Ferrari rampant, Williams solid at Sepang 06 Apr 2007
While the two Ferraris dominated the times in this afternoons second practice session at Sepang, the Toyota-powered Williams FW29s continued to show impressive pace and stability ahead of Sundays Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Grove teams cars looked very solid around the Kuala Lumpur circuit, as Nico Rosberg and Alex Wurz sat in third and fourth places for a long time, and they were only displaced by late runs from the Renault duo.
The track temperature was again blistering, spiking at times as high as 54 degrees Celsius, which was up six from the hottest point this morning. That slowed the times, and caused several teams to struggle for grip as they continued testing Bridgestones hard and soft compound options.
With 13 minutes to go the session was red flagged when Christijan Albers right rear Bridgestone threw its tread down the main straight on the approach to Turn One, for reasons as yet unknown. The Dutchman pulled his Spyker off to the side of the track, and the session was interrupted as the debris was cleaned up. His best lap to that stage, 1m 39.807s, thus remained last in the 22-car line-up.
Felipe Massas best lap of 1m 35.780s held up for the sessions quickest for Ferrari, but right at the end Renaults Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen made the most of similar soft rubber to jump ahead of Kimi Raikkonens F2007, their respective laps of 1m 35.910s and 1m 36.106s giving them second and third ahead off the Finns 1m 36.160s.
Rosbergs 1m 36.523s held up for fifth, as did Wurzs 1m 36.621s for sixth, then came Robert Kubica (1m 36.717s) for BMW Sauber, Toyotas Ralf Schumacher (1m 36.760s), McLarens Lewis Hamilton (1m 36.797s), Nick Heidfeld (1m 36.862s) - the German back in the BMW Sauber after surrendering his F1.07 to tester Sebastian Vettel this morning - and Red Bulls Mark Webber (1m 36.906s). The majority of quick times came on the softer tyres.
Webber had an adventurous afternoon, running wide on to the dirt in Turn 8 early on, then stopping with a mechanical problem on his RB3 in the closing stages.
World champion Fernando Alonso was only 12th in the McLaren on 1m 37.041s, ahead of Red Bulls David Coulthard (1m 37.203s), Super Aguris Takuma Sato (1m 37.282s), Hondas Jenson Button (1m 37.578s), Toyotas Jarno Trulli (1m 37.712s) and Toro Rossos Tonio Liuzzi (1m 37.855s)
Completing the field were Anthony Davidson (1m 38.334s) in the Super Aguri, the Spyker of Adrian Sutil (1m 38.419s), Toro Rossos Scott Speed (1m 38.650s), Hondas Rubens Barrichello (1m 38.713s) and Albers.