Practice Two - Raikkonen heads three-team tussle 22 Aug 2008
Renaults Fernando Alonso and Hondas Jenson Button came within an ace of upstaging him in the dying moments, but Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen signalled the intensity of his title challenge by setting the pace in Valencia on Friday afternoon.
The Finn had lapped in 1m 39.677s to pip team mate Felipe Massa, when Alonso and Button slipped in laps of 1m 39.497s and 1m 39.546s respectively. Raikkonens reply, like the other quick times set on Bridgestones super-soft tyre, was 1m 39.477s which proved good enough to get the job done.
Massa remained fourth, behind the leading F2008, the Renault and the Honda, and ahead of the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen, which had respective laps of 1m 39.712s and 1m 39.954s. The final runner below 1m 40s was on-form Toyota driver Timo Glock, with 1m 39.967s for seventh.
BMW Saubers Robert Kubica was eighth on 1m 40.149s, leading a plethora of drivers thus: Renaults Nelson Piquet (1m 40.439s), Force Indias Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 40.500s), Red Bulls Mark Webber (1m 40.585s), Williams Nico Rosberg (1m 40.607s), Red Bulls David Coulthard (1m 40.696s), Williams Kazuki Nakajima (1m 40.742s), Toyotas Jarno Trulli (1m 40.877s), Toro Rossos Sebastian Vettel (1m 40.982s), Force Indias Adrian Sutil (1m 40.999s), BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld (1m 41.084s), Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais (1m 41.246s) and Hondas Rubens Barrichello (1m 41.377s).
There were plenty of incidents this time, with Trulli, Piquet, Massa, Fisichella, Bourdais, Heidfeld and Webber all running off track. The big miss of the day came when Rosberg spun under braking for Turn 25 and went backwards down the inside of Webber, who fortunately saw the errant Williams coming and did not turn in.
Alonso is also under investigation for crossing the white line whilst pitting.
The general consensus is that the drivers love the track, and that the first day of running for the European Grand Prix was a major success.