Practice Two - tight at the top in China 05 Oct 2007
A mere 0.023s separated Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa in Shanghai this afternoon, with Lewis Hamilton only another two-tenths of a second adrift.
After Alonso had set the pace in the McLaren for much of the session, finishing up with a lap of 1m 36.613s, Raikkonen bettered that with 1m 36.607s for Ferrari. Massas contribution to the Italian teams day was 1m 36.630s.
The Brazilian had a spin in Turn Nine and later went off in Turn One, while Raikkonen again ran very wide in Turn 16. By contrast, Alonso kept it on the road.
Just outside their group, Hamilton struggled with set-up on his McLaren and lapped in 1m 36.876s for the fourth fastest time; he too had an off-road moment, running into the gravel in Turn Two.
Jarno Trulli spun in Turn 12, but pushed his Toyota round in 1m 37.151s for fifth ahead of Mark Webbers Red Bull (1m 37.450s), Ralf Schumachers Toyota (1m 37.524s), David Coulthards Red Bull (1m 37.617s), Nico Rosbergs Williams (1m 37.646s) and Giancarlo Fisichellas Renault (1m 37.970s). Fisichella went off in Turn Two at one stage.
Fisichellas team mate Heikki Kovalainen lost a lot of time when his R27 rolled to a halt in Turn Nine partway through the session, but the Finn got going again for 11th fastest time of 1m 38.062s. That beat Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello in their Hondas (1m 38.205s and 1m 38.304s respectively), then came the BMW Saubers of Robert Kubica (1m 38.379s) and Nick Heidfeld (1m 38.388s). Like Kovalainen, Heidfeld lost time when his F1.07 stopped in the middle sector; he too got going again, and was able to improve. Both BMW drivers were doing race running, as they did in Japan on the Friday, and Heidfeld wont get a penalty for this mornings engine failure as it was not his race engine that was damaged.
After making way for tester Kazuki Nakajima in the morning session, Alexander Wurz was back in the second Williams, recording 1m 38.531s, while Anthony Davidson showed Super Aguri team mate Takuma Sato the way round; the Briton was 17th on 1m 38.975s to the Japanese drivers 1m 39.360s best which left him 20th.
Tonio Liuzzi separated them on 1m 39.065s for Toro Rosso, Adrian Sutil was 19th on 1m 39.224s in the Spyker, and at the back were Toro Rossos Sebastian Vettel (1m 39.404s) and Spykers Sakon Yamamoto, who headed or matched Sutil until the final runs, on 1m 40.051s.