Raikkonen recovers in Turkey

Raikkonen recovers in Turkey

Kimi Raikkonen shrugged off a miserable morning to set the fastest time of the second practice session ahead of Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix.

Raikkonen managed just three laps in the morning due to a gearbox problem with his Ferrari, resulting in the Finn finishing bottom of the timesheets at the end of the initial 90 minutes.

Without the need for a gearbox change, Raikkonen's mechanics were able to repair the problem, enabling the current world champion to return to the top of the standings at the Istanbul Park circuit.

Raikkonen, who also leads the current drivers' standings by nine points from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, edged out the Briton in the afternoon by just 0.036 seconds.

Raikkonen's lap of one minute 27.543secs was the third best overall of the day as team-mate Felipe Massa and McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen were marginally quicker in the morning.

The conditions, though, were startlingly different to nine months ago when the race was last run on this track in blistering heat.

On this occasion temperatures were 20 degrees cooler, whilst there was even a shower prior to the start of the second session.

At least that washed some of the dirt away that had prompted all the drivers to remain in their garage for a lengthy period at the start of the first period after completing a solitary installation lap.

No-one ventured forth until 35 minutes of the 90 had elapsed, with Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais deciding he had had enough of the boredom.

But the poor track conditions were such that several drivers spun off, including Hamilton, although the most spectacular was reserved for the afternoon.

Mark Webber ran slightly wide at turn six, putting the right-rear wheel of his Red Bull on the damp grass at that stage, forcing him into a pirouette and a nose-first crash into a barrier.

The Australian comfortably walked away unharmed, but his accident was enough to see the session red-flagged and halted for six minutes whilst marshals removed his car and cleared debris.

Webber was down in 19th at the end of the session, with only Force India's Adrian Sutil behind him due to a mechanical problem which resulted in the German completing just nine laps.

At the top behind Raikkonen and Hamilton came Massa, followed by the second Red Bull of David Coulthard, with Kovalainen completing the top five.

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