Valencia Street Circuit
Free Practice 1
Vitaly Petrov led the way for Lotus Renault GP on a cloudy first session of free practice for the European Grand Prix on the streets of Valencia.
Using chassis R31-05, Vitaly went second fastest of the day so far as he worked through the standard programme for the first running of the weekend. His time of 1m 41.227s was just over eight-tenths slower than the fastest set today, showing there is still speed to be found.
Nick, in chassis R31-04 set the fifth fastest time. Neither driver encountered any problems today and set-up work found improvements in their cars through the session.
This is the first race weekend where Pirelli’s new medium compound tyre will be faced, so a lot of time today is being spent understanding this tyre on the rapidly evolving Valencia street circuit.
Fastest today was Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber with a time of 1m 40.403s.
Free Practice 2
Tyre evaluation will be the focus of this afternoon’s 90 minute practice as the drivers the medium and soft compound Pirellis. As with other street course, the track surface is always ‘green’ – dusty, dirty and not rubbered in - for the first session because it is so rarely used but it improves markedly over the course of the weekend.
Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov followed up their strong FP1 timings with top ten finishes during the second practice session at the European Grand Prix in Valencia today.
Both drivers trialed the Pirelli medium and soft compounds. Whilst on the soft compound, Nick managed to secure a best time of 1.39.040 leaving him in P9 whilst Vitaly clocked in with a 1.39.586 leaving him one place behind in P10.
Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, set the fastest time of the afternoon with a 1.37.968. Lewis Hamilton finished in P2 whilst Championship leader Sebastian Vettel was third fastest.
Nick Heidfeld, R31-04
Free Practice 1: P5, 1.41.580, 24 laps
Free Practice 2: P9, 1.39.040, 35 laps
Vitaly Petrov, R31-05
Free Practice 1: P2, 1.41.227, 20 laps
Free Practice 2: P10, 1.39.586, 27 laps
By: Lotus Renault