Compared to Formula One's last track outing, the first practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix was a sedate affair and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was the man who led the way. The Finn clocked a best of 1:37.024 around the Shanghai circuit on ...
Compared to Formula One's last track outing, the first practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix was a sedate affair and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was the man who led the way. The Finn clocked a best of 1:37.024 around the Shanghai circuit on Friday morning and teammate Felipe Massa was just fractionally over a tenth off in third. As usual, it was Ferrari and McLaren that traded the fastest times.
Fernando Alonso was quicker for the latter, second on the list and just over eight hundredths behind Raikkonen. Lewis Hamilton completed the quartet at the top in fourth, less than a tenth astray of Massa. Once the session settled into a rhythm the red and silver cars made most of the running, swapping places between them and finishing half a second ahead of the rest of the field.
Nico Rosberg's Williams was fifth and the last to be within a second of Raikkonen's top time. Team test driver Kazuki Nakajima was behind the wheel of the second car and he made a late improvement to post ninth. Robert Kubica took one traditional BMW Sauber spot in sixth, less than half a tenth outside the one second gap to Raikkonen, and Nick Heidfeld was 10th after a hydraulic leak.
Jarno Trulli was the sole Toyota to make the top 10 in seventh, although Ralf Schumacher had been in the top half of the pack until late on. The improvements of others moved him down the order to finish 12th. Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella was eighth and Heikki Kovalainen, who had also been a top 10 presence previously, ended a tenth off Heidfeld with the 11th fastest time.
Moving on down the order, David Coulthard was the lead Red Bull in 13th and teammate Mark Webber was 18th, not far off a second slower than the Scot. The Honda duo of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello posted 14th and 15th respectively and there was only three thousandths between them. Barrichello was the last man to be within two seconds of Raikkonen.
Takuma Sato's Super Aguri was 16th and teammate Anthony Davidson was 19th, while Tonio Liuzzi led the Toro Rossos in 17th. Sebastian Vettel was 20th which left the Spykers to round off the list, Sakon Yamamoto 21st and Adrian Sutil 22nd, both over three seconds off the pace. Final top eight classification: Raikkonen, Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Rosberg, Kubica, Trulli, Fisichella.