Friday, August 3, 2007

Alonso sets the Friday pace - Hungarian GP - Second practice

A strong start from Alonso and McLaren Mercedes

Fernando Alonso set the Friday practice pace ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix for McLaren Mercedes as he lapped the 4.384 KM circuit in 1:20.919s, three-tenths ahead of Heikki Kovalainen who was impressive in his Renault and Lewis Hamilton who spun off late in the final minutes.

The 90-minute practice session started in sunny conditions but the clouds moved in and there were actually a few spot an hour into the session. This didn’t really create much of an issue, but the track temperate did drop off, and as a result, few were able to improve in the final 30 minutes.

The McLaren MP4-22 was expected to be well suited to this tight and twisty circuit and it was no surprise to see Alonso at the head of the timesheets. Hamilton looked to make it a McLaren one-two, but spun his McLaren off track and beached the car in the gravel with four minutes remaining.

Kovalainen and Renault will be happy to end the day second fastest, just 0.364s slower than Alonso and a fraction ahead of Hamilton. Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella was eighth fastest in the second Renault, but there was an awful lot of activity amongst the mechanics at the back end of his car late in the session, suggesting a problem.

Nico Rosberg was a solid fourth fastest in his Williams Toyota and should he repeat the position when it really does count, it would be a big boost for the team. Team-mate Alex Wurz was 12th fastest with what was probably a more representative time at a second off the ultimate pace.

Nick Heidfeld set the fifth best time in his BMW Sauber with Robert Kubica back in the tenths position. Kubica in particular spent a lot of time running on the worn soft tyre while most of his rivals worked mostly on the harder option.

Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were sixth and seventh fastest for Ferrari. The team struggled massively at Monaco earlier in the season compared to rivals McLaren and this circuit is similar, minus the Armco and the harbour…

Jarno Trulli set the ninth best time in his Toyota with team-mate Ralf Schumacher 11th ahead of Wurz and the Red Bull Renault duo of Mark Webber and David Coulthard. Anthony Davidson was one of the few to improve in the final 30 minutes as he posted the 15th best lap in his Super Aguri ahead of fellow Honda-powered runners Jenson Button, Takuma Sato and Rubens Barrichello.

Tonio Liuzzi and Sebastian Vettel were 19th and 20th for Toro Rosso Ferrari ahead of Adrian Sutil who had a few grassy moments in his Spyker Ferrari and Sakon Yamamoto.

Source: F1-Live