Hamilton tops Spanish Friday Practice 1

Lewis Hamilton in Friday Practice 1 in Spain today

Lewis Hamilton in Friday Practice 1 in Spain today

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button led the first practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend. Jenson was a full half a second behind his team-mate.

Michael Schumacher was 3rd in the revised Mercedes with its new airbox, which will be put up in the photo section later. He led the session early on, but was demoted by the McLarens as the session went on. He remained only 5 hundreths of a second behind Button though. Mark Webber was 4th, 3 tenths back from Schumacher. Sebastian Vettel was 5th, a further 2 hundreths behind.

Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica were 6th and 7th. Fernando Alonso was 8th, running a blown rear wing. He also did back-to-back to back tests with the unblown rear wing settings.Vitaly Petrov did very well to finish 9th, only 2 tenths behind his team-mate. Kamui Kobayashi finished off the top ten.

Sebastien Buemi and Felipe Massa were 11th and 12th, while Paul di Resta beat his team-mate by getting 13th. Behind them, it was Jaime Alguersuari, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg in the top 17.

Lotus, and Heikki Kovalainen in particular, made a good step forward by only being 4 seconds off Hamilton’s pace today. Heikki was 18th, while Jarno Trulli was a further second back in 19th place. As usual, the two Virgins were behind them, with Timo Glock leading Lucas di Grassi. Timo was the first out on track, but his left turning vane broke on his first lap out, and he spent an hour in the pits.

However, there was a surprise at HRT. Christian Klien, who hasn’t raced an F1 car since Britain 2007, beat team-mate Bruno Senna by half a second. I told you he needed an opportunity. Pedro de la Rosa was unable to set a time, because of a gearbox failure, and finished at the back.

Times from Friday Practice 1:

Driver Team Fastest lap Difference # of laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.134 21
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.672 0.538 14
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.21.716 0.582 12
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.22.011 0.877 27
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.22.026 0.892 22
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.22.070 0.936 19
7 Robert Kubica Renault 1.22.202 1.068 22
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.22.258 1.124 19
9 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.22.397 1.263 23
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.22.492 1.358 26
11 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.588 1.454 24
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.22.975 1.841 22
13 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1.23.030 1.896 21
14 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.23.110 1.976 31
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.23.284 2.15 19
16 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.23.312 2.178 22
17 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.23.471 2.337 20
18 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.25.329 4.195 17
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.26.244 5.11 20
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.26.340 5.206 23
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.26.694 5.56 24
22 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1.27.250 6.116 26
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.27.752 6.618 27
24 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 3
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