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Bahrain Friday Practice - Honda on top, Ferrari chasing
Friday, 10 March 2006
gpreport.jpgThe 2006 Formula One season prospects began to unfold as all cars took to the track for the second practice session in Bahrain today.

Topping the times was the much-fancied Honda RA106, fastest in the hands of test driver Anthony Davidson on 1:31.353s, comfortably faster than the next quickest runner.

Michael Schumacher confirmed that Ferrari are back on the right track, his 1:31.751s just four tenths behind Davidson for second place, and was ably backed up by new team-mate Felipe Massa who took fourth slot with 1:32.175s.

plitting the Ferraris in third place was Williams test driver Alexander Wurz, the ex-McLaren 'Friday' man continuing his fine form by posting 1:31.764s in the dying seconds of the hour long session. His team mates, race drivers Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg, kept their running to a minimum by completing only five laps each, hence 17th and 21st places respectively can not be considered representative of the Williams FW28's potential.

World Champion Fernando Alonso took fifth place in the Renault with 1:32.538s, with team mate Giancarlo Fisichella eighth, but the surprise of the session was Vitantonio Liuzzi in sixth position, a result that is sure to cause controversy.

Liuzzi set the time in his Toro Rosso with the 'restricted' Cosworth V10, and a time of 1:32.703s will be significant enough for rivals to call for further limitations to the engine. Team mate and F1 debutant Scott Speed posted 16th fastest on 1:34.284s.

Robert Doornbos was quickest of the Red Bull trio in seventh place, team mates Christian Klien (11th) and David Coulthard (19th) leaving the bulk of the running to their test driver, something the BMW race pilots also chose to do.

Robert Kubica, fastest in the first session, took tenth position having completed more laps than all bar Davidson, while race drivers Nick Heidfeld and Jacques Villeneuve were content to pick up 14th and 25th respectively.

Like most teams, Honda gave the workload to the test driver, race drivers Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello running less than half the laps of Davidson to set ninth and 18th times.

In twelfth and thirteenth places were the Mclaren pair, Kimi Raikkonen heading Juan Pablo Montoya by less than two tenths. The Mercedes powered duo, notably, ran few laps in this session, perhaps with memories of pre-season engine failures fresh in their minds. Indeed, Raikkonen stopped on the circuit with a mechanical failure half-way through the session.

The enigma of practice so far has been the performance of the Toyota, of whom much was expected this season. With Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli finishing in 22nd and 24th places, the team must hope that this is not a true indication of race pace.

The traditional back-of-the-grid struggle would appear to be between Midland and first timers Super Aguri this weekend, as Toro Rosso exploit the apparent power advantage of the Cosworth V10.

Midland had three drivers running today, with Tiago Monteiro, Marcus Winkelhock and Cristijan Albers all setting times lower down the order.

Super Aguri, without a third car, made do with the experienced Takuma Sato, who managed to set 22nd best time, some six seconds from the fastest time, and new boy Yuji Ide a second behind his team leader.

Practice shorts:

*Davidson fastest by four tenths;

*Ferrari back in the hunt?

*Mechanical failures halt Raikkonen, Trulli and Sato.

*Toyota off the pace.

Session 2
 Driver
 Constructor
 Time
 Anthony Davidson
 Honda Racing
 1m31.353
 Michael Schumacher
 Scuderia Ferrari
 1m31.751
 Alex Wurz
 Williams F1
 1m31.764
 Felipe Massa
 Scuderia Ferrari
 1m32.175
 Fernando Alonso
 Renault
 1m32.538
 Tonio Luizzi
 Toro Rosso
 1m32.703
 Robert Doornbos
 Red Bull Racing
 1m32.926
 Giancarlo Fisichella
 Renault
 1m33.215
 Jenson Button
 Honda Racing
 1m33.226
 Robert Kubica
 BMW Sauber
 1m33.244
 Christian Klien
 Red Bull Racing
 1m33.557
 Kimi Raikkonen
 Team McLaren Mercedes
 1m33.577
 Juan Pablo Montoya
 Team McLaren Mercedes
 1m33.726
 Nick Heidfeld
 BMW Sauber
 1m33.848
 Neel Jani
 Toro Rosso
 1m33.900
 Scott Speed
 Toro Rosso
 1m34.284
 Mark Webber
 Williams F1
 1m34.333
 Rubens Barrichello
 Honda Racing
 1m34.384
 David Coulthard
 Red Bull Racing
 1m34.432
 Tiago Monteiro
 MF1 Racing
 1m34.459
 Nico Rosberg
 Williams F1
 1m34.953
 Ralf Schumacher
 Toyota
 1m35.170
 Markus Winkelhock
 MF1 Racing
 1m35.686
 Jarno Trulli
 Toyota
 1m35.898
 Jacques Villeneuve
 BMW Sauber
 1m36.264
 Christijan Albers
 MF1 Racing
 1m36.314
 Takuma Sato
 Super Aguri
 1m37.588
 Yuji Ide
 Super Aguri
 1m39.021

Session 1

 Driver
 Constructor
 Time
 Robert Kubica
 BMW Sauber
 1m32.183
 Alex Wurz
 Williams F1
 1m32.219
 Kimi Raikkonen
 Team McLaren Mercedes
 1m33.401
 Michael Schumacher
 Scuderia Ferrari
 1m33.422
 Christian Klien
 Red Bull Racing
 1m34.858
 Neel Jani
 Toro Rosso
 1m34.875
 Juan Pablo Montoya
 Team McLaren Mercedes
 1m34.902
 Felipe Massa
 Scuderia Ferrari
 1m34.922
 David Coulthard
 Red Bull Racing
 1m35.016
 Tonio Luizzi
 Toro Rosso
 1m35.078
 Robert Doornbos
 Red Bull Racing
 1m35.290
 Scott Speed
 Toro Rosso
 1m35.369
 Tiago Monteiro
 MF1 Racing
 1m36.560
 Christijan Albers
 MF1 Racing
 1m36.922
 Markus Winkelhock
 MF1 Racing
 1m37.909
 Takuma Sato
 Super Aguri
 1m38.141
 Yuji Ide
 Super Aguri
 1m40.766

sources: http://formula-1.updatesport.com/news/article/1141993655/formula_one/
F1headlines/Honda-on-top-Ferrari-chasing/view.html

times from: www.mclaren.com 

Comments: McLaren back to their old bad self again. Kimi 's car stopped with electrical problem, Juan-Pablo 's car is believed to have an engine-related problem. We 'll have to wait and see if an engine change is necessary for any of them.

Renault, Honda and Ferrari are looking very strong, as expected.

 
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