Davidson tops Session 2

Anthony Davidson, Bahrain GP 2006

Anthony Davidson, Bahrain GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Anthony Davidson set the pace in the second session on Friday in his Honda, four-tenths of a second faster than Michael Schumacher's Ferrari. Third fastest was Williams-Cosworth test driver Alexander Wurz but the question everyone was asking after the session was: What does it all mean?

Running was very restricted until the last 30 minutes of the session as teams tried to preserve their engines for the two races ahead. Test drivers are thus able to run with more revs and play around more with tyres, doing the work for the race drivers and coming out looking rather better than they might if they were up against the racers in qualifying. Tomorrow will answer many questions as to the speed of the cars but it will not be until Sunday that we see how the cars manage over race stints, most importantly how durable their tyres are. And in the paddock on Friday everyone agreed that of the Michelin runners, Renault looks very strong. Bridgestone is feeling hard done by with pre-season assessments of their likely performance and so Sunday will provide the Japanese firm with the chance to prove that its 2006 tyres are competitive against the Michelins.

The times from Friday may or may not turn out to be significant but it is interesting to note that Felipe Massa was fourth ahead of Fernando Alonso, Tonio Liuzzi in the Scuderia Toro Rosso V10-engined car, Next up was Red Bull's test driver Robert Doornbos ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault, Jenson Button's Honda and Robert Kubica's BMW Sauber. Kimi Raikkonen's season started out with disappointment as his McLaren stopped out on the circuit with mechanical trouble. Otherwise there were few incidents with mechanical trouble for Jarno Trulli and spins for Tonio Liuzzi and Yuji Ide.