Australian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

Massa moves ahead

Felipe Massa, Australian GP 2007

Felipe Massa, Australian GP 2007 

 © The Cahier Archive

Felipe Massa topped the timesheets at the end of the first day of testing in Melbourne, beating his Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen. He was a tenth clear of F1 debutant Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren. Giancarlo Fisichella was fourth quickest despite stopping out on the circuit at the end of the session. Heikki Kovalainen also suffered a breakdown and ended up 18th fastest, a disappointing debut for him. Fifth fastest was BMW's Nick Heidfeld and with Robert Kubica ninth it is clear that the team is going to be strong this year if the team can sort out is reliability issues.

The big news on Friday in Melbourne is that Williams is back. Alexander Wurz was sixth quickest with Nico Rosberg eighth. The team has not been testing with the other teams this winter and no-one was quite sure what to expect from the team.

The times are however exceptionally close with McLaren, Renault, BMW and Williams very closely matched. This meant that Fernando Alonso was seventh ahead of Rosberg, Kubica and David Coulthard, 10th in his Red Bull. Local hero Mark Webber was back in 17th after technical problems with his car.

There was some interest in the midfield with Anthony Davidson the fastest of the Honda men, ahead of Takuma Sato, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello. Jarno Trulli was in the midst of the Honda cars in his Toyota but Ralf Schumacher was 16th, the team having been blown away by customer team Williams.

Scuderia Toro Rosso and Spyker were down at the back.

Whether this is a complete picture remains to be seen. Tomorrow will give us more clues as to the shape of things to come but at the moment it seems that Ferrari has a big advantage.