Friday, 10 October 2008

Japanese Grand Prix: Glock is fastest in Second Practice

It was a much happier second session of the day for the Japanese contingent at the Fuji Speedway as Toyota's Timo Glock put in an excellent showing to take P1. There was other reason for hope for the Japanese fans with Kazuki Nakajima putting in an excellent lap late on to finish in seventh. It wasn't all good news for the Japanese though, as Honda continued to look fairly dreadful.

The exploits of Glock knocked the title race off the headlines for a while, although Hamilton and Massa weren't far off the pace. Second place though went to Fernando Alonso who really is driving out of his skin at the moment. With his destination for 2009 still in doubt he is really showing the F1 world that he is a driver of the finest calibre. Renault will be desperate to keep him, Honda will be desperate to sign him up no matter what the price tag, and I wonder if Ferrari are perhaps looking on ruefully, knowing that they have written Alonso out of their plans for the foreseeable future?

In spite of its relatively long circuit length, a lap of Fuji in a Grand Prix car is quite short, largely down to the monstrously long pit straight. This means that lap times end up being very close and competitive. The top four drivers were separated by barely more than a tenth, and with just one second covering places one to seventeen. The only two drivers really cut adrift iin terms of pace were Jenson Button and, strangely, Nick Heidfeld. BMW really do look to have thrown the towel in for this season, as Kubica also failed to impress significantly. They appear to be just going through the motions until next season. The closeness at the top though goes to show just how vital tomorrow's qualifying session will be, with any slight errors potentially meaning a handful of grid slots are lost...

Practice Two Times

01 T. Glock Toyota 1:18.383 44 laps
02 F. Alonso Renault 1:18.426 41 laps
03 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:18.463 40 laps
04 F. Massa Ferrari 1:18.491 40 laps
05 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.725 39 laps
06 M. Webber Red Bull 1:18.734 39 laps
07 K. Nakajima Williams 1:18.734 36 laps
08 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:18.761 23 laps
09 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:18.803 32 laps
10 J. Trulli Toyota 1:18.863 45 laps
11 R. Kubica BMW 1:18.865 39 laps
12 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:18.888 43 laps
13 N. Rosberg Williams 1:18.981 41 laps
14 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:19.040 41 laps
15 R. Barrichello Honda 1:19.258 42 laps
16 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:19.287 41 laps
17 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:19.327 36 laps
18 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:19.482 44 laps
19 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:19.894 37 laps
20 J. Button Honda 1:19.999 42 laps

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