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GP Week : Issue 2
30 The Australian weekend began in the best possible way for Ferrari with Raikkonen almost half a second clear of Hamilton in first practice and Massa third, a fraction behind the Brit. Massa repeated that third position in the second session but Raikkonen slipped to sixth, complaining of set-up complications. Although Saturday found both drivers outside the top 10 in practice, there seemed little reason for panic. Then quali hit. Raikkonen’s fuel pressure problem dumped him out after Q1, and Massa failed to make the best use of his tyres, ending up fourth, but optimistic for the race. He needn’t have been. The Brazilian lost control of his Ferrari on the dirty track at the first corner, hitting the barrier and being forced into the pits for a new nose. His race would eventually end with an engine problem. Raikkonen, meanwhile, was scything through the field, eventually getting stuck behind Barrichello until he found a way past on lap 19. The Finn then seemed to completely lose it, spinning off twice and grabbing a lucky point after Barrichello’s exclusion after his engine, too, had a problem. Team-By-Team: Australia SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO 1 2 BMW SAUBER F1 3 4 BMW’s lack of any consistent form in pre-season testing pulled through into the first day of the season as the drivers set fairly unimpressive times in both sessions with Heidfeld sitting out much of the first session after an electronic power cut. The general feeling was that the team was hiding its hand, and Saturday seemed to confirm such. A 1-2 in final practice was the precursor to the team’s best qualifying result in its history. Kubica would have been on pole but for a small error, eventually ending up second, as Heidfeld took fifth less than 0.06 behind Massa’s Ferrari. Kubica was desperately unlucky not to turn his quali pace into a race result. He ran second for the first stint, but was caught out by the Safety Cars and eventually nerfed into retirement by Nakajima. Heidfeld however remained cool and rode his luck with the safety cars to rise above the bedlam and take second place.