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Alonso leads the Renaults in second practice 11 May 2007

Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Mercedes MP4/22.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 11 May 2007 Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Renault R27.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 11 May 2007 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2007.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 11 May 2007 Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 11 May 2007 Ralf Schumacher (GER) Toyota TF107.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 11 May 2007

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso said yesterday that Fridays can be confusing - and how right he was as he headed the times on Friday afternoon in Barcelona. This was the most unusual practice session so far this season.

Lewis Hamilton set the early pace for McLaren, until Alonso donned Bridgestone’s medium compound tyres (the Japanese company have brought medium and hard to Spain) and lapped in 1m 21.397s. After that, as Hamilton’s 1m 22.188s lap stood for a long time as second fastest, Alonso’s time resisted attack by both Ferraris and all number of others.

Right at the end the Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen, on medium tyres, jumped up to second and third positions with 1m 21.684s and 1m 21.966s. That left the Ferraris only fourth and sixth, with Felipe Massa on 1m 22.048s and Kimi Raikkonen on 1m 22.251s. Massa set his time on medium rubber, but Raikkonen’s was done on the harder compound. He failed to improve on the mediums.

Fifth place was the preserve of Hamilton, who actually made an error for once and ran wide at the first corner once he’d switched to medium tyres right at the end; he pitted at the end of that lap and didn’t get a final run.

Seventh fell to Nico Rosberg, with 1m 22.415s for Williams, then came Nick Heidfeld in the faster of the two BMW Saubers on 1m 22.543s, Red Bull’s Mark Webber on 1m 22.589s, Toro Rosso’s Scott Speed on 1m 22.617s, the second BMW of Robert Kubica on 1m 22.710s, David Coulthard on 1m 22.719s for Red Bull, the Hondas of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello on 1m 22.808s and 1m 22.926s, and Alex Wurz on 1m 22.950s in the Williams. All of their times came on the medium rubber.

Tonio Liuzzi was 16th for Toro Rosso on 1m 23.143s, failing to go any quicker after setting that time mid-way through, and the Toyotas of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli, which were quick this morning, were only 17th and 18th on 1m 23.219s and 1m 23.307s. Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson were next for Super Aguri on 1m 23.493s and 1m 23.497s, ahead of the Spykers of Adrian Sutil and Christijan Albers on 1m 23.609s and 1m 23.736s.

Incidents included Sutil, Wurz and Speed joining Hamilton in momentary offs, and Kovalainen spinning after setting his fastest time.

If this was a Spanish omelette of a session, it was made with curate’s eggs - good in part. The real picture will, as Alonso predicted, only begin to emerge on Saturday.