Friday: F1 News in Brief - 3
Kimi Raikkonen in Melbourne arguably only failed to beat teammate Felipe Massa's fastest Friday time after an incident late in the afternoon session.
The Finn, four tenths slower than Brazilian Massa on the actual time sheets, set the quickest two sector times of the entire session in the dying moments of the day's track action, only to be baulked in the last few corners by world champion Fernando Alonso.
Indeed, if you add up both Massa and Raikkonen's best sector times, Massa's ideal lap of 1.27.2 was beaten by about a tenth by Kimi's theoretical best.
Mark Webber confirmed to reporters at Albert Park that a broken gearbox aboard his Red Bull ended his second practice session on Friday.
It was an odd sight for F1's new 'control tire' era, but the Bridgestone tires - particularly the softest compounds that are marked with a small white dot - suffered a lot of graining on Friday.
Sources at the Albert park circuit, however, explained that the cooler than expected ambient temperatures and the dusty and 'green' temporary road circuit were to blame.
"It will look a lot better in the next two days," a source said. "Certainly not as bad as we see today, for sure."
Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella was fined more than a whopping 3000 Euros by the FIA sanctioned stewards on Friday afternoon after he broke the 60kph pit lane speed limit by nearly 20kph.
McLaren boss Ron Dennis suggested that a heavier fuel load aboard Fernando Alonso's MP4-22 on Friday afternoon somewhat flattered the superior pace of rookie Lewis Hamilton's silver car.
He added: "Our competition is going to be Ferrari but it's not looking too bad for us."
Both Renault cars were halted on track by similar fuel pressure problems in Melbourne on Friday afternoon, the French squad has confirmed.
"The priority ahead of qualifying and the race will be to diagnose and resolve today's problems," a statement said.
Giancarlo Fisichella described his pace, good enough for fourth quickest, as "quite encouraging".