Japanese GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report
Ferrari on top
Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa emerged ahead of the pack in the first session at Mount Fuji. The two Ferraris were two-tenths ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso with Lewis Hamilton a tenth behind him. The best of the rest on this occasion was the Williams-Toyota of Nico Rosberg, which was just three-tenths off the pace of Hamilton ahead of the BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica. Alexander Wurz was next up, albeit three-tenths off the pace of team-mate Rosberg. Toyota was obviously making a big effort at its home track and Jarno Trulli was eighth fastest ahead of Adrian Sutil, who was showing very well in the new Spyker, although we will have to see how things go in the official sessions before any sensible judgements can be made. The best of the Hondas was Anthony Davidson's Super Aguri, going well after the team announced a number of small new sponsors. Rubens Barrichello was 11th quickest in the factory Honda, ahead of the best of the Renaults, driven as usual by Heikki Kovalainen.
Nick Heidfeld was next up in his BMW Sauber but will almost certainly move up the order when things get serious.
Behind the German was Tonio Liuzzi in the Toro Rosso, the best of the four Red Bull cars on this occasion. He was a tenth clear of Ralf Schumacher's Toyota with Giancarlo Fisichella's Renault, Takuma Sato's Super Aguri and Mark Webber's Red Bull-Renault following on.
Jenson Button was working to improve his Honda and was only 19th, while Sebastian Vettel, David Coulthard and Sakon Yamamoto brought up the rear.
The afternoon session will reveal more about the relative speed of the cars on a track that no-one knows well.