Bahrain GP - Free Practice
Bahrain GP - The hottest day of the racing year
Sakhir, 24th April 2009 – Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen ended the afternoon ninety minute free practice session in sixteenth and eighteenth places respectively. The Finn completed a total of 47 laps over today’s three hours of track time, the Brazilian 51.
After removing the KERS system from the two F60 in China last week, today, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers did a back to back comparison, with Felipe’s car using the power boosting system, while Kimi ran without it. The data will now be analysed to make a decision regarding the system for the rest of this weekend. However, whatever the decision, it’s clear that between Sunday night in Shanghai and Friday morning in Bahrain, there can be no miracle cures and so, while happy the cars ran reliably, neither Ferrari driver is particularly impressed with his own turn of speed at the moment. But there’s no sense of giving up in the team garage, with everyone getting on with their jobs as usual, making the best of a difficult time.
At the top of the time sheet today, we find Nico Rosberg in the Williams Toyota, while second is the Renault of Fernando Alonso, followed by Jarno Trulli in the Toyota. Fourth and fifth places go to the drivers who came first and second in China, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber in their Red Bull-Renault, while series leader, Jenson Button, rounds off the top six.
The weather has been the main talking point here today, which makes a pleasant change from sport politics. While the first three races have been characterised by rain, the topic in the desert is the heat, with the air temperature in the high thirties and the track hitting fifty. It’s the hottest conditions seen all year and it is partly due to the fact this race is later than usual on the calendar – the first time Formula 1 came here it was on 04/04/04 and the forecast for tomorrow is hotter still.