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European Grand Prix - Friday Practice 
22nd-Aug-2008 07:57 am
This year, for the first time in quite a while, the European Grand Prix is somewhere other than Germany - it's in Valencia, Spain, on a road circuit. It looks like it could be fun to drive, but I don't think there'll be much passing because it's so tight and twisty, like Monaco.

The weather forecast says there could be rain on Saturday and Sunday, which will liven things up as always.

Force India are running their seamless-shift transmissions again so hopefully that'll help their times.

In the first Friday practice, Hamilton spun in Turn 12 but still posted the 3rd fastest time of the session; the top times were Vettel (1:40.496) followed by Massa (1:40.654).

2nd Practice session starts with Fisichella first on track, followed by Heidfeld and Bordais.
Spectator on the run-off at one of the corners; Spanish police try to shepherd him away
GF 1:44.842
NH 1:43.949
SB 1:43.623
FA 1:42.950
JT gets lost in Turn 12 and loops around before finding the track again
SB 1:41.246
Speed commentators say the teams are expecting to see lap times around 1:35, but there's lots of dust to clear off the track first
(LH P2)
LH 1:40.671
15mins gone; 75mins left - 3 drivers have yet to come out: KR, DC & MW
(KR P2)
MW watches as the Red Bull mechanics prepare his car; teammate DC has just taken to the track
KR 1:40.536
(NR P2)
DC is back in the pits after just 3 laps
30mins gone; 60mins left
FM 1:39.976 - that's 0.517s faster than teammate KR, and the first time under the fastest time in the previous practice session
"Incident involving car 5 will be investigated after practice" - that's FA, so that'll impress the local crowd - was that because of his "off-line" entry into the pits?
NR gets it very wrong in the penultimate corner, spins, slides backwards across the path of MW but fortunately MW's watching his mirrors and takes evasive action
KR 1:39.679
60mins gone; 30mins left
(TG P3)
AS runs wide and kicks up dust from the "legality plank" as he crosses the kerbs
FM 1:39.678 - takes P1 from his teammate by 1-thousandth of a second
FM leaves the garage but stops in the pit lane and is pushed back by the Ferrari mechanics
5mins left, so now it's traditionally time for some fun and fast laps; fastest now are FM, KR, LH, HK, TG
FA 1:39.497 - where did that come from?
NP jumped from P20 to P10
JB up to P2!
KR 1:39.477 as the chequered flag falls

Fastest times:
  1. K.Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:39.477
  2. F.Alonso (Renault) 1:39.497
  3. J.Button (Honda) 1:39.546
  4. F.Massa (Ferrari) 1:39.678
  5. L.Hamilton (McLaren) 1:39.712
  6. H.Kovalainen (McLaren) 1:39.954

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