BMW Sauber the Friday pacesetters 23 Jun 2006
Robert Kubica and BMW Sauber continued to set the fastest times in practice on Montreals Ile Notre Dame this afternoon, as track and weather conditions improved. The Pole took his F1.06 round in 1m 16.965s, which finally proved to be 0.120s faster than late improver Fernando Alonso who pushed his Renault round in 1m 17.095s to dislodge Alexander Wurz. The Austrians best time for Williams was 1m 17.337s. Kimi Raikkonen was happy with fourth for McLaren on 1m 17.490s, followed by Anthony Davidson in the leading Honda on 1m 17.627s, Giancarlo Fisichella on 1m 17.805s for Renault and Mark Webber on 1m 17.848s in the Williams.
People were pushing harder this afternoon, with many drivers running over the chicane out the back of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve or over the run-off area in the final corner. Nobody damaged their cars this time, though Juan Pablo Montoya (Turn 1), Michael Schumacher, Fisichella, Tonio Liuzzi, Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg (all Turn 8) and Jenson Button (Turn 10) all explored the grass at times.
Liuzzi ended up eighth overall for Toro Rosso with a lap of 1m 18.009s, chased by Nick Heidfeld for BMW Sauber on 1m 18.015s, team mate Jacques Villeneuve (1m 18.035s), Robert Doornbos (1m 18.201s), the Hondas of Rubens Barrichello and Button (1m 18.279s and 1m 18.429s respectively), Christijan Albers (1m 18.503s), Michael Schumacher (1m 18.549s), Ralf Schumacher (1m 18.614s), Montoya (1m 18.761s), Christian Klien (1m 18.865s), Jarno Trulli (1m 18.868s) and Scott Speed (1m 18.907s) all grouped together in the midfield within the same second.
After his moment, Rosberg was 21st on 1m 19.048s, from Massa (1m 19.099s), Giorgio Mondini (1m 19.138s), David Coulthard (1m 19.313s), Neel Jani (1m 19.541s), Takuma Sato (1m 19.624s). Sakon Yamamoto impressed with a lap of 1m 20.197s to chase Sato in the Friday Super Aguri and set 27th fastest time, while Tiago Monteiro took things relatively easily in his repaired Midland for 1m 20.262s and Franck Montagny rounded out the field with 1m 21.434s.
The real quick lappery will begin tomorrow morning, but at least everyone now has a feel for the track, and the warmer temperatures made conditions better than they had been this morning even if Kubicas overall best time was slower.