McLaren reinforce British race hopes 08 Jul 2005
Silver team set the standard on day one
Pedro de la Rosa continued to fly the flag for McLaren at Silverstone in Friday's second practice, pushing his MP4-20 round in 1m 18.530s beneath overcast skies to head Toyotas Ricardo Zonta on 1m 18.964s.
The two Friday testers were the only drivers to dip below 1m 20s, but Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen boosted McLaren further with the third and fourth fastest times. The Colombian lapped in 1m 20.252s, the Finn in 1m 20.384s. Both pronounced themselves satisfied with their afternoons work, on a day when many found it difficult to generate good tyre temperatures.
Ralf Schumacher was a late improver to fifth place with 1m 20.602s for Toyota, chased by team mate Jarno Trulli (who spun in Luffield) on 1m 20.816s. Fernando Alonso was the final driver below 1m 21s, taking his Renault round in 1m 20.990s.
Tonio Liuzzi reminded everyone of his potential with eighth-fastest time for Red Bull Racing of 1m 21.004s, narrowly beating team mate David Coulthard (1m 21.034s), but Christian Klien in the third car had a torrid time at Chapel, going off the road there three times in the course of the hour-long session.
Michael Schumacher rounded out the top 10 with 1m 21.044s for Ferrari, just ahead of Jenson Buttons 1m 21.186s for BAR. Then came Mark Webber (1m 21.235s), Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 21.279s), Klien (1m 21.323s), Rubens Barrichello (1m 21.519s) and Felipe Massa (1m 21.577s).
Jacques Villeneuve lapped in 1m 22.180s, having spun at Chapel on cold tyres and later damaged the front suspension and aerodynamics running over debris. Sauber will have new-style front wings tomorrow. Nick Heidfeld was 18th on 1m 22.500s, ahead of Takuma Sato (who went off at Club and subsequently lapped in 1m 22.795s) and Robert Doornbos, who took the Jordan EJ15B round in 1m 22.812s.
At the tail end, Christijan Albers pushed his Minardi ahead of Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan, with a lap in 1m 23.390s compared to the Portugueses 1m 23.629s and the Indians 1m 23.891s. Patrick Friesacher brought up the rear with 1m 24.594s.
As usual, its difficult to read much into Friday times, as several drivers did their low-fuel runs at different times, while others ran into traffic with their new tyres. A clearer picture should emerge tomorrow morning, but so far things have been going the way of the favourite, McLaren.