McLaren leads the way in Turkey

Kimi Raikkonen, Turkish GP 2006

Kimi Raikkonen, Turkish GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

Kimi Raikkonen kicked off the Turkish Grand Prix weekend with the fastest time in Friday's free practice at the Istanbul Park F1 circuit with a best lap of 1m28.315s, almost half a second clear of Michael Schumacher's Ferrari. The Ferrari had the engineers talking with new wheel covers that are designed to improve the aerodynamics of the rear wheels.

Jenson Button was third quickest for Honda and only a few hundredths of a second slower than Schumacher but Honda suffered a mechanical problem of some sort on Anthony Davidson's car, which came to a smoky stop in the middle of the session. Davidson ended up fifth fastest overall and the second fastest of the test drivers, behind Williams's Alexander Wurz.

They were followed by Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren), the two BMWs of Nick Heidfeld and new boy Sebastian Vettel, who becomes the youngest ever driver to appear at an F1 weekend, beating a record set back in 1980 by Tyrrell driver Mike Thackwell. Robert Doornbos was next for Red Bull Racing with Scuderia Toro Rosso's Neel Jani completing the top 10.

The only incident of any note apart from Davidson's breakdown was a harmless spin for Doornbos while the Renaults and Toyotas plus the race cars of Red Bull and Williams did not complete timed laps.