Formula 1 Insight

Saturday Practice 3 at Silverstone
Kimi Raikkonen remained the fastest man on track for the final session of Practice today. The Ferraris did not have it all their own way, however, Alonso being next up ahead of Massa. Hamilton seemed a little subdued, managing only fourth fastest and half a second slower than Kimi.

Scott Speed
Scott Speed in the Toro Rosso

Notice that I said "only fourth"; already we are expecting such performances from Hamilton that it seems disappointing when he fails to grab a spot in the first three. The hype surrounding his status as Britain's best hope for the Silverstone GP adds to the pressure on the young star and I hope that he continues to shrug off the strain as well as he has done so far.

It was interesting that the McLarens put in far fewer laps than anyone else - they did not break into double figures until right near the end and finished having completed only 12 laps each. The Ferraris lapped 17 times in contrast and others (poor Button included) slogged around 24 times. Does this indicate a degree of confidence in the McLaren camp that is not apparent from the bare times? Sandbagging in F1 is mentioned more often than it happens but this could be an instance.

Behind the big two teams there were mixed fortunes. Rosberg put in a quick one for Williams to claim 5th and Schumacher continued his sudden turn in speed by snagging 6th for Toyota. Their team mates were not as happy, Wurz down in 15th and Trulli even further back in 17th. But the big surprise was the Toro Rosso team; until late in the session Scott Speed was cheekily holding on to 6th fastest but then the rush came and others slipped by, forcing him down to 13th. Vitantonio Liuzzi put in a final flyer to claim 7th fastest, however.

Nick Heidfeld managed only 9th for BMW and Kubica fared worse with his 16th spot. Did I mention sandbagging up there? I think the BMWs will be much more competitive when it comes to Qualifying. The Renaults pressed on with their gradual improvement, Kovalainen 8th and Fisichella 11th, and perhaps this would be a more accurate indication of their true speed than BMW's lackluster times.

Otherwise, it was the usual matter of Hondas wondering where their speed went, Red Bulls scratching their heads too, and Spykers bringing up the rear. The full time sheet is below:

1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:19.751
2 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:19.920
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:19.969
4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:20.344
5 Nico Rosberg Williams 1:20.666
6 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:20.770
7 Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso 1:20.876
8 Heikki Kovalainen Renault 1:20.882
9 Nick Heidfeld BMW 1:20.882
10 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri 1:20.915
11 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:20.983
12 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:21.002
13 Scott Speed Toro Rosso 1:21.039
14 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:21.140
15 Alex Wurz Williams 1:21.148
16 Robert Kubica BMW 1:21.156
17 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:21.321
18 David Coulthard Red Bull 1:21.343
19 Jenson Button Honda 1:21.583
20 Takuma Sato Super Aguri 1:21.745
21 Christijan Albers Spyker 1:22.101
22 Adrian Sutil Spyker 1:22.180


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