BMW take up the chase as Ferrari fall short of McLaren
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso maintained McLarens current lock on practice in Spain this morning, with the Englishman just leading the champion with laps of 1m 21.233s and 1m 21.312s.
As they maintained their smiles afterwards, there were frowns at Ferrari where Felipe Massa was only sixth with 1m 21.659s and Kimi Raikkonen seventh with 1m 21.829s. The Finn missed his last run as the chequered flag ended the session, however, so the jury is still out on whether Ferrari are still struggling to optimise the balance of the F2007s.
Between the two title protagonists, BMW Sauber had a good morning with Robert Kubica third on 1m 21.364s and Nick Heidfeld fourth on 1m 21.464s. While that might have been expected, there was a pleasant surprise for Red Bull when David Coulthard pushed his RB3 into fifth place with 1m 21.556s.
The third Briton in the top eight was Anthony Davidson, who took his Super Aguri round in 1m 21.845s, while Nico Rosberg (1m 21.953s for Williams) and Heikki Kovalainen (1m 22.067s for Renault) completed the top 10.
Giancarlo Fisichella was 11th in the second R27 on 1m 22.140s, just ahead of Jarno Trullis Toyota (1m 22.174s), Rubens Barrichellos Honda (1m 22.274s), Takuma Satos Super Aguri (1m 22.295s), Scott Speeds Toro Rosso (1m 22.314s), Ralf Schumachers Toyota (1m 22.570s), Jenson Buttons Honda (1m 22.744s) and Mark Webbers Red Bull (1m 22.759s).
Alex Wurz failed to break into their bracket, lapping his Williams in 1m 23.020s to beat Tonio Liuzzi, who still had problems with his Toro Rosso after lapping it initially in 1m 23.367s, and the Spykers of Adrian Sutil and Christijan Albers brought up the rear on 1m 23.584s and 1m 23.817s respectively.
Another session in which some faces were higher than usual, and others lower, sets the stage now for qualifying, the final pre-race denouement.