Although Webber was a second quicker than anyone else yesterday, as predicted it was not long before his time was bettered as other teams tried low fuel qualifying simulations as part of the preparations for Bahrain in 2 weeks time. 5 drivers, including Vettel, went faster than Webber’s time from yesterday.
However, it was a nice surprise to see rookie and last year’s GP2 champion Nico ‘the Hulk’ Hulkenberg especially as it appeared his Williams was a lot slower than Red Bull yesterday on low fuel. After the end of the first day he told the media that he thought the Williams was behind the Ferrari and Red Bull, but that they were “not far off”. He was right, although it is doubted whether Red Bull are on the same pace as Ferrari.
Here are the fastest times from Day 2:
|1||Nico Hülkenberg||Williams (Cosworth)||1m20.614s||99|
|3||Pedro de la Rosa||BMW Sauber (Ferrari)||1m20.973s||114||+ 0.359|
|4||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India (Mercedes)||1m21.056s||90||+ 0.442|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull (Renault)||1m21.258s||125||+ 0.644|
|6||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso (Ferrari)||1m21.571s||104||+0.957|
|8||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren (Mercedes)||1m22.152s||93||+1.538|
|10||Jarno Trulli||Lotus (Cosworth)||1m25.524s||70||+4.910|
|11||Timo Glock||Virgin (Cosworth)||1m25.942s||52||+5.328|
- Hulkenberg set his fastest time in the afternoon 2 laps into a 3 lap run on the super soft Bridgestone tyres.
- Alonso set his fastest time in the morning, only 0.023 slower than the Hulk, on soft tyres on a 3 lap run but did a couple of 5 and 6 lap runs where he dipped into the 1m20s several times. He did an impressive 24 lap run in the afternoon, clearly heavy with fuel and kept great consistency doing many laps in the 1m24s range. He caught Vettel at one point and tried a sneaky manoeuvre of missing the last chicane to get a run on him on the straight but didn’t get close enough so backed off to give himself space to continue his run.
- Liuzzi in the Force India and Alguersuari in the Toro Rosso also did good long runs keeping a similar pace as Alonso. Indication that these 2 teams may be more competitive than they were last year.
- Lotus continue to improve pace-wise but did suffer a hydraulic problem today
- McLaren have been quiet with both Button and, today, Hamilton and unlike Jerez, they have not yet attempted a low fuel qualifying simulation run. Hamilton’s quickest time was set on the 1st lap of a 6-lap run. His heavy fuel load pace appeared to be 1m27/26s pace which is not impressive.
- Mercedes had a quiet day too and Schumacher told the media they are not in a position to win at Bahrain but thinks they will be competitive.
You may like this onboard video of Raikkonen in 2008:
Photos from today’s action: