French GP - Good start for Ferrari
The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro duo got the French Grand Prix weekend off to a good start today, with Kimi Raikkonen ahead of Felipe Massa in the morning session and the order reversed at the end of the second ninety minutes of practice in the afternoon. There were some unusual names in the top half dozen come the end of the day. A surprising third was Scott Speed for the Ferrari-powered Scuderia Toro Rosso team, while his team-mate, Tonio Liuzzi was fifth, although both men admitted they set their best times on low fuel loads. In between them was the McLaren-Mercedes of championship leader, Lewis Hamilton, while the Red Bull Racing-Renault of David Coulthard, a past winner of this event, was sixth. After missing the US Grand Prix on doctor's advice, after his very big accident in Canada, Robert Kubica is back behind the wheel of the Sauber BMW and finished today in twelfth position.
Both Ferrari men completed twenty two laps in the morning, while in the afternoon, Felipe did thirty eight, ten more than his Finnish team-mate. Temperatures are higher than yesterday when everyone was complaining of the cold, but it is still much cooler than expected at what has in the past been one of the hottest races of the year. With track temperature having a significant effect on performance at this track, it will be interesting to watch how the situation evolves during qualifying tomorrow afternoon and which teams adapt best.
"I would say that this was quite a positive day," said Kimi. "We worked well and I think we can be competitive this weekend. The car went well right from the morning, but there is still room for improvement. However, as usual on a Friday, it is hard to say what the real pecking order is in the field. The performance of the two types of tyre we have here is pretty similar, even if I never managed to get a clean run with the softer on and so it's hard for me to say which is quicker."
Luca Baldisserri commented, "The first day of free practice produced positive signs and we tackled it in a slightly different way to usual. Both drivers reckon they are satisfied with the handling of the F2007, which proved to be well balanced right away and we have found a good base from which to work out the best set-up. The performance of the two tyre types seems very similar, but we need to take into account that things could change as the condition of the track surface evolves."