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McLaren fastest in Friday practice

June 5th, 2009

Heikki Kovalainen, Tturkey, 2009Nico Rosberg continued his usual practice of running a light car on Friday as he set the fastest time of 1:28.952 in the first practice session for Sunday’s Turkish Grand Prix but it was McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen who went quickest in P2, setting a time of 1:28.841.

Fernando Alonso was second fastest, just 6 thousandths behind Kovalainen, while Robert Kubica drove his BMW, equipped with new double-diffuser, to third place, his best practice result so far this year.

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel stopped on the track after just four laps with a suspected drive shaft failure and a number of drivers spun off as they found the limits of grip on the dusty Istanbul circuit.

Jenson Button, whose car was sporting a revised front wing finished 12th fastest ahead of reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton.

While Friday practice times should not be relied on as a good indicator of race pace, McLaren’s Martin Whitmarsh was pleased with Kovalainen’s performance and is optimistic for a top ten grid slot in qualifying tomorrow:

It’s always nice to see you’ve set the quickest time of the day. The reality is that the timesheets don’t lie – our aim for tomorrow is to hopefully get both cars into the final session of qualifying. That’s our realistic goal.

Here are the times from the first two practice sessions:
First Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:28.952
2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:29.263
3 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:29.271
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:29.337
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:29.342
6 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:29.371
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.398
8 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:29.422
9 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.525
10 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:29.590
11 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.747
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:29.864
13 Timo Glock Toyota 1:29.934
14 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:30.132
15 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:30.176
16 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:30.645
17 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:30.689
18 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:30.729
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.838
20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.944

Second Practice

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:28.841
2 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:28.847
3 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:29.056
4 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:29.091
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:29.202
6 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:29.207
7 Nico Rosbert Williams 1:29.257
8 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.305
9 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:29.383
10 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 1:29.401
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:29.416
12 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:29.430
13 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:29.435
14 Timo Glock Toyota 1:29.518
15 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.520
16 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:29.550
17 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:30.081
18 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 1:30.091
19 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.295
20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.629

Image: McLaren

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