six and seven and the back end stepped out viciously on him, sending him sliding side-on into the barriers at speed. Thankfully he emerged unscathed from his shunt, but there will be sleepless nights in the McLaren pit tonight as the mechanics have a considerable amount of work to do to get the car ready for qualifying tomorrow. McLaren had shown earlier in the day that they have decent pace in their car but they will be somewhat worried that they couldn't really match Ferrari's pace on the day.

Felipe Massa ended the session almost a full second quicker than his teammate Kimi Raikkonen after a late qualifying simulation run in second practice. None of the other teams could even come close to matching that kind of pace. It is clearly advantage Ferrari going into qualifying tomorrow.

Elsewhere Williams impressed, with both Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima finishing high up on the time sheets in both sessions. They'll be looking to bounce back after a difficult weekend in Malaysia. BMW's Robert Kubica showed that the car has some decent pace, although Nick Heidfeld ended the day strangely off the pace. The star of practice, aside from Massa, was Sebastien Bourdais. He put his Toro Rosso in an impressive ninth place in the second session, and ran consistently well throughout the day.

So far then this weekend the Ferraris appear to be cruising, and their rivals have a huge amount of work to do if they are to stop them running away with this race...

No comments: