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France 2008: Friday Afternoon Practice

France 2008: Friday Afternoon Practice

Fernando Alonso has topped the timing sheets in the second practice session for Sunday’s French Grand Prix. On Renault’s home soil, the Spaniard popped in a sterling lap towards the end of the 90 minute run and displaced the Ferrari’s of Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. Lewis Hamilton had to settle for fourth while Sebastian Vettel impressed with fifth. However, the Scuderia Toro Rosso’s are not consistent front-runners and I expect the German driver to slide back during qualifying.

The second session proved more exciting than the first, but Honda still aren’t on-song; Jenson Button finishing his day in seventeenth with Rubens Barrichello two places behind in nineteenth. Williams improved after lunch, but Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima are also off their regular pace. Nelson Piquet Jr ended his afternoon in ninth, an improved effort for the Brazilian after all the practice he had during the recent Barcelona test.

Several drivers took detours over the gravel and run-off areas at Magny Cours. Fernando Alonso managed to catch a lairy slide at the final chicane, and Hamilton, Trulli and Massa each skated over the gravel at the Estoril corner. Nelson Piquet and Adrian Sutil both went off at Chateau d’Eau, but in most cases the drivers were able to avoid the barriers and continue. Only Lewis Hamilton had to return to the pits for a replacement front wing.

France Friday Practice Two

1. Fernando Alonso Renault 1m15.778s 37 Laps
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m15.854s 24 Laps
3. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m15.999s 42 Laps
4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m16.232s 29 Laps
5. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m16.298s 42 Laps
6. Robert Kubica BMW 1m16.317s 35 Laps
7. Heikki Kovalainen McLaren 1m16.340s 36 Laps
8. Nick Heidfeld BMW 1m16.458s 43 Laps
9. Nelson Piquet Jr. Renault 1m16.543s 39 Laps
10. David Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1m16.572s 36 Laps
11. Nico Rosberg Williams 1m16.682s 42 Laps
12. Jarno Trulli Toyota 1m16.743s 43 Laps
13. Sebastien Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m16.758s 42 Laps
14. Kazuki Nakajima Williams 1m17.002s 32 Laps
15. Timo Glock Toyota 1m17.092s 39 Laps
16. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m17.106s 38 Laps
17. Jenson Button Honda 1m17.244s 37 Laps
18. Giancarlo Fisichella Force India 1m17.394s 42 Laps
19. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1m17.591s 27 Laps
20. Adrian Sutil Force India 1m17.868s 33 Laps

Oliver White

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