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Spain 2009: Friday Practice One

Spain 2009: Friday Practice One

The first of two practice sessions at Circuit de Catalunya has seen some interesting times set as most of the cars ran with updates for the first time. As mentioned earlier in the week, these sessions will be important to the teams as they all try to gain the most from their aerodynamic tweaks, made even harder by the ban on in-season testing. Needless to say, most drivers set a few more laps than normal and the order is a little mixed.

Unsurprisingly, Jenson Button leads the pack with a benchmark time 0.355s faster than second-placed driver Jarno Trulli. Ross Brawn stated this week that although few updates have been made to the championship leading BGP 001 since the first race in Australia, the Spanish round would see the chassis receive some upgrades.

The next surprise were the BMWs, with Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld setting the third and fourth quickest times. As with testing, it is unknown what fuel loads the drivers are carrying and the laps set may just have been run on fumes. But to see both drivers in the mix (albeit 0.4s apart) is certainly encouraging.

The Williams showed off their now customary practice pace, although credit where it is due, it wasn’t just Nico Rosberg who was beaming his way around the paddock as team mate Kazuki Nakajima went ever so slightly faster. In fact, the young Japanese pilot was only 0.001s shy of Nick Heidfeld ahead of him.

Surprise number three came from Nelson Piquet Jr, who posted the seventh fastest lap of the morning, a second shy of the pace setting Brawn and 0.4s the better of team mate Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard ended up in P17, although the difference between the pair can be explained by the team allowing Piquet more low-fuel mileage in practice in order to help the Brazilian with his qualifying form.

Timo Glock, Felipe Massa and Rubens Barrichello rounded out the top ten.

The Red Bulls had a low-key session with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel breaking for lunch in P12 and P13. They did remain ahead of the McLaren duo though, with Lewis Hamilton down in P14 and Heikki Kovalainen in P19. All in all, there were few incidents in the first session, with only Vettel, Webber and Glock running wide through corners and Rosberg had a brief spin in his Williams.

Spain 2009
Friday Free Practice One

Lap Time
Fastest Time Set

Laps Set
Number Laps Set

1. British FlagJenson Button Brawn 1m21.799s 21 Laps
2. Italian FlagJarno Trulli Toyota 1m22.154s 30 Laps
3. Polish FlagRobert Kubica BMW 1m22.221s 24 Laps
4. German FlagNick Heidfeld BMW 1m22.658s 14 Laps
5. Japanese FlagKazuki Nakajima Williams 1m22.659s 24 Laps
6. German FlagNico Rosberg Williams 1m22.667s 26 Laps
7. Brazilian FlagNelson Piquet Jr. Renault 1m22.753s 24 Laps
8. German FlagTimo Glock Toyota 1m22.828s 29 Laps
9. Brazilian FlagFelipe Massa Ferrari 1m22.855s 15 Laps
10. Brazilian FlagRubens Barrichello Brawn 1m22.859s 24 Laps
11. Finnish FlagKimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m22.873s 20 Laps
12. Australian FlagMark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m22.934s 25 Laps
13. German FlagSebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m22.959s 24 Laps
14. British FlagLewis Hamilton McLaren 1m23.077s 21 Laps
15. French FlagSebastien Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m23.088s 30 Laps
16. Italian FlagGiancarlo Fisichella Force India 1m23.089s 25 Laps
17. Spanish FlagFernando Alonso Renault 1m23.157s 18 Laps
18. Swiss FlagSebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m23.185s 31 Laps
19. Finnish FlagHeikki Kovalainen McLaren 1m23.522s 17 Laps
20. German FlagAdrian Sutil Force India 1m23.536s 19 Laps

Oliver White

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