Practice One - BMW push McLaren and Ferrari hard 20 Jul 2007
McLaren and Ferrari duked it out at the Nurburgring as practice for the European Grand Prix got underway this morning, with BMW Sauber right in there with them.
All three teams seemed evenly matched thus far, with Lewis Hamilton setting the pace on 1m 32.515s chased by Kimi Raikkonen (1m 32.751s), Fernando Alonso (1m 32.932s) and Nick Heidfeld (1m 32.975s).
Not far behind, Robert Kubica (1m 33.205s) and Felipe Massa (1m 33.605s), were fifth and sixth , with Ralf Schumacher (1m 33.825s), Jenson Button (1m 33.936s), David Coulthard (1m 34.062s) and Rubens Barrichello (1m 34.142s) flying the respective flags for Toyota, Honda and Red Bull.
Toyotas Jarno Trulli was 11th on 1m 33.152s, ahead of the Williams of Alex Wurz (1m 34.345s) and Nico Rosberg (1m 34.563s), Anthony Davidson (1m 34.567s) in the Super Aguri, Red Bulls Mark Webber (1m 34.683s), Super Aguris Takuma Sato (1m 34. 708s), Toro Rossos Tonio Liuzzi (1m 34.907s) and Heikki Kovalainen (1m 34.921s) in the Renault.
Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 35.077s), Scott Speed (1m 35.643s), Adrian Sutil (1m 36.340s) and Markus Winkelhock (1m 37.116s) completed the list for Renault, Toro Rosso, and Spyker respectively.
The Nurburgring is quite a high-grip circuit, but there were nevertheless a fair number of off-track excursions as drivers pushed too hard. Massa erred in Turns Three and Four, Winkelhock in Turn Four, Speed in Turn Three, Fisichella in Turn Six, and Schumacher in Turn 10. None sustained anything more than temporary embarrassment.