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Istanbul: Practice Sessions

Istanbul: Practice Sessions

David Coulthard - 2007 Turkish Grand PrixAs the teams descend on the Turkish circuit at Istanbul, Kimi Raikkonen laid down the gauntlet during the first free practice of the Grand Prix weekend. Setting a time of 1m27.988s, the Finn managed to pip his team mate Felipe Massa by 0.4s, who leads the McLaren duo by 0.8s. The significant margin between Ferrari and McLaren confirms the progress the Scuderia have made over the three week break, and already it seems that while Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton may have made up, they have a difficult weekend ahead of them.

With the circuit covered in dust, a fair few drivers visited the scenery during the 90 minute session. Both Ferrari pilots, Lewis Hamilton, Ralf Schumacher, Jarno Trulli, Mark Webber and David Coulthard (who also suffered a flash fire) all spun while attempting to improve their times. However, the synchronised driving from the Toyota pair did little to dent their progress as Schumacher ended his morning in seventh and Trulli in tenth.

Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen did well to place his car in fifth, considerably better than his experienced team mate Giancarlo Fisichella who could only manage eighth. Another notable disappointment were BMW, with Nick Heidfeld finishing in ninth and Robert Kubica in eleventh. However, the German/Swiss squad tend to make a slow start to their weekends and they will likely improve during the afternoon.

Spyker propped up the timing sheet, Sakon Yamamoto trailing his team mate Adrian Sutil by 0.8s. Sebastian Vettel also struggled to match his team mate, finishing in 20th and 0.7s behind Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Free Practice One Times

1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m27.988s
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m28.391s
3. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1m29.222s
4. Lewis Hamilton Williams 1m29.261s
5. Heikki Kovalainen Renault 1m29.346s
6. Nico Rosberg Williams 1m29.403s
7. Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1m29.414s
8. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1m29.541s
9. Nick Heidfeld BMW 1m29.641s
10. Jarno Trulli Toyota 1m29.685s
11. Robert Kubica BMW 1m29.710s
12. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri 1m30.384s
13. David Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1m30.398s
14. Jenson Button Honda 1m30.483s
15. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1m30.580s
16. Vitantonio Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m30.612s
17. Takuma Sato Super Aguri 1m30.624s
18. Alex Wurz Williams 1m30.876s
19. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m30.917s
20. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m31.383s
21. Adrian Sutil Spyker 1m31.445s
22. Sakon Yamamoto Spyker 1m32.270s

The second free practice session of the day was meant to allow the teams to improve on their morning form and further press ahead with set up work and strategy planning. However, it wasn’t long before the second 90 minute practice was red flagged Kimi Raikkonen - 2007 Turkish Grand Prixdue to a drain cover working lose and causing a potential hazard. After thirty minutes of no laps, the circuit was reopened, but few drivers managed to improve on their already set times.

Lewis Hamilton regained control then, in the interrupted event, followed by Kimi Raikkonen and then the two Toyota drivers of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso lined up fifth and sixth respectively, although the times in the second session were much closer than that of the first.

Unfortunately BMW did not improve, in fact Nick Heidfeld went backwards to thirteenth and 0.15s slower than his morning lap. There was no change at Honda and both drivers hold station in fourteenth and fifteenth. Liuzzi dropped back as well but still remains ahead of his German team mate Vettel while both Spykers again prop up the timing sheet with Yamamoto in the final position.

The only real incident of the afternoon (other than the drain cover that got whipped into the air after Fisichella drove over it) was Anthony Davidson who plowed his Super Aguri into the barriers at turn three. The resulting yellow flags put an end to the final set of laps completed and the session ended with little achievement.

Free Practice Two Times

1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m28.469s
2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m28.762s
3. Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1m28.773s
4. Jarno Trulli Toyota 1m28.874s
5. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m28.884s
6. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1m28.947s
7. Nico Rosberg Williams 1m28.995s
8. Heikki Kovalainen Renault 1m29.025s
9. Alex Wurz Williams 1m29.093s
10. Robert Kubica BMW 1m29.368s
11. David Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1m29.435s
12. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1m29.456s
13. Nick Heidfeld BMW 1m29.792s
14. Jenson Button Honda 1m29.945s
15. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1m30.055s
16. Takuma Sato Super Aguri 1m30.104s
17. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m30.314s
18. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri 1m30.530s
19. Vitantonio Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m30.702s
20. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m30.801s
21. Adrian Sutil Spyker 1m31.153s
22. Sakon Yamamoto Spyker 1m31.175s

Formula One, F1, Turkish Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren

Oliver White

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