Australian GP: McLaren Mercedes Friday practice report

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team began the 2008 Formula 1 season at Albert Park in Melbourne by drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen finishing the second practice session fastest and fourth with times of 1:26.559 and 1:27.605. Lewis and...

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes team began the 2008 Formula 1 season at Albert Park in Melbourne by drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen finishing the second practice session fastest and fourth with times of 1:26.559 and 1:27.605. Lewis and Heikki were second and fourth in the first session with times of 1:26.948 and 1:27.114 respectvely.

LEWIS HAMILTON

"It's great to be back racing and being here in Melbourne where I started my Formula 1 career only a year ago. It's always a special feeling to go out of the garage for the first time in practice at the start of a new season. There was some good progress with the car, and we made the best use of the ever improving track conditions. However our main opposition looks strong, but it's still too early to tell exactly where we are in comparison. All in all a good start to the Australian Grand Prix and the season."

HEIKKI KOVALAINEN

"It was a great feeling to drive out of the garage as a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver for the first time. I enjoy the professionalism of the team and how they operated during today's two sessions. It was a bit hotter than expected but that is just good practice for Malaysia. The wind was also something we had to take into consideration, but we made some good progress with the car. There was some graining of the tyres due to the dirty track conditions, but things improved as the circuit got more grip."

RON DENNIS

"Both Lewis and Heikki made solid starts to the weekend and are pleased with the balance of the car. We spent the first session just familiarsing ourselves with the track as it was dirty and continued to get faster and faster. In the second session we started work on qualifying set-up and tyre evaluation. The strong wind today was an additional challenge for the set-up work, but we experienced no problems. The entire team both in Woking, Brixworth and Stuttgart has worked so hard to get us to where we are today and I hope their efforts will be rewarded with a strong start to the season."

NORBERT HAUG

"A lot of work within the team has taken place since the 9th January when we ran both M4-23s for the first time in Spain so we were all interested in seeing how this showed on the first day of practice. It looks like we are in quite a good position to fight for the best places tomorrow and hopefully on Sunday, too - when it counts."

-credit: mclaren

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Heikki Kovalainen
Teams Mercedes , McLaren