Formula 1: Barrichello and Alonso top timesheets at European GP Friday Practice
Topics: European Grand Prix
August 21, 2009
Friday Practice 1
Rubens Barrichello of the Brawn team was fastest in this this morning's first practice in Valencia for Sunday's Grand Prix, with a time of 1:42.460.
His teammate Jenson Button managed 4th place with a time of 1:43.074.
It was also the first time that veteran test driver Luca Badoer was able to drive this year's Ferrari, the test driver replacing the injured Felipe Massa for the forseeable future. The second débutant driving the car for the first time is Frenchman Romain Grosjean, replacing the sacked Nelson Piquet Jr..
Temperatures at the track were high, with air temperature reaching 33°C, resulting in an elevated track temperature, certainly when compared to Hungary - which this season had tended to favour the Brawn team.
Speculation was mounting throughout the free practice sessions with regards to driver line-ups for the 2010 season, with Mclaren team principle Martin Whitmarsh stating "we all know that Fernando Alonso's move to Ferrari will have a ripple effect on other teams. It opens up the driver market. We are not in talks with any other drivers at the moment, but are obliged to have the most competitive cars and drivers that we can", in reply to a question from BBC Five Live Sports Extra's reporter asking if the team had plans to replace Heikki Kovalainen.
McLaren's return to form in Hungary following a poor start to the season appears not to just be a one-off, with Lewis Hamilton posting consistent times throughout practice, ending up 3rd, only two tenths of a second off Barrichello's time.
Towards the bottom of the timesheet there were no surprises; after only one and a half hours in the car, the "rookies" Grosjean and Alguersuari, as well as replacement driver Badoer. Toyota also failed to impress, Trulli and Glock posting the 18th- and 19th-fastest times.
Friday Practice 2
Fernando Alonso was seven tenths of a second clear in second free practice in Valencia for Sunday's Grand Prix, with a time of 1:39.404.
His rookie team mate, Romain Grosjean only managed 13th place (1:40.787), over a second slower.
Massa replacement Luca Badoer continued to make progress in the Ferrari, managing a 2-place improvement on first practice, posting the 18th fastest time. (1:42.017).
Rubens Barrichello was out to prove that his speed in the morning session was not a one-off, and posted the third fastest time overall (1:40.209), however his team mate Jenson Button was quicker this time out (1:40.178).
Toyota drivers Trulli and Glock improved on disappointing times this morning, finishing the session 12th and 15th respectively. Lewis Hamilton failed to post a competitive time (1:43.214) having only completed 3 flying laps.
The next session will be free practice on Saturday, at 11:00 CET.
|First Practice Times||Second Practice Times|
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