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Practice One - Hamilton sets the early pace in Japan 10 Oct 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Fuji Speedway, Japan, Friday, 10 October 2008 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault talks with the media.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Japanese Grand Prix, Preparations, Fuji Speedway, Japan, Thursday, 9 October 2008

Lewis Hamilton led the field after Friday morning’s first practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, and only 1.995 seconds covered the first 19 cars.

The Englishman lapped his McLaren in 1m 18.910s to head title rival Felipe Massa by 0.153s. The Brazilian lapped his Ferrari in 1m 19.063s to lead McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen (1m 19.279s), Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m 19.399s) and the Renaults of Fernando Alonso (1m 19.473s) and Nelson Piquet (1m 19.743s).

The next 13 cars all lapped in the 1m 20s bracket, led by Sebastian Vettel’s Toro Rosso. The Italian Grand Prix winner recorded 1m 20.121s, chased by BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica (1m 20.160s), Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais (1m 20.182s), Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima (1m 20.217s), Force India’s Adrian Sutil (1m 20.288s), Williams’ Nico Rosberg (1m 20.350s), Red Bull’s Mark Webber (1m 20.620s), BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld (1m 20.628s), Toyota’s Jarno Trulli (1m 20.657s), Honda’s Rubens Barrichello (1m 20.753s) and Jenson Button (1m 20.769s), Toyota’s Timo Glock (1m 20.823s) and Red Bull’s David Coulthard (1m 20.905s).

Left out of the group was Giancarlo Fisichella, at the back in his Force India in 1m 21.014s.

The hour and a half-long session took place in warm sun and totally dry conditions, but nevertheless saw many drivers running off-road as they pushed the limit. Hamilton, Raikkonen, Massa, Sutil, Glock, Piquet, Heidfeld and Bourdais all had moments, but Heidfeld was the only one to spin.