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Posts Tagged ‘Free Practice’

Renault’s Fernando Alonso has pipped home favourite Felipe Massa to the top spot during second practice in preparation for the 2008 championship decider on Sunday. His last minute lap of 1:12.296 was just 0.05 seconds faster than Massa’s best attempt.

Jarno Trulli separated the Ferrari’s in third, with Kimi Raikkonen fourth. Rain that fell during the session appeared to help Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Nelson Piquet Jr, who finished in fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. The Williams cars were looking good too, with Nico Rosberg eighth and Kazuki Nakajima tenth. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, dropped off his early morning pace and could only manage ninth place, four tenths down on his title rival. David Coulthard dramatically improved to eleventh place, with both BMW’s behind. Timo Glock was five tenths slower than his teammate in fourteenth place while Heikki Kovalainen rounded off a bad session for McLaren in fifteenth. Rubens Barrichello, Sebastien Bourdais, Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella set the five slowest laps.

Alonso ended Friday on top, with Hamilton struggling, but will things stay the same as the teams head into day two?

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Felipe Massa has set the fastest time during the first practice session ahead of this Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. He edged ahead of his championship rival, Lewis Hamilton, by just under two tenths of a second, with a lap of 1:12.305.

Reigning world champion, Kimi Raikkonen, secured the third fastest lap, while his rival for third place in the championship, Robert Kubica, set the fourth fastest lap. Heikki Kovalainen was just over four tenths of a second behind his teammate in fifth, and sixth place went to the Renault of Fernando Alonso. Mark Webber took seventh with a lap of 1:13.298, faster than Nelson Piquet Jr, Nick Heidfeld, Timo Glock, Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg. Toro Rosso had a poor showing in the first session with Sebastien Bourdais in thirteenth and Sebastian Vettel just under two tenths of a second slower in seventeenth. The Hondas finished in fourteenth and fifteenth, despite showing promising pace earlier in the session, and David Coulthard started his final race weekend ahead of just the Force Inidas.

Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton look like they will be inseparable all weekend, but will someone else join the battle in the second Friday practice session?

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Lewis Hamilton continued his pace from the morning into Free Practice Two ahead of Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, setting the fastest lap, a 1:35.750, on his first attempt. He was 0.2 seconds faster than his former teammate and Japanese Grand Prix winner, Fernando Alonso, who finished second for Renault.

Nelson Piquet Jr rounded up an excellent session for Renault, setting the third fastest time of the afternoon. Jarno Trulli and Mark Webber put further distance between the main championship rivals, with Felipe Massa in sixth and Robert Kubica way down the order in twelfth. Kimi Raikkonen couldn’t improve on eighth place, behind the Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso of Sebstien Bourdais. Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg and Timo Glock all sat in the middle with roughly the same time, and Heikki Kovalainen only managed to put his McLaren in thirteenth, ahead of David Coulthard, Sebastian Vettel, Kazuki Nakajima, Giancarlo Fisichella, Adrian Sutil, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

Lewis Hamilton has dominated Friday action, but can his pace continue into Saturday?

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Lewis Hamilton has started his crucial Chinese Grand Prix weekend by setting the fastest time on Friday’s first practice session. His McLaren lapped a 1:35.630, beating his main title rival, Felipe Massa, to first by three tenths of a second.

Ferrari and McLaren laid down their authority in Free Practice One, with Kimi Raikkonen third for the Italian team and Heikki Kovalainen taking up fourth. Robert Kubica, also in the hunt for the title, and Fernando Alonso, who could play a decisive role in the last two races, finished in fifth and sixth. Nick Heidfeld finished with Sebastien Bourdais behind and beating his teammate, Sebsatian Vettel, who completed the session in tenth. Nelson Piquet Jr sat in ninth after making an eerily similar diversion as Hamilton last year, and running into the gravel at the pit lane entrance. Jenson Button has always been strong at Shanghai, and placed his Honda in twelfth. After the disappointing result at his home race last week, Kazkuki Nakajima starts his weekend in thirteenth. The Red Bull’s sat in eleventh and fourteenth ahead of Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock, Rubens Barrichello, Jarno Trulli, Adrain Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella.

