Formula 1 Insight

Friday Practice 2 at Nurburgring
The second practice session confirmed that there is very little to choose between the Ferraris and McLarens at the Nurburgring circuit. This time Raikkonen was quickest although, like most of the drivers, he was a little slower than he had been in the first session. Hamilton was next up, followed by Massa and Alonso, the front four within three tenths of each other. This looks like being a tough battle for pole and the win.

Kimi Raikkonen

The Toyotas remained quick, Ralf taking fifth spot and Trulli in sixth. BMW were trying hard in this, their home GP, but were pipped for the next fastest by Rosberg's Williams and, surprisingly, Button in the quicker of the two Hondas. Button's time was marginally faster than in the first session and, although I hesitate to talk about revival in Honda's fortunes, the signs are hopeful for the long-suffering Englishman at last.

Once again Nick Heidfeld managed to put in a quicker lap than Kubica, the two BMWs ending up ninth and tenth fastest. Qualifying should see them move closer to the front, however. Renault too should be faster tomorrow when it really counts, their 15th (Fisichella) and 16th (Kovalainen) spots not really representative of the team that has been the main challenge to the BMWs in the last few races.

Mark Webber upheld the honor of the Adrian Newey design by putting in the 11th fastest time but his team mate and the Toro Rosso boys were well down the order. It really is time that the Red Bull teams began to make more of an impact and put their early problems behind them.

The rest were more or less where you'd expect them. We should remember that competition is so fierce these days that, ignoring the Spykers, little more than two seconds separated the quickest car from the slowest. That midfield battle is as close as we've seen in many years and, to some extent, it's a lottery as to who comes out ahead.

Times from the second session are below:

1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:33.339
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:33.478
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.590
4 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:33.637
5 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:33.668
6 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:33.746
7 Nico Rosberg Williams 1:33.845
8 Jenson Button Honda 1:33.880
9 Nick Heidfeld BMW 1:34.146
10 Robert Kubica BMW 1:34.221
11 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:34.235
12 Alexander Wurz Williams 1:34.264
13 Takuma Sato Super Aguri 1:34.357
14 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:34.411
15 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:34.431
16 Heikki Kovalainen Renault 1:34.446
17 David Coulthard Red Bull 1:34.504
18 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri 1:34.554
19 Scott Speed Toro Rosso 1:35.320
20 Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso 1:35.653
21 Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari 1:36.527
22 Markus Winkelhock Spyker-Ferrari 1:37.319


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