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Good and bad for BAR in China 24 Sep 2004

Anthony Davidson (GBR) BAR Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 24 September 2004 Jenson Button (GBR) BAR.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 24 September 2004 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren talks with PJ Rashidi (USA) Alpine Stars F1 Co-Ordinator.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, 8 October 2004 Robert Doornbos (NED) Jordan Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 24 September 2004 Jacques Villeneuve (CDN) Renault R24 spins.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 24 September 2004

Engine failure takes edge off one-two finish on day one

Anthony Davidson continued to head the times in second practice in Shanghai today, though the young Briton blotted his copybook with a spin early in the session and did not rise to the top of the timesheets until late in the hour.

His lap of 1m 33.289s was the first and only sub 1m 34s lap, and stole the honours from team mate Jenson Button, who had earlier in the session become the first man to lap beneath 1m 35s. Button recorded a time of 1m 34.174s after being consistently fast throughout. Both said they were happy with their cars, but the same could not be said for Takuma Sato, who will lose 10 grid places after a Honda engine failure in the third BAR early in the session.

Kimi Raikkonen was close to Button on 1m 34.289s, albeit a full second behind Davidson, and David Coulthard endorsed the form of the McLaren with fourth best time of 1m 34.362s.

Behind them, Rubens Barrichello was again the faster Ferrari runner, on 1m 34.448s, as Michael Schumacher continued to struggle and had to be content with eighth fastest time on 1m 34.776s. The world champion was in a dark mood all day.

Giancarlo Fisichella showed Sauber’s form with 1m 34.680s for sixth best time, ahead of Ralf Schumacher who took his Williams to 1m 34.714s. Ricardo Zonta and Olivier Panis were virtually inseparable at Toyota, on 1m 34.868s and 1m 34.870s respectively, and team mate Ryan Briscoe was right with them on 1m 34.881s, just outside the top 10.

Felipe Massa, who had earlier set the fastest time, was 12th on 1m 34.959s in the second Sauber, heading the Renaults of Fernando Alonso and Jacques Villeneuve (1m 35.514s and 1m 35.851s respectively). Just to prove how close the times were, Juan Pablo Montoya inserted himself between the two blue and yellow cars with 1m 35.646s.

Mark Webber and Bjorn Wirdheim were the fastest Jaguars, with 1m 35.886s and 1m 36.363s apiece, and Nick Heidfeld emerged from an inter-team Jordan battle with Timo Glock to record 1m 36.630s. Glock posted 1m 37.728s for 22nd. It was Zsolt Baumgartner’s turn to be fastest Minardi, with a lap of 1m 37.076s, with Gianmaria Bruni 21st on 1m 37.431s and Bas Leinders 23rd on 1m 38.522s. Christian Klien was 20th in his Jaguar, on 1m 37.111s.

Robert Doornbos was 24th in his Jordan, in 1m 39.051s, and Sato was last, failing to set a time after his engine problem.

It was a more lively session than this morning, with Alonso, Bruni and Heidfeld running wide in the last corner, Turn 16, Montoya and Villeneuve getting Turn Two wrong, Ralf Schumacher Turn Three, and Montoya spinning in Turn Two.