Wurz Waltzes to the top again
Second practice at Hockenheim proved to be another Alex Wurz/McLaren benefit.
The Austrian test driver had things all his own way and set the pace by six-tenths of a second from ‘race’ counterpart Kimi Raikkonen.
Points leader Fernando Alonso upset the McLaren symmetry by going third fastest for Renault, relegating Juan Pablo Montoya to fourth.
Raikkonen went out at the beginning of the session and set the ball rolling with a 1m15.815s.
It wasn’t long before Wurz blew that into the weeds, however, clocking the first sub-1m14s lap of the weekend a third of the way into the session.
His benchmark of 1m13.973s wasn’t remotely threatened over the remaining 40 minutes, although Raikkonen steadily chipped away at his times and got down to a 1m14.576s.
That left the Finn very nearly a full second clear of arch-rival Alonso, who logged his first flying laps of the day after spending this morning’s session in the garage.
Alonso had several lock-ups at the very tight, 35mph hairpin as he explored the limits of the Renault under braking and also seemed to be struggling with turn-in understeer in the stadium section.
Montoya was 1.2s slower than team-mate Raikkonen in fourth, suggesting that the Colombian, who took a dominant win at Hockenheim in 2003, has yet to really stretch his legs.
Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta posted the fifth best time ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella in the second Renault.
Felipe Massa was an excellent seventh quickest for Sauber, some 10 places and 0.8s ahead of team-mate Jacques Villeneuve.
Vitantonio Liuzzi impressed once again for Red Bull Racing, matching his morning feat by finishing eighth on the timesheets.
Jarno Trulli was next up for Toyota, while tenth-fastest Michael Schumacher was one of the few drivers not to improve on his morning time.
As another was the world champion’s team-mate Rubens Barrichello (a lowly 16th fastest), it seems likely that Ferrari was trying out the harder of its Bridgestone tyre compounds in this afternoon’s session.
David Coulthard was the only driver not to record a time after spinning off on his first flying lap. The Scot lost the back end of his Red Bull Racing car turning into the last corner and had a gentle rearward impact with the tyre barrier.
Friday second practice times from Hockenheim
1. WURZ McLaren 1m13.973s
2. RAIKKONEN McLaren 1m14.576s
3. ALONSO Renault 1m15.560s
4. MONTOYA McLaren 1m15.772s
5. ZONTA Toyota 1m16.091s
6. FISICHELLA Renault 1m16.146s
7. MASSA Sauber 1m16.161s
8. LIUZZI Red Bull 1m16.297s
9. TRULLI Toyota 1m16.411s
10. M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari 1m16.474s
11. R.SCHUMACHER Toyota 1m16.575s
12. KLIEN Red Bull 1m16.658s
13. BUTTON BAR 1m16.752s
14. WEBBER Williams 1m16.879s
15. HEIDFELD Williams 1m16.893s
16. BARRICHELLO Ferrari 1m16.913s
17. VILLENEUVE Sauber 1m16.938s
18. SATO BAR 1m16.992s
19. KARTHIKEYAN Jordan 1m17.506s
20. ALBERS Minardi 1m17.830s
21. DOORNBOS Minardi 1m17.978s
22. MONTEIRO Jordan 1m18.227s
23. KIESA Jordan 1m19.484s
24. COULTHARD Red Bull no time