Australian GP – My Friday In Melbourne – Free Practice

And it has started ! The engines fired up this morning in Melbourne, the new season is officially here !

I overslept a bit and arrived about half hour late to the track. And the first thing I saw, my first Formula 1 picture of the 2008 season is the blown engine of David Coulthard :-) . As this was the first photo, the quality is not too good, it took me a while to get used to the very bright sun … More photos from Melbourne coming up later …

Coulthard Melbourne Blown Engine

The weather during first practice session was very hot, the air temperature was 37 degrees. Surprisingly the track temperature was only about 40 … Most of the cars ran on the harder tyres saving the soft ones for later.

The drivers may say that the removal of driver aids does not make much difference to them, but the difference is very obvious on the track. The cars slide in the corners, many drivers were loosing their rears. I haven’t seen that many off the track excursions an any of the races I went to in past few years …

The cars do sound better, the ugly traction control cracking sounds are gone :-) .

The second practice brought some surprising names higher up the order – Webber, Coulthard, Fisichella. This however has to be taken with caution. The teams were experimenting with tyres, running longer runs, carrying heavier fuel. So far I am not any smarter than I was yesterday. Ferrari and McLaren are clearly quick. Toyta seems to be quicker than people thought. Button is higher than perhaps expected. Red Bull, Williams, Renault, BMW all strong as predicted. But for clear indication of the form at the start of the 2008 seasn we have to wait till tomorrow’s qualifying …

From the reports from the pit lane during the session, it looks like the softer tyres deteriorated very quickly in todays conditions. But one has to remember that the actual race will start at 3:30pm – that is the time today’s sessions ended. By that time the temperatures were already much cooler.

Here are the Friday times from Melbourne:


Practice 1:

1. Raikkonen – Ferrari 1:26.461
2. Hamilton – McLaren + 0.487
3. Massa – Ferrari + 0.497
4. Kovalainen – McLaren + 0.653
5. Webber – Red Bull + 1.802
6. Alonso – Renault + 1.899
7. Kubica – BMW Sauber + 2.118
8. Glock – Toyota + 2.452
9. Vettel – Toro Rosso + 2.496
10. Trulli – Toyota + 2.553
11. Button – Honda + 2.663
12. Fisichella – Force India + 2.769
13. Coulthard – Red Bull + 2.840
14. Bourdais – Toro Rosso + 2.902
15. Barrichello – Honda + 3.072
16. Heidfeld – BMW Sauber + 3.100
17. Sutil – Force India + 3.694
18. Piquet – Renault + 3.896
19. Sato – Super Aguri + 4.587
20. Davidson – Super Aguri + 5.310
21. Nakajima – Williams + 8.592
22. Rosberg – Williams no time

Practise 2:

1. Hamilton – McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.559
2. Webber – Red Bull + 0.914
3. Massa – Ferrari + 1.081
4. Kovalainen – McLaren + 1.124
5. Coulthard – Red Bull + 1.478
6. Raikkonen – Ferrari + 1.649
7. Trulli – Toyota + 1.733
8. Rosberg – Williams + 1.793
9. Fisichella – Force India + 1.910
10. Glock – Toyota + 2.023
11. Button – Honda + 2.073
12. Heidfeld – BMW Sauber + 2.172
13. Alonso – Renault + 2.220
14. Barrichello – Honda + 2.290
15. Kubica – BMW Sauber + 2.301
16. Nakajima – Williams + 2.518
17. Sutil – Force India + 2.602
18. Vettel – Toro Rosso + 2.634
19. Piquet – Renault + 2.959
20. Bourdais – Toro Rosso + 3.046
21. Sato – Super Aguri + 4.104
22. Davidson – Super Aguri + 4.968

How good must Fisichella feel today after practice 2 … He in Force India quicker than both Renaults :-)

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. StewNo Gravatar says:

    I was up late to watch the second session, it started at midnight my time.

    You are right, so many cars running wide or raking the gravel. The track is pretty green and no traction control sure did give them trouble.

    I’m really happy about Fisi, he took that car and ran with it.

    The times were secondary to watching the cars on track. It was great to see them again.

    I just hope David Coulthard can find something better than a portapotty to use.:)

    Stew’s last blog post..2008 F1 Preview: Renault

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