French GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report
Ferraris lead the way in Magny-Cours
Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were first and second in the first practice session at Magny-Cours nearly seven-tenths of a second ahead of Fernando Alonso's McLaren. This is a huge margin and given the advantage enjoyed by McLaren in Canada, it is unrealistic to suppose that this is the true picture of performance this weekend. Teams do not gain or lose a full second in a couple of weeks.
The fact that Alonso was just a few hundredths faster than Nico Rosberg's Williams was another indication that the true picture of the weekend is yet to be revealed, although there is some hope in the Williams camp that the recent aerodynamic updates have moved the team forward.
For what it is worth, David Coulthard was fifth fastest ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who lost time in the session, when his engine cut-out system activated. By the end of the session he had still managed 20 laps while most of the other drivers did 25.
Behind Lewis was Nick Heidfeld, Alexander Wurz and Robert Kubica - back in action after missing Indianapolis. Jarno Trulli was 10th overall, just ahead of Tonio Liuzzi's Toro Rosso, which now has the new seamless gearbox, Takuma Sato and Rubens Barrichello.
Jenson Button was next with Scott Speed, Anthony Davidson, Ralf Schumacher and the two Renaults, with Giancarlo Fisichella ahead of Heikki Kovalainen, Mark Webber and the two Spykers, with Christijan Albers and of Adrian Sutil on this occasion.
There were a few minor incidents but no major crashes.
More will be revealed as the day progresses but the weather in Magny-Cours remains threatening, with rain expected in the course of the weekend.