Friday, July 24, 2009

Hamilton heads McLaren 1-2 in second session


Ahead of today's second practice session, the air temperature is 28 degrees C, while the track temperature is 45 degrees. It remains bright and sunny and very, very warm.

We didn't see the super-softs this morning, however, we can sure that we'll be seeing them this afternoon.

The lights go green and first out is Heidfeld, followed by Trulli, Glock, Rosberg and Alguersuari.

As ever, the track was very green this morning, with a number of drivers having problems, particularly at Turn 7, however, the track will improve this afternoon and throughout the weekend.

There's none of the messing about we had this morning - and every Friday morning - and right from the outset drivers are going for it. Within a couple of minutes of the session getting underway there are eleven names on the timesheets, with Piquet leading the way.

The Brazilian youngster really needs a result, and soon, if he is to keep his seat for the remainder of 2009 let alone 2010.

Fisichella, Hamilton, Heidfeld and Nakajima all go quicker than Piquet as Raikkonen and Buemi run wide.

Massa goes wide and takes a trip through the gravel trap at Turn 9, the Ferrari driver really struggling for grip.

Hamilton gets all crossed up at Turn 13, as Piquet re-takes the top spot ahead of Vettel, Nakajima and Alonso.

"I'm still losing the front end," complains Button, the Englishman currently down in ninth. Elsewhere, Kovalainen goes quickest in the first sector. The Finn crosses the line at 23.396 to take the top spot.

A 23.116 sees Rosberg go quickest, Williams having recently said that they've given up on their practice of running on fumes on Fridays in order to top the timesheets.

Vettel, on super-softs, goes quickest with a 23.013, the German looking much more settled than he did in Germany. Moments later however, he is demoted to second by his Red Bull teammate who posts 22.918.

Fisichella (super-softs) consolidates his position at the right end of the timesheets, posting a 23.029 to go third.

2008 winner, and this morning's pace-setter, Kovalainen goes quickest, the Finn now running all the same updates as his teammate. Meanwhile, Button improves to third.

Alguersuari gives some impressive feedback to his team, telling them what's happening and where. Veteran technical man Giorgio Ascanelli looks suitably impressed.

Kovalainen consolidates the top spot with a 22.126, the Finn really pushing his car to the limit. Button goes second with a 22.811.

Raikkonen goes fourth with a 22.991, ahead of Vettel and Fisichella. Both Toyotas at the wrong end of the timesheets along with Kubica and Alonso.

Sutil improves to eleventh with a 23.411, the Force Indias continuing to look good.

Glock posts 22.778 to go second, as Kubica complains that he doesn't "feel comfortable" with the handling of his F1.06.

At half-time, it's: Kovalainen, Glock, Button, Webber, Raikkonen, Vettel, Fisichella, Rosberg, Massa and Kubica.

Massa goes wide at Turn 7, the Brazilian still struggling with the Ferrari. Moments later Barrichello spins, but is able to continue, as Trulli appears to have a problem, the Toyota crawling back to the pits. However, whatever the problem is, it gets worse and the Italian is forced to pull off track at Turn 8.

Webber (super-softs) goes second though he remains 0.243s off Kovalainen's pace.

Barrichello has slipped down to seventeenth on the timesheets, just behind Piquet. Moments later however, the Brawn driver goes third with a 22.695.

With just over twenty minutes remaining, a number of drivers are still struggling for grip, Hamilton demonstrating the fact by cutting the chicane.

Button (softs) complains of "understeer" as Nakajima improves to fourth, just ahead of Barrichello. Elsewhere, yet another off for Massa who is having a torrid time of it this afternoon.

Webber heads back to the pits very slowly, his car clearly has a problem.

With ten minutes remaining, it's Kovalainen, Rosberg, Webber, Nakajima, Barrichello, Trulli, Glock, Raikkonen, Alonso and Button.

Rosberg has done the most laps thus far (40), however, a lot of the drivers are in the thirties as they prepare for the race, long runs on heavy loads.

As the drivers come out for their final runs, most of them on super-softs, Webber is out of his car which appears to have a hydraulics problem.

Hamilton gets it wrong at the Chicane, but goes on to go quickest in the first sector of his next lap. However, a spin in the final sector (Turn 12) means the World Champion fails to improve.

Less than three minutes remaining and Vettel goes fifth, as all but Webber are on track.

Once again Hamilton goes quickest in the first sector, but this time he maintains the pace and there are no problems, he takes the top spot with a 22.079. Third time lucky.

The session ends with Hamilton quickest, ahead of Kovalainen, Rosberg, Webber, Nakajima, Vettel, Barrichello, Trulli, Heidfeld and Glock.

Raikkonen finished eleventh, ahead of Alonso, Button, Kubica, Piquet, Sutil, Fisichella, Massa, Buemi and Alguersuari.

Rosberg completes 47 laps, ahead of Buemi and Glock (45) and Heidfeld (43).

An interesting session, with some massive mileage, however, it is far too early to draw any real conclusions.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 24/07/2009
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