June 29, 2007
It's the first televised F1 event that The Pond has missed since sometime in 2005, when I mis-set the VCR for a practice session.
Here's the news that's come out of practice, though:
1) Ferrari topped the timecharts. I'm guessing the F2007 is really good on the high downforce circuits, and not-so-great on the low downforce ones (please note, this is in comparison to the McLarens only... they're better than the other teams on all tracks). Fortunately for Ferrari, there aren't that many low downforce tracks left for the year: Silverstone, Monza, and Shanghai. I haven't heard what
Suzuka Fuji's setup is yet... I wonder if the TEAMS know yet?
2) Toro Rosso had a good time in P2, with American Scott Speed 3rd and Liuzzi 5th. Since Mangy-Curs is about as close to being a test track as there is (with all the excitement that suggests), with it's billiard-table smooth asphalt and unchallenging layout, we may be seeing the Adrian Newey-designed car doing the absolute best it can. Or it may have been down to fuel loading, or the teams (other than Ferrari) working on tire wear, or something. We'll see in Quals.
3) Beemer-Sauber. The good news, and I mean that unsarcastically, is that Robert Kubica is back in the car after he was given the okay by the FIA medical chief. Remember, it was only three weeks ago that he had that incredible wreck in Montreal. The bad news, however, is that Grizzly Nick Heidfeld may NOT be able to take to the track for Quals. It seems he has an unspecified back problem that flared up on him and limited his running. If he can't go, Sebastian Vettel will take his place.
Please note that this doesn't seem to be a Jacques Villeneuve type of back problem, where the driver just doesn't want to be with the team anymore (Hungary 2006, remember?), but a real, actual injury.
4) Comedy of the day was provided by Ant Davidison at the very beginning of P2. He was coming out of his garage and speared directly into the back-left tire of Liuzzi's Toro Rosso. Oops. Someone at SuperAguri's got some 'splainin' to do (this was about all I saw of practice today).
See y'all for the Quals report!
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