Ferrari set the pace in the first practice session at Monza this morning by going first and second fastest in an interesting run that seemed to reverse the achievements of McLaren in the recent test here last week. Raikkonen got the upper hand by lunchtime, pipping his team mate Felipe Massa by 0.15s who was himself only a tiny amount faster than Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso took fourth for the troubled Woking-based squad, although the reigning world champion was 0.2s down on his own partner in the sister car.
Jenson Button posted a surprise sixth fastest lap late in the session and managed to put himself ahead of the BMWs and Hondas. Rubens Barrichello placed his RA107 in twelfth, just ahead of Takuma Sato’s Super Aguri. In contrast, Red Bull appear to be suffering as Mark Webber went fourteenth and David Coulthard was way down in eighteenth. But pleased with their new chassis, Spyker managed to haul themselves off the bottom slots on the timing sheet, with Adrian Sutil going nineteenth and Sakon Yamamoto twenty-first. Vitantonio Liuzzi occupied the final position in his Toro Rosso.
Free Practice One Times
|14.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1m24.595s|
|17.||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri||1m24.694s|
|18.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing||1m24.810s|
|20.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m25.439s|
|22.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m25.762s|
The second session at Monza today saw another strange mix of drivers as McLaren this time dominated with Fernando Alonso claiming the top spot on the timing sheets. The Spaniard was almost a full second clear of his rookie team mate Lewis Hamilton, who edged out long-time Benetton/Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella by almost 0.4s.
But the Ferrari’s weren’t even fourth. Instead Robert Kubica improved his pace and stuck his German car ahead of Nico Rosberg who finished his day in fifth. It was Felipe Massa who led the Scuderia, but in a distant sixth and 1.5s down on Alonso, something was certainly not quite right. Instead of trying to improve his time from the morning, Massa chose to test out various run-off areas around the circuit and even managed a spin in front of Alonso, causing the McLaren driver to take evasive action.
Kimi Raikkonen didn’t enjoy his post-lunch run either, spending much of the 90 minutes in the garage watching his mechanics sorting out a hydraulic problem. While the fastest laps over the course of the weekend so far put McLaren and Ferrari very close to each other, it seems McLaren, despite everything that is happening in the background, look the more level-headed and composed of the two squads.
Ralf Schumacher improved his lap times to be within 0.003s of his team mate Jarno Trulli, a driver who is probably the master of one-lappers. The two Toyota’s finished up in eleventh and twelfth. Jenson Button couldn’t quite manage to replicate his morning form, but he was for once the lead Honda in thirteenth. Rubens Barrichello finished in fifteenth, Takuma Sato in seventeenth, and Anthony Davidson was forced to park his Super Aguri at the Lesmos corners with an electrical failure. The British driver allowed the Spykers to be free of the bottom of the timing sheets again, finishing dead last.
Free Practice Two Times
|14.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1m24.328s|
|16.||David Coulthard||Red Bull Racing|
|17.||Takuma Sato||Super Aguri||1m25.328s|
|18.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m25.459s|
|20.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m25.567s|
|22.||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri||1m26.021s|