German GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Mercedes bends reality?
The German racing fan is a major market for the automobile manufacturers and so it was no real surprise to see Lewis Hamilton top the timesheets on Friday at the Nurburgring. It made the men from Mercedes-Benz feel good about the F1 programme, but did it really signal a revival of McLaren fortunes, or was it simply a publicity stunt as the F1 paddock seemed to think. Saturday will answer those questions but the morning newspapers tomorrow will talk of the Mercedes star and the Germans can feel proud of the achievement, at least while they munch their muesli. Tomorrow afternoon may be more realistic.
A tenth of a second slower than the World Champion was Sebastian Vettel, the star of the moment, in his Red Bull Renault, ahead of Jenson Button's Brawn-Mercedes and Mark Webber in the second Red Bull. Jarno Trulli was fifth in his Toyota, built just down the road in Cologne, while Adrian Sutil put his Force India sixth, underlining the unlikely nature of the timesheets. Rubens Barrichello as next for Brawn, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima, Nelson Piquet and Nick Heidfeld.
Felipe Massa ended up 12th overall in his Ferrari, ahead of Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica, Timo Glock and Kimi Raikkonen. The field was completed by Heikki Kovalainen, giving a more realistic performance for a McLaren, ahead of Sebastian Buemi, Sebastien Bourdais and Giancarlo Fisichella, who blotted his copybook (again) with a spin into a tyre wall after just three laps.
It was not a session about which to make any serious predictions for Saturday.