Third drivers dominate on day one 20 Oct 2006
...as title rivals keep a low profile - and Super Aguri shine
Alexander Wurz got his own back on Anthony Davidson in Friday afternoons second practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Austrian Williams driver set the fastest lap of 1m 12.547s to pip the Englishmans 1m 12.653s best for Honda, thus reversing their relative morning positions around Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit.
Once again the drivers made best use of overcast but dry conditions, and as more rubber went down the times tumbled. Sebastian Vettel was again in the thick of things for BMW Sauber, setting the third best time of 1m 12.870s. Then there was a gap to Toyotas Jarno Trulli (1m 13.483s) and Hondas Jenson Button (1m 13.485s), and the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher in sixth place with 1m 13.713s. As usual, the former champion immediately set the pace on his first flier earlier in the session, but thereafter was satisfied to run at a consistent pace and appeared not to be going all out for times after a spin in Turn 9.
Brother Ralf was seventh for Toyota, with 1m 13.765s, followed by his newly signed 2007 Friday testing partner Franck Montagny, who pushed his Super Aguri round in an impressive 1m 13.792s to beat the McLarens of morning pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen (1m 13.803s) and Pedro de la Rosa (1m 13.926s), with Fernando Alonsos Renault (1m 13.820s) in between.
Giancarlo Fisichella was only 12th as Renault focused on long runs, lapping his R26 in 1m 14.053s to head Hondas Rubens Barrichello (1m 14.434s), Red Bulls Michael Ammermuller (1m 14.436s), Spyker MF1s Tiago Monteiro (1m 14.468s), BMW Saubers Robert Kubica (1m 14.510s after spinning in Turn 9), Felipe Massa (1m 14.561s and another doing long runs) in the Ferrari, Nick Heidfeld (1m 14.793s) for BMW Sauber, Mark Webbers Williams (1m 14.839s) and newcomer Ernesto Viso (1m 14.972s before his Spyker MF1 stopped out on the track).
The final bunch comprised Super Aguris Takuma Sato (1m 15.023s), Spyker MF1s Christijan Albers (who spun before recording 1m 15.086s), Nico Rosberg (1m 15.124s on his first visit to Interlagos) in the Williams, Red Bulls David Coulthard (1m 15.214s), Toro Rossos Tonio Liuzzi (1m 15.737s) and Scott Speed (1m 15.855s), and Red Bulls Neel Jani (1m 15.868s, and another first timer). Finally, Robert Doornbos worked down to 1m 16.251s before his Red Bull stopped on the track, and Sakon Yamamoto spun his Super Aguri while trying to better 1m 18.321s.