Raikkonen Quickest in Practice – Kimi Raikkonen recovered from his problems in first practice to lead the way in today’s second session in Istanbul.
The Ferrari driver beat McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton to the top spot by just 0.036 seconds, with Raikkonen’s teammate Felipe Massa third ahead of the impressive David Coulthard (Red Bull) and Hamilton’s teammate Heikki Kovalainen.
Having lost most of the morning session to a gearbox fault, Raikkonen wasted no time when afternoon practice began.
He was one of the first drivers to take to a track still slightly damp after drizzle during the lunch break, and soon established himself at the top of the times. The world champion set a 1:27.543 lap time during his first run and it remained unbeaten for the rest of the session.
Hamilton got extremely close to snatching the top spot, though. He beat Raikkonen’s first sector benchmark when he tried soft tyres for his last run, but lost time by getting sideways at Turn 8, crossing the line 0.036 seconds slower than the Ferrari.
Behind Massa – who was also within a tenth of Raikkonen’s time – Coulthard beat Kovalainen to fourth with an impressive late lap, having earlier been as high as third when using soft tyres.
Robert Kubica took sixth for BMW after sitting out some of the morning session with a suspension problem. Toyota’s Jarno Trulli and Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima were next up.
The final top ten places were occupied by Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Kubica’s teammate Nick Heidfeld.
Practice was briefly red-flagged after half an hour when Mark Webber crashed his Red Bull at Turn 6. The Australian ran wide on the exit of the corner, then lost grip on the curb and grass strip, sending the car spinning back across the track and head-on into the opposite barrier.
It came to rest on the edge of the circuit with significant front-end damage, but Webber was unhurt and the marshals were able to clear the debris within seven minutes.
The crash meant Webber ended the session in 19th place, ahead of only Adrian Sutil – whose Force India refused to start for his planned final run.
Timo Glock had a less damaging incident when he ran wide at Turn 4 in the final minutes and broke his Toyota’s front wing as he bounced over the curbs and grass while trying to rejoin.
Sebastien Bourdais was also fortunate to escape damage when he – like Webber – slid back across the track after running wide. The Toro Rosso snapped sideways on the Turn 9 exit curb and ended up slithering over the grass on the opposite side of the circuit before rejoining unscathed.