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Practice One - Ferrari one-two in first session 21 Mar 2008

Photographers crowd around the car of Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008 in the pitlane.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 20 March 2008 Anthony Davidson (GBR) Super Aguri F1 SA08A.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 21 March 2008 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28.
Malaysian Grand Prix, Rd 2, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 21 March 2008

Ferrari set the pace in no uncertain terms in opening practice at Sepang on Friday morning, with Felipe Massa clocking the fastest time of 1m 35.392s and Kimi Raikkonen next up on 1m 36.459s. The Finn’s car stopped in Turn 12 during the course of the session, but only because it ran out of fuel.

Behind the red cars, Nico Rosberg split the McLarens. Heikki Kovalainen lapped his MP4-23 in 1m 36.556s and Lewis Hamilton his in 1m 36.626s, with Rosberg inserting his Williams FW30 between them after a late run of 1m 36.578s. It is still too early to determine whether they were all running similar strategies.

Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet were sixth and seventh for Renault, on 1m 37.022s and 1m 37.034s respectively. Robert Kubica lapped his BMW Sauber in 1m 37.218s, Jenson Button his Honda in 1m 37.282s, and the top 10 was completed by Jarno Trulli on 1m 37.540s for Toyota.

There were a few dramas this morning. The biggest concerned David Coulthard’s Red Bull. The Scot had lapped in 1m 38.232s, which left him an eventual 16th, when his RB4 appeared to suffer a suspension breakage after running hard over a kerb. It was not a good morning for the team, as Mark Webber, having lapped in 1m 38.707s for 17th, suffered an engine failure. He will not get a penalty as it’s Friday and all teams in any case get one free breakage, but the failure will compromise his running this afternoon.

Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima and Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel had off-course moments, as did BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld, and Adrian Sutil suffered an engine change (which will count, as he had his ‘freebie’ in Australia) in his Force India.

Behind Trulli, Heidfeld was 11th on 1m 37.649s, followed by Nakajima (1m 37.649), Honda’s Rubens Barrichello (1m 37.776s), Toyota’s Timo Glock (1m 37.782s), Vettel (1m 38.219s), Coulthard, Webber, Sebastien Bourdais (1m 38.798s) in the second Toro Rosso, Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 39.046s), the Super Aguris of Takuma Sato (1m 40.178s) and Anthony Davidson (1m 40.351s), and Sutil (1m 41.269s).