McLaren get their turn at the top of the timesheets
McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen set the pace in second practice at the Nurburgring this afternoon, with the fastest time of the day, a 1m 29.355s. Team mate David Coulthard was also on the pace, setting fourth best time with a lap less than four-tenths of a second slower.
Between the two silver cars was Jenson Buttons BAR on 1m 29.618s and Ralf Schumachers Williams on 1m 29.677s. Renaults Jarno Trulli (1m 29.919s) and Ferraris Rubens Barrichello (1m 29.943s) completed the drivers below 1m 30s.
Michael Schumacher, second fastest on 1m 29.631s this morning, was only ninth this afternoon as his Ferrari suffered an hydraulic problem. His best lap was 1m 30.227s.
Anthony Davidson, the hero of the morning session, conducted a different programme for BAR this afternoon and lapped seventh fastest in 1m 30.028s against his 1m 29.447s best previously.
Once again the times were very close. Behind Davidson came Fernando Alonso (1m 30.163s), Schumacher, Takuma Sato (1m 30.283s), Juan Pablo Montoya (1m 30.337s), Mark Webber (1m 30.466s), Olivier Panis (1m 30.497s), Cristiano da Matta (1m 30.531s), Ricardo Zonta (1m 30.949s) and Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 30.974s). Panis had a minor altercation with Bas Leinders which enlivened things, and several drivers had minor off-track adventures.
Christian Klien spun early in Turn 1 and had his Jaguar carried away by mobile crane; Felipe Massa spun in Turn 4, got Turn 1 wrong and ran wide, and then stopped in Turn 10 (almost exactly where Fisichella stopped this morning). The Brazilians problem was electronic, but the Italian lost an engine in his Sauber this morning and must thus lose 10 grid places tomorrow. Sato ran wide in Turn 2, Pantano spun in Turn 7 and later got Turn 1 wrong, Ralf Schumacher also went wide in Turn 1, as did Barrichello and da Matta. Michael Schumacher and Bjorn Wirdheim both missed their apex in the chicane.
After Davidson had set the initial pace he was supplanted in turn by Raikkonen and then Barrichello, then quick-fire succession saw Trulli, Coulthard and Raikkonen set the pace.
Behind the midfield bunch Jaguar third driver Bjorn Wirdheim did a 1m 31.780s, then Timo Glock was again the fastest Jordan driver with 1m 32.080s from Klien (1m 32.217s), Massa (1m 32.310s), Gianmaria Bruni (1m 32.643s) and Zsolt Baumgartner (1m 32.986s). Nick Heidfeld and Giorgio Pantano lapped in 1m 33.175s and 1m 33.393s respectively, and Leinders brought up the rear for Minardi with 1m 34.538s.
Teams were running to differing programmes this afternoon, the most crucial job being to sort out which tyres to choose for the rest of the weekend. Fuel loads also varied. Several people are therefore likely to find themselves in significantly different places tomorrow.