|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Fisichella posts 9th fastest time in 2nd practice session
March 21, 2008 17:15 IST
For the second event running, Giancarlo Fisichella posted a top 10 time, just under two seconds from the fastest lap recorded by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton [Images] at the second practice session ahead of Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang on Friday.
After an inconsistent morning session where he finished 19th on the timesheet, Fisichella looked far more impressive in the afternoon and despite being slowed down by Toyota's Timo Glock, the Italian lapped in 1m 36.756s to finish 9th among 21 drivers.
After a morning session accident, Red Bull's David Coulthard did not participate in the second free practice at the Sepang International Circuit tomorrow morning.
Fisichella's German teammate Adrian Sutil, however, could complete only five laps in the morning session after an engine problem caused him to stop out on track.
Sutil put in 35 laps in the later session but struggled to find a good balance and lapped in 1m 37.614s to be 18th on the time sheet.
Meanwhile, Hamilton got his gear selection problems rectified and posted the fastest time, lapping his MP4-23 in 1m 35.055s, bettering Ferrari [Images] driver Felipe Massa's [Images] morning session benchmark of 1m 35.206s.
Kimi Raikkonen's [Images] 1m 35.428s lap saw him third in the order in the second F2008.
Both Fisichella and Sutil worked through a programme of set-up, tyre testing and data accumulation on the new aero updates introduced for this weekend, putting in 98 laps of the 5.543km track between them.
"We made a big improvement from the morning to the afternoon session. This morning there was a lot of understeer and then oversteer - it was really inconsistent but we made a big step forward and the balance was a lot better in the second session," Fisichella later said.
"It was more consistent and comfortable. Unfortunately when I was doing my new tyre run Glock was going very slowly in the middle of the last corner so I lost three tenths. It wasn't acceptable, but thankfully it wasn't the qualifying session," said the Italian who won the 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix here with Renault.
Sutil, meanwhile, was understandably upset at missing out chunk of the morning session action.
"This morning we had a problem with the engine and then the second session in the afternoon was not so good. Again we had problems with the new tyres - I don't know if it was the car or the pressures, but we just can't get a time out of the softer tyres. We have to look at this and improve for tomorrow as I am not happy with today," he said.
Chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne said it was a difficult first session with low grip and lot of oversteer, besides the snag in Sutil's car.
"We were however able to analyse the reasons in the break and improve for the second session. The long runs looked very good and we were able to gather all the data we need. Once again we proved we have a competitive car in that midfield pack and we just have to get everything right for tomorrow to make sure we can now get the best out of qualifying," Gascoyne said.
Qualifying will take place after a final practice session tomorrow and the Vijay Mallya-owned team is desperate to make it to the second of the three qualifying sessions.
Formula One: The Complete Coverage