United States GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Alonso quickest, Vettel stars

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso 

 © The Cahier Archive

Fernando Alonso set the fastest lap of the first practice session at Indianapolis with Lewis Hamilton learning the track and bedding himself in at another track he has never before visited. He ended up just seven-tenths behind Alonso, although between the two McLaren drivers was the BMW of Nick Heidfeld, nearly half a second behind Alonso. The most impressive performance came from BMW test and reserve driver Sebastian Vettel, who was fourth quickest in the first session. Vettel is standing in for Robert Kubica, who was not allowed to race by the FIA after his crash in Montreal.

The order seen ikn Montreal was not greatly changed with Ferrari next up although Nico Rosberg managed to split the two Ferraris in the session (as he did in the race in Canada). Behind this group was David Coulthard's Red Bull, Jenson Button's Honda, Mark Webber's Red Bull, Jarno Trulli's Toyota and the second Williams, driven for this session by Kazuki Nakajima.

Ralf Schumacher was 13th in the second Toyota, just ahead of Tonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed in the Toro Rossos. The Renaults were not going well with Giancarlo Fisichella just 16th and Heikki Kovalainen 19th. Between them were Takuma Sato in the Super Aguri and Rubens Barrichello in the second Honda. At the back were Anthony Davidson in the second Super Aguri and the two Spykers. On this occasion Christijan Albers ended up ahead of Sutil, after the German went off and got stuck in a sand trap.