Australian GP 2006

MARCH 31, 2006

Practice 1 Report - A quiet start in the park

Anthony Davidson
© The Cahier Archive

The Australian Grand Prix weekend got off to a slow start in Albert Park on Friday with the teams sending out their test drivers but only allowing the race drivers a few laps in order to not risk problems with engines. This, unfortunately, is the way of the world in F1 this year because of the FIA's two-race engine rule which makes its preferable for the major runners to stay in the pitlane to preserve their engines for the important sessions.

BMW's Robert Kubica set the early pace but went out with what looked like an engine failure after 13 laps. This was bad news for Jacques Villeneuve, who was the only major runner to do a lot of laps because he had to do the work which Kubica had been scheduled to do. He ended the session third fastest.

After Kubica's disappearance and a spin from Scuderia Toro Rosso's Neel Jani, Anthony Davidson led the way for Honda, chipping away at his times as he completed 26 laps, although his final flyer was ruined when he came upon Scuderia Toro Rosso's Scott Speed. This meant that Anthony was only three-tenths ahead of Robert Doornbos in the Red Bull. The Dutchman had one spin late in the session but still managed to complete 19 laps.

Fourth overall was Kimi Raikkonen who set his time after just five laps of the track. He was three-tenths quicker than Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher, the two Ferrari drivers doing only a small number of laps but being very closely matched. Next up was Ralf Schumacher in his Toyota, which did just five laps, ahead of Williams's Alexander Wurz, Kubica and Red Bull Racing's Christian Klien.

Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg were not seen at all, while Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella did just two laps each.