Friday, July 24, 2009

Prac One: Late charge puts Kovalainen on top

Friday 24th July 2009

Heikki Kovalainen put in a late charge to pick up where he left off in Hungary last year, sitting right at the very front of the pack.

The 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix winner clocked a 1:22.278 after the fall of the chequered flag to beat Nico Rosberg, another late charger, to the P1 slot.

Third place went to Lewis Hamilton as McLaren were quick out of the blocks in Budapest, an encouraging sign for the team who appear to have turned a corner on their early season woes.

Report: Bright skies and a warm track greeted the drivers on Friday morning as F1 rookie Jaime Alguersuari, who is making his debut this weekend, made his way out onto the track for his installation lap, which just so happens to be his first ever lap in a Formula One car. He was soon joined by other drivers all checking the conditions and their cars before heading back to the pits.

Alguersuari heads out to record his first time as a F1 driver, a 1:34.716. He takes three seconds off his time on the following lap as the Spaniard has the track all to himself before dropping to a 1:29.313 on his first flying lap. Team-mate Seb Buemi joins the action, bettering the Spaniard's time only for Alguersuari to come back at him. Buemi returned to the top before Alguersuari again got the jump on him only to then be beaten by the Swiss driver as the two Toro Rosso men had the track to themselves.

With the Toro Rosso duo back in the pits, Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock put in their first timed laps with just an hour remaining on the clock. They went third and fourth before Trulli improved to first place with a 1:24.983. Kimi Raikkonen took fifth place on his first attempt, moving up one place on his second lap out. His team-mate Felipe Massa joined the fray, taking fourth place ahead of Raikkonen. Fernando Alonso went second before being overhauled by Massa. Nico Rosberg improved to fourth place.

At the halfway point in the session, Massa led the way, followed by Trulli, Alonso, Seb Vettel, Rosberg, Glock, Buemi and Raikkonen.

Vettel was the next to take control as the German clocked a 1:23.713 while Rosberg moved up to third place and Robert Kubica went fourth. Heikki Kovalainen took seventh place for McLaren before Rosberg overhauled the field, going quickest with a 1:23.268. Alonso went second and Mark Webber fourth. Kazuki Nakajima joined his team-mate Rosberg at the front of the pack, just 0.239s off the German's pace.

The Williams duo, though, were soon split as Lewis Hamilton went second before being dropped as Kubica put his BMW up into the P1 slot with a 1:23.219. The Polish driver's reign was short-lived as Webber went quickest, setting two fastest sector times on his way to a 1:22.615. Hamilton moved up behind Webber while Jenson Button went from 20th to ninth, slotting in between Vettel and Massa.

Raikkonen returned to the track, moving from 20th to 13th to seventh to third before being dropped by Rosberg and then Alonso. Massa moved up to fourth place before he was passed by the Williams drivers with Nakajima taking fourth ahead of Rosberg. Trulli improved to second place behind Webber before they were both dropped by Hamilton's 1:22.554.

A flurry of activity in the final ten minutes ended with Kovalainen quickest, having crossed the line with a 1:22.278, with Rosberg, Hamilton and Webber right behind him. As for Alguersuari, he finished P20, 1.950s off the pace.

01 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:22.278 21 laps
02 N. Rosberg Williams 1:22.337 27 laps
03 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:22.554 20 laps
04 M. Webber Red Bull 1:22.615 21 laps
05 K. Nakajima Williams 1:22.619 25 laps
06 J. Trulli Toyota 1:22.705 17 laps
07 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:22.796 23 laps
08 F. Massa Ferrari 1:22.855 25 laps
09 F. Alonso Renault 1:23.001 28 laps
10 J. Button Brawn GP 1:23.130 25 laps
11 R. Kubica BMW 1:23.146 24 laps
12 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:23.154 23 laps
13 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:23.209 24 laps
14 T. Glock Toyota 1:23.234 30 laps
15 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:23.283 25 laps
16 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:23.484 20 laps
17 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:23.678 22 laps
18 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:23.845 18 laps
19 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:23.998 37 laps
20 J. Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:24.228 42 laps

Source : Planet F1

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