Friday, 9 May 2008

Turkish Grand Prix: Friday Practice Two

Kimi Raikkonen showed no ill effects of his hampered running this morning by cruising to the top of the time sheets in the second Friday practice session. Things were desperately close at the top of the order this time out with Kimi edging out Hamilton by just 3 hundredths of a second, and Felipe Massa just a fraction behind the top two. The big surprise was that there were two British drivers in the top four, breaking the Ferrari-McLaren dominance.

David Coulthard was the man to raise eyebrows throughout the paddock with a fine lap to take fourth place. It was a remarkable improvement over his seventeenth place from this morning's session. However, the smiling faces were only on one side of the Red Bull Racing pit as Mark Webber binned his car on the exit of turn 6 early in the session, ripping the front end off and bringing out a red flag in the process. He ran a bit wide onto the bumpy run-off area and tried to keep his foot in, but evidently lost traction and the rear end got away from him.

He wasn't the only driver having difficulties with car stability in the high-speed corners, as nearly half the field came very close to dropping it at one point or another. The extra wide run-off areas at the Tilke designed circuit undoubtedly saved a lot of pricey carbon fibre from destruction, and saved lots of extra hours for the mechanics in the pit garages.

Both Renaults nearly lost it in the very first corner of the track, Alonso in particular had a miraculous save early in the session. Hamilton too was seen sawing away frantically at the wheel of his McLaren several times through turns 1 and 2. Rosberg cut across the track at turn 2 also at one point. Jenson Button wisely got out of the throttle and took to the run off area on the exit of the super fast turn 8 as he ran wide and the rear end got loose on him.

BMW's Robert Kubica was also seen bouncing across the track at one point, and it wasn't the greatest day all round for the German team. They are expecting to be right up on the pace of the Ferraris and McLarens this weekend, but have shown no signs of that so far. Nick Heidfeld was overheard on the team radio complaining of a lack of rear stability in the high speed corners. They will have to make a big improvement if they are to be in a position to fight for the top spots in tomorrow's all important qualifying.

Practice Two Times

1. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m27.543s
2. HAMILTON McLaren 1m27.579s
3. MASSA Ferrari 1m27.682s
4. COULTHARD Red Bull 1m27.763s
5. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m27.954s
6. KUBICA BMW 1m28.431s
7. TRULLI Toyota 1m28.619s
8. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m28.664s
9. ALONSO Renault 1m28.681s
10. HEIDFELD BMW 1m28.817s
11. BUTTON Honda 1m28.826s
12. GLOCK Toyota 1m28.849s
13. ROSBERG Williams 1m28.907s
14. FISICHELLA Force India 1m29.008s
15. BARRICHELLO Honda 1m29.024s
16. PIQUET Renault 1m29.212s
17. VETTEL Toro Rosso 1m29.462s
18. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso 1m29.630s
19. WEBBER Red Bull 1m29.633s
20. SUTIL Force India 1m30.832s

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