mayo 06, 2005

De la Rosa and McLaren continue to shine

De la Rosa and McLaren continue to shinePedro de la Rosa
Spanish GP - Second practice

Pedro de la Rosa dominated both first and
second practice today in Barcelona

Fastest in first practice, Pedro de la Rosa left it until the dying seconds of the second 60-minute session today at Circuit de Catalunya to move fastest once again for McLaren Mercedes, knocking six-tenths off his own best time set earlier in the day.

Ricardo Zonta was second fastest for Toyota on a day when it seemed that Michelin rubber was the tyre to have, as the French tyre company dominated the top-ten. Toyota team-mates Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher were fifth and eighth fastest respectively.

Over at Williams, BMW engineers found a problem with an exhaust valve and changed Nick Heidfeld’s V10 engine earlier today meaning that the German driver will drop ten places on the grid for Sunday’s race. For Mark Webber - with a same spec-engine - a fresh V10 is being brought in for Saturday practice meaning he did not take part in today’s running and will therefore avoid an engine penalty when he gets a new engine tomorrow morning.

Heidfeld made no mistakes and put in a good number of laps for the team today and also managed the third best time of the session. The engine-change penalty will cost him dear come Sunday afternoon however.

A heavy shunt for Juan Pablo MontoyaMontoya

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest in his McLaren Mercedes while Juan Pablo Montoya’s return to the team after missing two Grand Prix started with a bang as the Colombian crashed out of practice right out of the end of the session whilst tenth quickest. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to use this chassis or engine tomorrow and on Sunday.

David Coulthard underlined the pace Red Bull Cosworth seem to be showing in Barcelona as he set the fifth best time while Christian Klien and Vitantonio Liuzzi were 15th and 16th respectively.

Championship leaders Renault missed much of the first session today but got a good number of laps completed in this second session with Melbourne winner Giancarlo Fisichella setting the seventh fastest time ahead of Ralf Schumacher and Fernando Alonso taking ninth position.

Ferrari and Bridgestone did not make it into the top ten in this session, with Rubens Barrichello leading the way in 11th position with team-mate Michael Schumacher back another two positions. Both driver’s completed a good number of laps and it remains to be seen whether Ferrari are struggling for pace or whether they are simply working though a logical tyre programme and are unconcerned about setting quick times this early in the weekend.

Felipe Massa managed to split the two Ferrari drivers in his Sauber Petronas, while Jacques Villeneuve slotted into 14th position in the second C24. With the Red Bull duo of Liuzzi and Klien 15th and 16th, there was a good battle for the following positions as Narain Karthikeyan eventually got the better of Robert Doornbos and Tiago Monteiro.

Over at Minardi, Christijan Albers lost some time with a mechanical problem early in the session but was able to get back on track to take 19th position from team-mate Patrick Friesacher. BAR Honda of course are not racing this weekend or at Monaco later in the month having been banned for two events by the ICA and lost its points gained at Imola.

It’s still early days at Circuit de Catalunya, but so far it’s pretty safe to say that the Michelin-shod McLaren, Toyota, Williams and Renault teams seem particularly strong. Given Michael Schumacher’s race pace at Imola however, it’s pretty clear Ferrari have not shown their true pace yet. Practice resumes tomorrow morning at 09.00 CET.


aunq es bastante improbable, espero que Pedro de la Rosa corra este Domingo alla en Barcelona, la vdd se lo merece, aparte Montoya anda sumamente desconcentrado... sentira pasos?? :P

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