Four drivers quicker than 2004 pole time


As the drivers prepare for today's second free practice session, the air temperature is 17 degrees C, while the track temperature is 27 degrees.

The lights go green, but once again, caution is the name of the game, as the drivers wait resolutely in their garages.

The crowd waits… and waits… and waits. Although it can hear the sound of engines, there's absolutely no activity on track, and in particular, no sign of its beloved Alonso.

Finally, almost five minutes, into what is a forty-five minute session, Tonio Liuzzi heads down the pitlane, closely followed by Massa, Raikkonen and Monteiro. Moments later, Karthikeyan, Montoya, Villeneuve and Fisichella are on track also.

As in session one, Liuzzi posts the benchmark (1:19.595), however, this is quickly bested by Massa, who crosses the line at 1:16.649. Hardly has the Brazilian crossed the line, when Raikkonen raises the benchmark with a 1:15.677, as teammate Montoya slips in neatly behind (16.298).

Raikkonen improves (15.435), as does Massa, while Michael Schumacher, on his first flying lap, goes second with a 1:15.584.

After five minutes of nothing, we witness five minutes of mayhem, as Raikkonen improves yet again (15.204) and Montoya and the Fisichella leapfrog Massa to go third and fourth.

As Coulthard leaves his garage, Fisichella improves to second, closing to within 0.111s of Raikkonen.

The Scot goes fifth, just 0.4s slower than fourth placed Montoya.

As the dust settles, it's Raikkonen ahead of Fisichella, Michael, Montoya, Coulthard, Massa, Villeneuve, Ralf, Karthikeyan and Monteiro.

As Coulthard consolidates fifth (15.949), Fisichella goes quickest in the second sector, but then dives back into the pits. Meanwhile, former teammate, Jarno Trulli, goes ninth (16.899).

Mark Webber crosses the line to go tenth (17.298), as Barrichello begins his first 'flying lap' of the session.

Tonio Liuzzi continues to show a remarkable pace, the Italian goes third with a 1:15.546, as Barrichello goes sixth (15.808). Next time around, the Brazilian goes quickest in the first sector, but then makes a mistake which costs him valuable time.

Third time lucky for Barrichello, who crosses the line at 1:15.400, to go third, behind Raikkonen and Fisichella. Elsewhere, Alonso leaves the Renault garage to (hopefully) post his first time of the day. The only other driver that hasn't posted a time - in this session - is Nick Heidfeld.

Alonso goes quickest in the second sector, finally crossing the line at 1:15.030 to go quickest. The sound of his engine inaudible over the sound of screams, whistles and klaxons as the crowd erupts.

DC improves to fifth with a 1:15.495, which puts the Red Bull drivers fifth and sixth, ahead of Michael and Montoya.

Kimi Raikkonen is on a hot lap, the Finn is quickest of all in the first sector. He crosses the line at 1:14.14.462, that's 0.4s quicker than last year's pole time, as Fisichella goes third with a 1:15.048.

Ralf Schumacher is on track, and the German clearly means business, he goes quickest in the second sector. He crosses the line at 1:14.280, to go quickest by 0.182. Meanwhile, Montoya has improved to fifth.

With fifteen minutes remaining, it's Ralf ahead of Raikkonen, Alonso, Fisichella, Montoya, Trulli, Heidfeld, Coulthard, Barrichello and Liuzzi.

We now experience another 'rest period', a lull, where only four drivers are on track… though one of the four is Michael Schumacher.

The German improves to ninth (1:15.378), but remains 1.098s off the pace. Meanwhile, Webber goes fifth with a 1:15.067.

Currently, the top nine spots are filled by Michelin runners with the Bridgestone-shot Ferraris in tenth and eleventh.

Taigo Monteiro's session is over, he loses the rear of the car and (lightly) clouts the barriers, but it's enough to put him out.

With just over five minutes remaining, it's mayhem again, as (seemingly) everyone goes out for that last run. There are 15 cars on track.

The first significant change is Montoya, who goes third with a 1:14.672, as Michael gets it all wrong in the second sector.

Teammate Raikkonen goes quickest in the final sector, but fails to improve overall, though Webber does improve, posting a 1:14.689, to go fourth.

The session ends with Ralf quickest, ahead of Raikkonen, Montoya, Webber, Alonso, Fisichella, Trulli, Heidfeld, Coulthard and Barrichello.

Michael Schumacher is eleventh, ahead of Massa, Liuzzi, Villeneuve, Karthikeyan, Monteiro, Albers and Friesacher.

A couple of significant facts: First off, the top 8 are covered by less than a second, while the top 13 are all within 1.26 of one another.

Secondly, four drivers are significantly quicker than last year's pole time.

We could well be in for some blistering laps in today's qualifying session.

Article from Pitpass (

Published: 07/05/2005
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