Grand Prix Special, Spain – Practice, Full Results

by Ed Foster on 25th April 2008

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So the European season has begun. Almost all 22 cars completed the two Friday practices without incident and the Ferraris look like they are the pace setters at the moment. The Scuderia occupied the top two spots in the opening practice and were just under half a second quicker than Hamilton. Massa managed (after I had said that his 'moments' would become less frequent from Bahrain onwards) to spin twice, once at the chicane on his flying lap and then on the exit of turn 8 later on in the first practice.

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The most interesting part of the two opening practice sessions? Well in the first, a second covered the first 4 cars and in the second, it covered a quite remarkable 12 cars. Indeed, if you ignore the Super Aguris, all the cars were within two seconds of Räikkönen’s fastest time. It may surprise you even more that in the second Friday practice in the French Grand Prix last year, the top 15 cars set times within 1 second of each other. And they say Formula 1 isn't interesting...

On the subject of Super Aguris, it is great to see them on track as up until today they were still in talks with Honda over whether or not they could actually compete this weekend. With the rule changes next year, the Japanese manufacturer has made it quite clear that they aren't prepared to keep shelling out inordinate amounts of money to keep Aguri Suzuki afloat. After one possible backer dropped out at the last minute the team is again looking for a sponsor. Let's hope that they find one otherwise this may well be one of the last times we see them on the Grand Prix circuit.

I was actually quite surprised to see them leave the garage this morning as competing over a race weekend amounts to what us mere mortals would consider a cash bonfire. Of course, they don't want to miss out on the money they receive for competing in a Grand Prix.

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As for the rest... The Renaults certainly looked quick in the second session but watching the onboard footage it looked as though both drivers were pushing pretty hard. Whether they can keep that sort of pace up over the whole weekend, I doubt. Force India, after saying mid-week that they are ready to get into Q3, have taken another step forward with strong finishes in the second session.

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Whether all the teams were actually trying to set quick times, I am not convinced. I suggest that the Ferraris are going to be hard to beat come Sunday and the McLarens seem to have the edge over the BMWs for the time being.

The good news for all of you is that Nigel Roebuck is getting ready to write his first www.motorsportmagazine.co.uk Grand Prix Report and will share his views with us, here, after the race on Sunday. For a far more insightful and interesting read... log back on, Sunday evening and go via the 'Grand Prix Reports' link on the homepage to read it.

Practice 1

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:20.649 17
2. Massa Ferrari 1:20.699 +0.050 9
3. Hamilton McLaren 1:21.192 +0.543 20
4. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:21.568 +0.919 20
5. Kovalainen McLaren 1:21.758 +1.109 10
6. Alonso Renault 1:21.933 +1.284 18
7. Piquet Renault 1:21.936 +1.287 21
8. Coulthard Red Bull 1:22.118 +1.469 20
9. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:22.278 +1.629 24
10. Button Honda 1:22.632 +1.983 16
11. Glock Toyota 1:23.002 +2.353 21
12. Rosberg Williams 1:23.003 +2.354 25
13. Webber Red Bull 1:23.015 +2.366 14
14. Trulli Toyota 1:23.141 +2.492 15
15. Nakajima Williams 1:23.153 +2.504 24
16. Sutil Force India 1:23.156 +2.507 22
17. Fisichella Force India 1:23.196 +2.547 20
18. Barrichello Honda 1:23.353 +2.704 14
19. Bourdais Toro Rosso 1:23.952 +3.303 15
20. Vettel Toro Rosso 1:24.082 +3.433 15
21. Sato Super Aguri 1:24.082 +3.629 14
22. Davidson Super Aguri 1:25.068 +4.419 10

Practice 2

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.935 38
2. Piquet Renault 1.22.019 +0.084 38
3. Alonso Renault 1:22.032 +0.097 26
4. Nakajima Williams 1:22.172 +0.237 35
5. Massa Ferrari 1:22.229 +0.294 32
6. Webber Red Bull 1:22.238 +0.303 36
7. Rosberg Williams 1:22.266 +0.331 33
8. Coulthard Red Bull 1:22.289 +0.354 30
9. Fisichella Force India 1:22.383 +0.448 38
10. Sutil Force India 1:22.548 +0.613 38
11. Hamilton McLaren 1:22.685 +0.750 33
12. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:22.788 +0.853 38
13. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:23.130 +1.195 40
14. Trulli Toyota 1:23.224 +1.289 34
15. Button Honda 1:23.263 +1.328 34
16. Kovalainen McLaren 1:23.264 +1.329 8
17. Barrichello Honda 1:23.415 +1.480 31
18. Vettel Toro Rosso 1:23.661 +1.726 35
19. Bourdais Toro Rosso 1:23.684 +1.749 37
20. Glock Toyota 1:23.883 +1.948 40
21. Sato Super Aguri 1:25.110 +3.175 30
22. Davidson Super Aguri 1:25.163 +3.228 31

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