Monza: Team-by-team summary: Friday
After doing just five laps in the morning rain, Kimi Raikkonen - whose renewed stay at Ferrari to the end of 2010 was announced on Friday - showed he is back on form at Monza as he topped the drier afternoon session. Felipe Massa was nearly 4 tenths slower and sixth. "I struggled a bit to find the right grip level on the first timed lap, unlike the others," the Brazilian said.
Neither driver turned a timed lap in the morning deluge, but Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld were right on Raikkonen's leading pace in the afternoon. "The lap times don't look too bad, which was also the case when we were here for testing," said Heidfeld.
After the morning wash-out, Lewis Hamilton ended Friday about a tenth off the leading pace, with Heikki Kovalainen seventh. "We concentrated on running on heavy fuel loads in order to refine our race setup and tire choice," said boss Ron Dennis.
Among the 14 drivers who set times in the morning wet weather, Nico Rosberg was fifth, and the German was still competitive in the drier afternoon session. "Because the car is performing well for this one-off low downforce race, we need to make the best of it," he said. Kazuki Nakajima did not run in the morning and was more than a second off his teammate's pace in the dry. "I never really had enough clear track to get my times down," he explained.
Mark Webber, among the voluntary non-runners in the morning, was then eighth quickest in the afternoon, sixth tenths faster than his teammate David Coulthard.
Adrian Sutil made the most of the wet weather as per usual, topping the morning timesheet before the rain set in. The other Force India, driven by Giancarlo Fisichella, was also in the fray, but the pair - again led by Sutil - were still looking competitive in the afternoon, with the ninth and 13th quickest laps. "We also looked competitive in the test here," remarked technical boss Mike Gascoyne.
After their wet running in the morning, Sebastian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais were 10th and 12th quickest respectively in the mostly dry afternoon.
Running in the pre-deluge drizzle meant Rubens Barrichello could feature highly in the morning timesheet, but the dry weather put him and teammate Jenson Button back to 14th and 15th in the pecking order. "The car appears to be performing better than it did at the test," team boss Ross Brawn said.
The wet morning aside, Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli were totally off the pace in the afternoon, as the cold weather, hard Bridgestone tires and a low-downforce circuit conspire to make the TF108 car a handful. "This could be another hard race for us," said Trulli, 19th quickest.
Trulli may have been 19th, but Nelson Piquet was dead last after his 23 laps in the drier afternoon. Even Fernando Alonso looked slow. "We ran with a really high fuel load during P2. Taking this into account, we feel we are in a pretty normal position for a Friday," said engineering boss Pat Symonds.