Australian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Nico Rosberg put Williams back on top of the timesheets for the second session of the day, underlining the performance of the Grove team. The best lap was a 1m26.053s, which was seven-tenths of a second faster than the 2008 pole position time.
The team remains guarded, believing that the Brawn-Mercedes and the Toyotas are very strong indeed. This was backed up by the fact that Rubens Barrichello was second quickest in the second session and Toyota's Jarno Trulli was third.
The performance of the three helps to explain the protests that went on in the course of Thursday evening and underline just how important the clever shaped diffusers are. To a large extent the protests were acts of desperation by the teams that had not thought of them.
The fastest of the cars with the more traditional diffuser designs was fourth placed Mark Webber. He was just ahead of Jenson Button's Brawn; the Toyota of Timo Glock and Kazuki Nakajima's Williams - all three of them using the new diffusers.
In eighth place was Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, although the German put a rear wheel onto the grass and spun off into a sandtrap.
It was quite a surprise to see Adrian Sutil's Force India in ninth place, particularly as he was ahead of the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. The Ferraris were a second off the pace of Rosberg's Williams.
Then came Fernando Alonso's Renault and the Force India of Giancarlo Fisichella.
If things were bad for Ferrari and Renault, it was even worse for the BMW Saubers in 14th and 15th. This put them in front of the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Bourdais.
Things were even worse for McLaren. Heikki Kovalainen was 17th and Lewis Hamilton 18th. The drivers complained of a lack of grip.
At the back was Nelson Piquet in 19th and the new boy Sebastien Buemi.