McLaren and Ferrari dominated FP1, but can the best-of-the-rest teams brake through during the second practice session?

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Robert Kubica set the fastest time on a drying Fuji speedway in the final practice session ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. It stopped raining at the start of the session but most of the action came in the dying minutes when Timo Glock continued his pace from the previous session on Friday, and took second behind the Pole.

Nelson Piquet Jr landed third position, a full 0.4 seconds faster than teammate, Fernando Alonso, who finished ninth. NIck Heidfeld continued BMW’s speed in the conditions, taking fourth, and local favourite, Kazuki Nakajima, improved even more in his Williams and took fifth. David Coulthard climbed out of the back two positions he had been in during Friday and set the sixth fastest time, just 0.1 seconds faster than his teammate, Mark Webber, in eighth, and Felipe Massa sat in seventh, with Lewis Hamilton splitting the Toro Rossos in eleventh. Jarno Trulli could only manage thirteenth ahead of Nico Rosberg, Heikki Kovalainen, Kimi Raikkonen, Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella.

Rain was initially predicted for Qualifying, but is now looking unlikely, so will the battle be with the front runners and, if not, who will spring a surprise?

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Timo Glock has topped the time sheets for the second practice session at the Fuji Speedway. His best lap for Toyota was a 1:18.383, putting him ahead of Singapore Grand Prix winner, Fernando Alonso, who went just 0.04 seconds slower for Renault as lap times noticeably improved from the first session.

The top two finished ahead of the main title rivals, who stayed in the same order as the in the morning session, with Lewis Hamilton extending the gap to 0.2 seconds ahead of Felipe Massa’s best lap. Kimi Raikkonen followed the two closely throughout the session, whilst Mark Webber pushed his Red Bull into the top six. Kazuki Nakajima continued his strong pace at the circuit, proving his knowledge of the track, and improving to seventh for Williams in front of his home fans. Sebastian Vettel kept Toro Rosso in the top ten, beating McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen could only manage tenth ahead of Jarno Trulli, Robert Kubica, Nelson Piquet Jr, Nico Rosberg and Sebstien Bourdais. Toyota had more reason to celebrate as their arch-rivals, Honda, had a poor session with Rubens Barrichello in fifteenth and Jenson Button last, despite being only 1.6 seconds adrift of Timo Glock. Adrian Sutil, David Coulthard, Giancarlo Fisichella and Nick Heidfeld joined Honda at the bottom.

Friday action is complete, and as F1 heads into the final practice session and qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, the battle this time looks to be set between the title rivals, unless Toyota or Renault can spring another surprise.

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Lewis Hamilton has set the early pace ahead of this weekends Japanese Grand Prix at the Fuji Speedway. His time of 1:18.910 was the only lap into the 1:18s, despite only beating his main title challenger, Felipe Massa, by one tenth of a second.

Heikki Kovalainen spilt the Ferrari’s in third, with Kimi Raikkonen setting a best lap of 1:19.399 for fourth. The Renault’s finished just behind, with Fernando Alonso leading Nelson Piquet Jr who was struggling with his tyres. Sebstian Vettel and Sebastien Bourdais continued Toro Rosso’s strong form in seventh and ninth, with BMW’s Robert Kubica in eighth, just 0.04 seconds slower than Vettel. Kazuki Nakajima completed the session in tenth, ahead of Adrain Sutil, Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld. The Japanese teams had a dismal start to the weekend in front of their home crowd, with Jarno Trulli, Rubens Barrichello, Jenson Button and Timo Glock bringing up the rear for Toyota and Honda, with only Red Bull’s David Coulthard and Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella behind.

The first session at Fuji this year saw little incidents, but perhaps more notably, no rain. Will the conditions in Japan continue to benefit the front-running teams when FP2 gets underway?

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