Saturday, July 11, 2009

Prac One: Red Bull and Brawn resume battle

Friday 10th July 2009

The battle between Red Bull and Brawn GP resumed in Friday's opening practice for the German GP with Mark Webber setting the pace.

The Australian driver, who Jenson Button believes is the favourite to win at the Nurburgring this weekend, clocked a 1:33.082 to outpace Button by 0.381s.

Third place went to Felipe Massa as the Ferrari driver demonstrated the Scuderia's continuously improving pace.

Report: With the track temperature sitting at just 14'C, Sebastian Vettel left the Red Bull garage to put in his installation lap in front of his home crowd. He was soon joined by another German driver as Adrian Sutil ventured out, followed by a train of drivers. Within ten minutes everyone barring Lewis Hamilton and Timo Glock had completed their sighting lap.

Sebastien Buemi set the first lap time of the weekend as a few spots of rain began to fall, a 1:43.315 for the Toro Rosso driver. Giancarlo Fisichella was the next to record a time, going quickest after taking three seconds off Buemi's time. The track action, though, stopped shortly after as the rain came down a little harder.

With the rain abating, drivers ventured out again with Jarno Trulli going quickest with a 1:39.7. Fisichella dropped to second with Nico Rosberg, Heikki Kovalainen and Buemi behind him. Rosberg and Kovalainen improved their times with Kimi Raikkonen slotting into third place between the two. Raikkonen continued lapping, taking second place while Trulli lowered the benchmark to a 1:36.1. Kovalainen went second.

Halfway through the session, the top eight were Trulli, Rosberg, Mark Webber, Kovalainen, Raikkonen, Kazuki Nakajima, Nick Heidfeld, Felipe Massa. Raikkonen and Heidfeld almost immediately moved up the order while Sutil, Jenson Button, Seb Bourdais, Rubens Barrichello, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso had yet to set times.

Webber went quickest with a 1:34.4, taking a full second off his time over the course of the next two laps. Rosberg moved up to second place behind him while Sutil impressed with a 1:35.0, which put him third quickest. The German's run, though, came to an end shortly after as he car stopped on the side of the track at the exit of Turn 1.

Vettel went second to give Red Bull the 1-2 but was soon overhauled by Massa, the only driver to get within a second of Webber's P1 time. Alonso moved up to fourth place with Fisichella slotting in behind him and ahead of Robert Kubica, Rosberg and Nelson Piquet.

Vettel, having just improved his time, was the second driver - and the second German - to drop out of the session as the Red Bull racer brought his car to a standstill in almost the exact same place as where Sutil stopped minutes before. The marshals quickly pushed his car out of harm's way.

Force India's impressive run continued with Fisichella moving up to second place with Button also improving as he went P5. Meanwhile, at the back of the pack lay Hamilton, who was 2.5s off the pace with only Buemi slower. Hamilton's fellow Brit, Button, climbed the order to third place, 0.5s off Webber's P1 time before moving up to second on the next lap. Hamilton slot up the timesheets, taking seventh place, while Webber improved his P1 time.

Trulli overhauled Fisichella for third place while his team-mate Timo Glock remained down in 16th place, unable to find the pace needed to challenge at the front in his home grand prix weekend. Raikkonen put in a charge to move up from 17th to fourth place, 0.7s off the pace.

The final few minutes saw a major push from the drivers with Massa going off at the Castrol S chicane before taking third place on the following lap.

The session ended with Webber at the top of the timesheets with a 1:33.082. Button was second ahead of Massa, Trulli, Fisichella and Raikkonen.

01 M. Webber Red Bull 1:33.082 19 laps
02 J. Button Brawn GP 1:33.463 18 laps
03 F. Massa Ferrari 1:33.745 21 laps
04 J. Trulli Toyota 1:33.795 23 laps
05 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:33.839 26 laps
06 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:33.840 23 laps
07 N. Rosberg Williams 1:33.902 26 laps
08 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:33.909 13 laps
09 K. Nakajima Williams 1:33.952 25 laps
10 F. Alonso Renault 1:34.148 16 laps
11 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:34.221 25 laps
12 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:34.227 17 laps
13 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:34.483 14 laps
14 R. Kubica BMW 1:34.694 23 laps
15 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:34.738 24 laps
16 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:34.827 27 laps
17 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:34.878 28 laps
18 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:34.893 26 laps
19 T. Glock Toyota 1:34.911 23 laps
20 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:35.092 6 laps

Source : Planet F1

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