Bahrain GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Kimi edges Lewis
Kimi Raikkonen gave Ferrari the top spot in the Friday practice session in Bahrain but he had to work for it as Lewis Hamilton got within 0.013s of the Ferrari in his McLaren-Mercedes. The major runners were all using much the same tyres but figuring out the fuel loads remains difficult. On the face of it, however, the McLarens are once again on the pace of the Ferraris in qualifying trim.
Having said that it may be dangerous to read too much into the times as Robert Kubica was third fastest in his BMW with a time that was just two-tenths from Raikkonen's best, a time that was rather quicker than one would expect for the team.
Felipe Massa was fourth quickest in his Ferrari, ahead of Fernando Alonso, with Alexander Wurz sixth ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg. The top 11 cars were all within a second of Raikkonen's best which also suggests that we have not seen the full potential of the cars because the gaps have tended to be bigger thus far this year.
The track remained slippery with a variety of drivers having moments but the biggest excitement was the demise of Jenson Button with a very big mechanical failure on his Honda, signalled by a burst of flame and a light shower of shrapnel and oil which caused the following Massa to spin off and waste a set of tyres. The global warming jokes were rather quicker arriving than the Honda's have been this year and Button wandered off to hitch a ride back to the paddock and then the forlorn Honda began to creep backwards as though a ghost was onboard taking the car out somewhere to bury it in an unmarked grave in the desert.
The only good news for Honda is that engine failure will not affect his grid position given the new rules which allow engine changes on Fridays and that Rubens Barrichello managed to drag his Honda to 11th fastest, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen, Anthony Davidson, Mark Webber and Giancarlo Fisichella.
Ralf Schumacher was also in some difficulty and was 18th.
We will have to wait to see whether all this means very much when the cars get into qualifying tomorrow.