Shumacher sizzles at Sakhir


With the hares out of the way, this morning we should get a far better idea of how the various teams and drivers compare, with several clearly hoping for an improvement on yesterday's performance.

In the moments before the session begins, Ferrari reveals that Rubens Barrichello will not take part in today's free practice sessions. Although his gearbox is mended he will only use it in qualifying, by which time a new one will have arrived from Italy and that will be fitted and used for qualifying, and the race, on Sunday.

As the lights go green, the air temperature is 25 degrees C and the track temperature is 32 degrees.

After a couple of minutes, the Minardi duo of Friesacher and Albers venture out for an installation lap, they are joined by Narain Karthikeyan.

Eventually de la Rosa, Raikkonen, Monteiro, Ralf and Sato make an appearance, but we are almost 15 minutes into the session before a time is posted (Friesacher - 1:37.348)

As the Red Bull duo takes to the track, Felipe Massa raises the benchmark with a 1:34.797.

Ralf Schumacher goes quickest with a 1:34.493 as Sato goes third - of four - with a 1:35.152.

As Jarno Trulli leaves the pits, Klien goes quickest, the Austrian lapping the Sakhir track in 1:34.186. Next time around the Red Bull driver improves with a 1:33.729, as teammate Coulthard goes second with a 1:33.888.

This is not - repeat not - a late April Fool, Narain Karthikeyan posts a 1:33.697 to go quickest, but within seconds his time has been eclipsed by Ralf, Trulli and Klien, the German raising the benchmark to 1:32.868.

It's looking good for Toyota as Trulli goes even quicker, 1:32.776.

With 16 minutes remaining, it's: Trulli, Ralf, Karthikeyan, Klien, Coulthard, Massa, Monteiro, Sato, Friesacher and Albers. These are the only drivers to have posted times.

Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve and the Renault and WilliamsF1 drivers haven't left their garages.

Raikkonen, de la Rosa and Button have been out, but haven't posted times.

As the Englishman begins a hot lap, it's worth noting that fastest through the speed-trap is Karthikeyan, at 204 mph. Now the sceptical amongst you might regard this as a bit of a ploy, especially in light of some of the recent press releases coming out of Bahrain International Circuit.

Meanwhile, Button goes fifth with a 1:33.683, as Villeneuve finally leaves the Sauber garage.

With 8 minutes remaining, the Renault duo leaves the pits.

As Felipe Massa improves to eighth (1:34.412), Fisichella goes third and teammate Alonso fourth. Moments later however, they are both leapfrogged by de la Rosa who posts 1:32.804 to go second.

Four minutes remaining and Webber, Heidfeld and Michael finally come out to play.

As Alonso begins what appears to be a very hot lap, there are 18 cars on track.

It's double joy for Spain, de la Rosa goes quickest only to be bumped down by Alonso, the Renault driver posting 1:32.260.

Heidfeld goes tenth as Villeneuve improves to fourteenth and Webber goes ninth.

Alonso looks set to raise the benchmark even higher, he's quickest in the first sector. He's quickest again in the second, as Schumacher goes even quicker in sector one.

The Spaniard crosses the line at 1:31.811, almost a second quicker than anything else we've seen this morning. However, moments later Schumacher posts a 1:30.552, that's 1.259s quicker than the Renault. Phew!

The session ends with Schumacher quickest, ahead of Alonso, de la Rosa, Trulli, Klien, Ralf, Fisichella, Karthikeyan, Webber and Coulthard.

Ferrari might be struggling to get Barrichello ready for qualifying, but the other F2005 looks good.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 02/04/2005
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2023. All rights reserved.