European Grand Prix – Practice

Check out yesterday’s post to catch up on all the news. The only update since then is that BMW have applied to re-enter the 2010 season (as a “new” team), presumably because it’s easier to sell a team that can compete in F1 rather than one that can’t – d’oh!

This year’s European GP is in Valencia, Spain, again – Felipe Massa won the race last year but obviously won’t be taking part in it this year.
The weather is warm – the air temperature is 28°C and the track is 42°C; there’s a slight breeze (3mph) and the forecast is sunny.

Practice 1:
RB’s helmet carries a get well message for FM
Michael Schumacher is in the Ferrari garage as usual, coaching Luca Badoer although the veteran test driver probably knows the car as well as he can after 10 years of testing for Ferrari
The pit lane entrance overlaps with the turn in for the final corner – hopefully this won’t be a problem over the race weekend
Top of the timing charts: RB (1:42.460), HK, LH, JB, SV, AS
The new boys: JA (Jaime Alguersuari in the Toro Rosso) managed P13; RG (Romain Grosjean in the Renault) was P17; and LB (Luca Badoer) was last / P20, over 3 seconds off RB’s pace.

Practice 2:
NR is first on track for the 90 minute session; he re-enters the garage at the end of his first lap
FA takes to the circuit, in front of his home crowd
SB first to set a lap time – 1:43.726
LH 1:43.214
On his next hot lap, LH spins the McLaren – manages to avoid the barriers by inches, keeps the engine going, spins back around and resumes
FA 1:42.661
FA 1:41.861 – faster than the best time in the earlier practice session
RB gesticulates at a slow moving Ferrari
FA 1:41.661
30mins gone; 60mins left in this session
(AS P3, despite the car looking very twitchy)
KN 1:41.651
NR 1:41.588
JB 1:41.534
45mins gone = halfway through Practice 2
NR 1:41.394
FA 1:41.324
JT 1:41.204
RB 1:40.944
JB 1:40.911
RB 1:40.813
McLaren mechanics still working hard on LH’s car
FA 1:40.620
30mins left
Speed commentators report that LH did touch the wall when he spun and McLaren don’t have a replacement nose cone so he won’t run again today
FA enters the pit lane with no front wing
Replay shows FA T-bone NH in the final corner – launched the BMW Sauber; TV feed cuts to Michael Schumacher laughing
FA was past the pit lane entrance when he hit NH but he still entered the pits – will he get a penalty, same as when he did that last year?
KN 1:40.503
15mins left
BMW mechanics have NH’s car up on stands, removing the side pod – could be a major rebuild but at least they’ve got most of a day before he’s due back on track
RB 1:40.209
5mins left
FA 1:39.404
(JB P2)
FA on another hot lap but spins the Renault
Chequered flag falls the end the session
Top of the timing charts: FA (1:39.404), JB, RB, NR, KN, AS, RK, GF
The new boys: RG P13, LB P18 and JA P19.

Couple of things to keep an eye on:

  • will LH’s car be fixed in time for Saturday’s practice, and will he be penalised? (Don’t know if they’re replacing the gearbox etc.)
  • will FA be penalised for the collision with NH and then entering the pits after the pit lane entrance?

2 thoughts on “European Grand Prix – Practice

  1. BBC Radio 5 Live’s podcast talked to Martin Whitmarsh (from McLaren) and he sounded like Alonso moving to Ferrari next season is a done deal (not really to anyone’s surprise).

    They also reported that Luca Badoer was fined €5400 and reprimanded for speeding in the pit lane four times! Shame he couldn’t find any speed on-track.

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