Friday morning's first practice for the European Grand Prix saw no particular surprises and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped the times with a best of 1:32.515. Teammate Fernando Alonso was third fastest and the pair completed just over 50 laps ...
Friday morning's first practice for the European Grand Prix saw no particular surprises and McLaren's Lewis Hamilton topped the times with a best of 1:32.515. Teammate Fernando Alonso was third fastest and the pair completed just over 50 laps between them. The session started quite warm and sunny but had clouded over by the end and the track temperature dropped a couple of degrees to below 30.
Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was second quickest, just under two and a half tenths down on Hamilton. The second scarlet car of Felipe Massa finished sixth and was a second off the pace of the lead McLaren. Separating the Ferraris were the two BMW Saubers of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, fourth and fifth respectively.
Ralf Schumacher's Toyota was seventh and teammate Jarno Trulli was a few places behind, 11th but only about three tenths slower. Both Hondas made it into the top 10, Jenson Button eighth and Rubens Barrichello 10th. Honda confirmed this week that the pair will continue next year, their third consecutive season as teammates.
David Coulthard put his Red Bull ninth and Mark Webber was 15th, about six tenths further down. The Williams cars were nose to tail, Alex Wurz 12th and Nico Rosberg 13th -- everyone from Rosberg on down were two seconds and more off Hamilton's pace. Anthony Davidson was the lead Super Aguri in 14th and Takuma Sato was 16th.
Tonio Liuzzi managed 17th in the Toro Rosso and teammate Scott Speed was a couple behind in 19th. In between them were the two Renaults -- a not very lively start for Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella in 18th and 19th respectively. The Spykers were at the back, Adrian Sutil 20th and debutante Markus Winkelhock 22nd.
Even by Friday standards it was an uneventful session; there were the usual one or two off track moments but nothing much more than a brief encounter with the gravel. It might get a bit more interesting if it rains this afternoon. Final top eight classification: Hamilton, Raikkonen, Alonso, Heidfeld, Kubica, Massa, Schumacher, Button.