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Third drivers hold sway in first practice 05 May 2006

Alex Wurz (AUT) Williams Third Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, European Grand Prix, Preparations, Nurburgring, Germany, 4 May 2006

Alexander Wurz topped the timesheets for Williams in this morning’s first practice session for the Grand Prix of Europe, lapping in 1m 32.079s.

That left the Austrian just ahead of Honda’s Friday man Anthony Davidson, who posted 1m 32.399s in his RA106. BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica, Michael Schumacher and Robert Doornbos were the only other runners below 1m 33s, the Pole recording 1m 32.852s, the former champion 1m 32.858s and the Dutchman 1m 32.944s.

As the Renault drivers, and the racers from Red Bull, Williams and BMW Sauber, plus Juan Pablo Montoya, Jarno Trulli, Tonio Liuzzi and Felipe Massa confined themselves to installation laps only, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello took the sixth and seventh fastest times for Honda. The Englishman posted 1m 33.535s, the Brazilian 1m 34.213s.

Kimi Raikkonen’s best was a relatively leisurely 1m 34.402s for McLaren, while Ralf Schumacher did 1m 34.995s for Toyota.

Newboy Adrian Sutil did a strong job in his first official outing for Midland, lapping the M16 in 1m 35.332s compared to team mates Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro who were 13th and 14th respectively on 1m 35.985s and 1m 36.062s. Separating them were the Toro Rossos of Neel Jani (who went off briefly in Turn 10) and Scott Speed, on 1m 35.365s and 1m 35.612s.

Franck Montagny got his first chance to try the Super Aguri SA05 at a race meeting. The Frenchman went off in Turn 1 but otherwise did a fine job to chase team mate Takuma Sato, with a 1m 37.933s to the Japanese star’s 1m 37.817s.