F1: Alonso gives Massa a run for his money in Spa practice

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarFriday, September 5th, 2008

 
 

Golden boy Felipe Massa stamped his authority on the first session of Spa practice – but in the second a strong challenge from Renault’s Fernando Alonso saw him in the runners-up position on the unofficial timesheet.

By contrast, McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen put in a subdued performance with little to choose between them, coming third and fourth in both sessions.

The morning track was Massa’s to command, with the Ferrari driver putting in flying lap after flying lap on a dry track where the threatened rain never materialised. Beleaguered team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was a strong second.

Alonso followed the two McLarens into fifth place as the first driver unable to break the 1:48 barrier.
It was a good morning’s work for both Red Bull and Toro Rosso, with Mark Webber in sixth place and the two Sebs in seventh and eighth.

David Coulthard, however, was some way down the field in 15th.

Bourdais was one of several drivers to experience mechanical problems. He was left stranded at La Source while Jarno Trulli had electrical problems and Kubica’s wrongly set-up car saw him in conflict with his mechanics.

Another dismal session for Honda saw Jenson Button in 19th place.

In the afternoon session an early lead from Hamilton was soon gobbled up by Massa’s relentless pace after rain cost the drivers 35 minutes of their track time.

The slippery conditions caught out Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen, Giancarlo Fisichella, Nelson Piquet ansd Fernando Alonso and caused the session to be disrupted even further while cars were recovered and red flags flown.

The clock was ticking down to its final minutes before the drivers could get back to business as usual, at which point Kovalainen and then Alonso snatched the lead with Massa nipping into second place.

Raikkonen was fifth and the first driver to fail to break the 1:49 barrier, while Williams’ Nico Rosberg, Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Adrian Sutil followed him.

Practice two times:

  1. Fernando Alonso, Renault: 1:48.454 (21 laps)
  2. Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:48.504 (15 laps)
  3. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren: 1:48.740 (19 laps)
  4. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:48.805 (17 laps)
  5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari: 1:49.328 (10 laps)
  6. Nico Rosberg, Williams: 1:49.405 (17 laps)
  7. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso: 1:49.427 (28 laps)
  8. Adrian Sutil, Force India: 1:49.58 (22 laps)
  9. Jarno Trulli, Toyota: 1:149.715 (22 laps)
  10. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber: 1:49.725 (21 laps)
  11. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber: 1:49.875 (22 laps)
  12. David Coulthard, Red Bull: 1:49.922 (20 laps)
  13. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso: 1:49.948 (20 laps)
  14. Timo Glock, Toyota: 1:50.281 (23 laps)
  15. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams: 1:50.364 (20 laps)
  16. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India: 1:50.740 (11 laps)
  17. Jenson Button, Honda: 1:50.925 (18 laps)
  18. Rubens Barrichello, Honda: 1:51.238 (22 laps)
  19. Nelson A Piquet, Renault: 1:51.334 (18 laps)
  20. Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:51.640 (7 laps>

Practice one times:

  1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:47.284 (26 laps)
  2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari: 1:47.623 (26 laps)
  3. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1.47.878 (27 laps)
  4. Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren: 1:47.932 (24 laps)
  5. Fernando Alonso, Renault: 1:48.104 (26 laps)
  6. Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:48.428 (29 laps)
  7. Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso: 1:48.557 (31 laps)
  8. Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso: 1:48.958 (24 laps)
  9. Timo Glock, Toyota: 1:48.997 (26 laps)
  10. Nelson A Piquet, Renault: 1:49.068 (25 laps)
  11. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber: 1:49.139 (25 laps)
  12. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber: 1:49.185 (26 laps)
  13. Nico Rosberg, Williams: 1: 49.611 (30 laps)
  14. Jarno Trulli, Toyota: 1:49.625 (14 laps)
  15. David Coulthard, Red Bull: 1:49.849 (18 laps)
  16. Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India: 1:49.986 (27 laps)
  17. Adrian Sutil, Force India: 1.50.117 (19 laps)
  18. Kazuki Nakajima, Williams: 1:50.125 (30 laps)
  19. Jenson Button, Honda: 1:50.464 (25 laps)
  20. Rubens Barrichello, Honda: 1:50.905 (25 laps)

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