Nico Rosberg ended Friday’s running at the top of the tables, completing 36 laps on his way to a time 0.2s clear of second fastest driver Fernando Alonso. The Williams pilot has been impressing in Free Practice sessions all season, but this is not an indicator of race pace as Rosberg tends to gradually lose touch with the front runners as the weekend progresses. The Toyotas returned to form in the second session as well, having not done particularly well in the morning. Jarno Trulli finished in P3 while Timo Glock ended his day in P8.
The surprise of the afternoon were the Force India duo of Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil. Early in the 90 minute running Fisichella popped in a quick lap but the pace of Sutil was the talking point at the end of the day, the German finishing in P7. Also improving were both Red Bull pilots, but this was at the cost of the downward moving BMWs and Brawns. Nick Heidfeld ended his day at the bottom while team mate Robert Kubica could only manage P17. Jenson Button also fared less well, one place down on his morning performance but 0.9s faster.
The Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa also struggled around the Bahrain circuit. Traditionally, Sakhir is Ferrari territory, but as we saw in Malaysia (another of the traditional Scuderia tracks) not everything is going their way this year. Raikkonen went from P10 in the morning to P18 in the afternoon, only improving by 0.2s. Felipe Massa started the day well in P8 but also finished further down the tables, 0.025s faster but in P16. Massa is not running KERS this weekend but Raikkonen is, and the fact that Massa has been faster in both sessions says a lot about the state of the F60 at the moment.
|1.||Nico Rosberg Williams||1m33.339s||36 Laps|
|2.||Fernando Alonso Renault||1m33.530s||25 Laps|
|3.||Jarno Trulli Toyota||1m33.616s||37 Laps|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||1m33.661s||29 Laps|
|5.||Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||1m33.676s||32 Laps|
|6.||Jenson Button Brawn||1m33.694s||35 Laps|
|7.||Adrian Sutil Force India||1m33.763s||30 Laps|
|8.||Timo Glock Toyota||1m33.764s||37 Laps|
|9.||Rubens Barrichello Brawn||1m33.885s||30 Laps|
|10.||Kazuki Nakajima Williams||1m33.899s||36 Laps|
|11.||Lewis Hamilton McLaren||1m33.994s||30 Laps|
|12.||Giancarlo Fisichella Force India||1m34.025s||23 Laps|
|13.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m34.127s||37 Laps|
|14.||Sebastien Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m34.366s||26 Laps|
|15.||Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault||1m34.411s||29 Laps|
|16.||Felipe Massa Ferrari||1m34.564s||34 Laps|
|17.||Robert Kubica BMW||1m34.605s||31 Laps|
|18.||Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari||1m34.670s||28 Laps|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen McLaren||1m34.764s||35 Laps|
|20.||Nick Heidfeld BMW||1m34.790s||33 Laps|
A small correction: Massa was running KERS and Raikkonen was not. See Filipe’s comments in this article.
Whoops. You are quite correct David. It was also Felipe who moaned in Shanghai about not having KERS, saying the team have stepped backwards since removing. So it makes sense that he would get it back, and the driver who’s suffered the most retirements because of it (Raikkonen) does not. Thanks for pointing that out.