Formula 1 Insight

Second Practice Session, Magny Cours
When you support Scott Speed, you don't get many opportunities to crow. So I am sure you will forgive me if I use this opportunity to do just that. How about this then:

Times from Magny Cours, Second Practice

1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:15.453
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:15.488
3 Scott Speed Toro Rosso 1:15.773

I kid you not, it's true, I swear it. Scott third quickest of the day - don't suppose I'll get many chances to say that this season. So the only thing wrong with TR has been the drivers, hey? Tell that to Mr Bourdais and Mr Sutil (rumored today to be TR's drivers for 2008).

Scott Speed
Scott Speed

What has been wrong with the TR has been the lack of a seamless shift gearbox, of course. This is the first race in which the team will be fielding their version of the new 'box and, on this showing, it works a treat. Liuzzi managed fifth fastest, by the way, perhaps evidence that both the TR drivers have been seriously under-rated until now.

It is also possible that Adrian Newey's chassis works better with a Ferrari engine than a Renault; Webber again had reliability problems in the Red Bull and could only manage 16th, while team mate Coulthard posted a respectable 6th.

The McLarens had a poor session by their standards, Hamilton in 4th and Alonso 8th. I am sure that there is much dialing-in to do yet and that the expected order will be restored tomorrow, but it does look as if Ferrari have made great strides with their recent improvements. The battle is not over yet, folks!

Anthony Davidson spent most of the day offering his nose to be wiped off by other cars but then put everything together to post ninth quickest time. Which is great for him and a well-deserved turn in fortune, but terrible for the Honda pair, who were so hopeful of getting ahead of last year's car this time - Button wound up 15th and Barrichello 18th. How the mighty are fallen...

Perhaps all those teams that expected to be up with the BMWs were right, however. The Beemers were strangely subdued, Kubica in 12th, Heidfeld 19th; perhaps their improvements since Indy have not been as effective as some of the other teams'. All the times are available on the Pitpass website, so I'll let you draw your own conclusions on the rest.

But let us not forget who was fastest behind the Ferraris on this day of days. That's my boy, Scott!


Dan M
You should copy and paste this story again because I had to read it twice before I believed it!

Cant wait 'til Sunday! Would love to see what Scott has to say up on the podium.
Date Added: 29/06/2007

I just hope and pray that Scott is allowed to do as well in qualifying. If he can get up there in the top three or four rows, he could really set the cat amongst the pigeons!

Copying and posting? Hey, I've been yelling the news in the forums, inserting it into comments on other blogs, making a darn nuisance of myself in fact. It's not every day I get to say I told you so! :D
Date Added: 29/06/2007

Alianora La Canta
15th's not that bad for Scott Speed - especially when he made it to Q2 and Liuzzi did not. Obviously he's really enjoying himself this weekend.

Now could the Spykers please get their seamless-shift gearbox soon? They're now the only team on the grid not to have one - and it appears to be worth half-a-second (unless it's Red Bull's unit, in which case it's worth half-a-dozen DNFs...)
Date Added: 30/06/2007

LOL Alianora, that is so cruel - half a dozen DNFs indeed (of course, it wouldn't be so cruel were it not true!). Spyker seem to be putting their hopes into the new car - due in Turkey, I hear. Presumably a seamless shift 'box might come with it...

Yes, it's good that Scott made it through to Q2 this time but I still feel as though the team could manage his qualifying better. If they were to go for times earlier, instead of waiting for the last minute traffic jam, I think the drivers could settle down to some really good times. Okay, there might not be quite so much rubber on the road at that time but it's better to lose a tenth or so than have your quick lap ruined by other cars.

Ah well, it's supposed to rain tomorrow so maybe Scott will have a chance to fight for a better finish.
Date Added: 30/06/2007

Alianora La Canta
That's a good point. I mean, it's not like Scott is likely to get into Q3 this year, so the team might as well use two sets of softs on the first run, maybe not use any new tyres on the second run (just use scrubbed softs to try to improve on 16th) and then have two fresh softs for the race.

Unfortunately, it stayed dry and Scott's gearbox failed. A poor reward for his driving this weekend.
Date Added: 02/07/2007

As is so often the way near the back of the grid - a driver manages to haul himself into the midfield, is going well in the race, and then something breaks. I suppose it's inevitable that the chasing teams will have to run closer to the edge of reliability in order to be that little bit faster.

Still, if Red Bull can get the new 'box sorted properly, I'm sure they'll pass their knowledge on to Toro Rosso...
Date Added: 02/07/2007

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