Kovalainen quickest in second session


Ahead of this afternoon's session, the air temperature is 20 degrees C, and the track temperature is 32 degrees. It's bright but there is a lot of cloud.

The lights go green and Glock is first out, followed by Fisichella. In the Ferrari garage the mechanics are working like crazy to rebuild Felipe Massa's car.

Despite having tested here last week, the drivers lost a lot of time this morning following Massa's crash, and the oil dumped by Alonso, therefore, within a few minutes the session getting underway there are fifteen names on the timesheets, with Rosberg top of the pile.

Kovalainen goes second with a 21.534, just 0.002s slower than the pace-setting Williams driver.

Vettel has a close encounter with a Silverstone hare - not to be confused with the Montreal groundhogs or Istanbul dogs. That said, there will be a few dogs at Silverstone this weekend, but probably best not to go into that.

Having gone quickest (21.282), Hamilton blots his copybook by going off at Vale. Meanwhile, all eyes on Raikkonen who begins his first flying lap of the afternoon. The Finn can only manage sixteenth, while Rosberg goes second, splitting the McLarens, with a 21.282, matching Hamilton's time exactly.

While the Ferrari crew continue to work on Massa's car, Alonso goes seventh with a 21.877.

Barrichello, who only finished a handful of laps this morning, and was bottom of the timesheets, posts 21.302 to go third. However, we don't believe this to be the beginning of a Honda revival.

Vettel asks for more info on his dashboard, claiming that he is trying all manner of new things, such as lines, and needs feedback as to how it is working.

Raikkonen improves to eighth, behind Fisichella and Alonso. Massa has disappeared from the Ferrari garage leading one to suspect that he will play no further part in this session.

Glock stops on track, telling his crew that he "has no gear". His crew responds "well keep trying and try to come back," but he is already climbing out of the car.

Meanwhile, Heidfeld complains; "they are waving yellow and green (flags) at the same time… that's not very clever is it?"

Webber, who yesterday signed a new deal with Red Bull, goes quickest with a 21.246, much to the obvious delight of Adrian Newey. The Australian is the first driver to run with the soft (medium) option this afternoon. Moments later, Vettel (also on softs) goes quickest, crossing the line at 20.805.

Both McLaren drivers are on softs, and seconds after Hamilton goes second, teammate Kovalainen takes the top spot with a 20.353.

Raikkonen (twelfth) posts a personal best in the first sector, the Finn running on the medium (hard) compound. Nonetheless, he improves to eighth. Back in the Ferrari garage, the crew appear to have Massa's car almost ready, with the final bits of bodywork being fitted into place.

Glock waves to viewers from the back of the Toyota garage, as we complete a lap of Silverstone with David Coulthard, a two-time winner here.

Alonso (softs) is pushing hard, very hard, however, he fails to improve on thirteenth.

With forty-eight minutes remaining, just over half-time in other words, Massa is finally on track. He completes an installation lap and returns to the pits.

The order, at this point, is: Kovalainen, Vettel, Rosberg, Hamilton, Barrichello, Webber, Button, Coulthard, Raikkonen and Heidfeld.

Someone forgot to tell Barrichello that he's driving a Honda, the Brazilian veteran goes fourth with a 21.002. Moments later, Rubens is bumped down to fifth by his teammate, Jenson 'Muscles' Button.

As Rosberg improves to second (20.748), and Nakajima fifth, Massa is back on track.

Kovalainen goes quickest in the second and third sectors, crossing the line at 19.989. Meanwhile, Massa goes eleventh with a 21.302, 1.313s off the pace. The replay shows the Brazilian kicking up a great cloud of dust as he runs wide.

The first we know of a major off for Trulli is when the screen goes a dirty brown, the result, we subsequently realise, of the dust kicked up as the Toyota hits the barriers at Stowe. The Italian appeared to lose it in much the same way as Massa in session one, the rear end suddenly breaking loose, but unlike the earlier incident there was no oil. Like the Ferrari, the rear of the Toyota is badly damaged, the entire right-rear of the car wrecked.

Because there is no oil to be cleared up, the session continues, even though a couple of drivers, including Hamilton, almost trip up over Trulli's rear wing, which lays in the middle of the track for some time before a brave marshal runs to get it.

Moments later, Nakajima spins at the entry to Bridge, losing his front wing in the process. The replay shows that the Williams driver actually lost the rear of the car coming out of Farm, spinning round and clouting the wall just before the bridge after which Bridge is named.

With twenty minutes remaining, Massa is back on track, now running on softs. The Brazilian improves to sixth, but remain almost a second off Kovalainen's pace.

Webber goes third, the Australian clearly buoyed by his new deal for 2009, then improves to second.

Having gone third, Hamilton looks set to go quicker still until a mistake at Priory costs him precious time. A mistake at Farm sees Massa also lose out.

With less than four minutes remaining, the final assault is well underway, with almost everyone using softs.

In one mighty leap, Coulthard climbs from twelfth to fourth, proving that there is still plenty of life in the old (Scottie) dog.

The chequered flag is out, but Trulli is clearly determined to improve on nineteenth. He makes a small mistake in the Brooklands complex but is able to improve to fourteenth nonetheless. Small consolation for Toyota, which has had a miserable session.

Kovalainen ends the session quickest, ahead of Webber, Hamilton, Coulthard, Rosberg, Vettel, Button, Massa, Nakajima and Barrichello.

As in France however, the FIA takes the opportunity to try out another of its 'safety car deployed' systems - which sees drivers having to respond to the safety car warning within five seconds and subsequently maintain a minimum sector time.

With rain forecast tomorrow and Sunday, they may well get the opportunity to try out the system for real a lot sooner than they think.

  • To check out our Silverstone Friday gallery, click here
  • Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

    Published: 04/07/2008
    Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2021. All rights reserved.