SEPTEMBER 24, 2004
CHINESE GP - FRIDAY - PRACTICE SESSION 1 REPORT
Davidson on top
Anthony Davidson kicked off the Chinese Grand Prix weekend with the fastest lap of the first testing session on Friday in his newly-liveried BAR-Honda, which boasts the blue and yellow branding of 555. The performance is not unusual this season, given that the young British driver gets more tyres than the race drivers and is not having to worry about his engine. The big surprise in Shanghai was that Williams-BMW was right on the pace, testament perhaps to the fact that the team is the only one to have run a car around Shanghai prior to the event. This means that the team has been able to do mapping. The advantage is unlikely to continue tomorrow as the other teams will now have the same information and will be able to set up their cars accordingly.
Ralf Schumacher was second fastest ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya while Felipe Massa was also in the spotlight with the fourth best time ahead of Toyota test driver Ryan Briscoe, Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Giancarlo Fisichella and Ricardo Zonta. Kimi Raikkonen was 11th quickest while F1 returnee Jacques Villeneuve was 14th. Michael Schumacher ended up with only the 15th time but his good fortune continues as he had a technical problem in the last moments of the session. This may have stopped him setting a good time but it means that it is unlikely that he will be hit by a reliability problem for the rest of the weekend.