Friday, 31 October 2008

Brazilian Grand Prix: Massa lays down the benchmark in first practice

The two title protagonists both kicked off their weekends with impressive showings in Friday's first practice sessions. The closing minutes of the session saw Massa pip Hamilton to first place in a relatively quiet session that had been dominated by Hamilton up until that point.

The session began with ominous looking grey clouds around the Sao Paulo circuit, and a third of the way through the session rain did begin to fall. However, the rain wasn't more than a light shower and although it made conditions slippery (Raikkonen was the first man to spin this weekend) the conditions weren't too bad. All drivers though seemed somewhat cautious for much of the session, with very limited running for the first half an hour or so. Indeed, Kimi Raikkonen sat in the pits for over an hour before coming out to set a time. It didn't hold him back too much though, as he ended up setting third fastest time just a fraction slower than Hamilton.

So first blood went to Massa then, though I suspect Hamilton will be more than happy to follow Massa home as closely as that all weekend long. Both drivers look strong, and certainly Hamilton still looks odds on favourite to take the title on this form...

First Practice Times

01 F. Massa Ferrari 1:12.305 24 laps
02 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:12.495 23 laps
03 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:12.507 18 laps
04 R. Kubica BMW 1:12.874 24 laps
05 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:12.925 20 laps
06 F. Alonso Renault 1:13.061 25 laps
07 M. Webber Red Bull 1:13.298 24 laps
08 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:13.378 39 laps
09 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:13.426 28 laps
10 T. Glock Toyota 1:13.466 33 laps
11 J. Trulli Toyota 1:13.600 24 laps
12 N. Rosberg Williams 1:13.621 23 laps
13 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:13.649 30 laps
14 R. Barrichello Honda 1:13.676 28 laps
15 J. Button Honda 1:13.766 13 laps
16 K. Nakajima Williams 1:13.806 24 laps
17 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:13.836 30 laps
18 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:13.861 19 laps
19 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:14.704 21 laps
20 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:14.821 21 laps

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