European GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

A quiet start in Valencia

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel 

 © The Cahier Archive

The Formula 1 cars took the streets in Valencia this morning with the drivers discovering the new circuit around the port. This produced a rather unexpected result with Sebastian Vettel fastest in his Toro Rosso-Ferrari and team-mate Sebastien Bourdais fourth fastest. The cynics in the F1 paddock suggested that the team may have a sponsor of a potential buyer in the wings because this was so out of synch with normality. No doubt the true picture will emerge as the weekend develops but it would be a huge surprise to see the cars that far up the grid.

Behind Vettel the picture was rather more normal with Felipe Massa ahead of Lewis Hamilton, with Heikki Kovalainen fifth, behind Bourdais. Robert Kubica was sixth from BMW ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Kazuki Nakajima, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg and Rubens Barrichello in the first of the Hondas.

Twelfth was the Toyota of Jarno Trulli, ahead of Adrian Sutil, using the Force India which now has a seamless shift gearbox. Next up was Timo Glock, who was the only man other than Lewis Hamilton who had a spin.

Nelson Piquet was 16th ahead of Nick Heidfeld, Jenson Button, Giancarlo Fisichella. The order was completed by the two Red Bulls of David Coulthard and Mark Webber, who are driving the Red Bull Renaults - fundamentally the same car as the Toro Rosso.

A strange start to the weekend.


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