Practice one - Massa fastest, but crashes heavily 04 Jul 2008
Ferraris Felipe Massa set the fastest time in Fridays first practice session for the British Grand Prix here at Silverstone this morning, but also brought out the red flag for 15 minutes after crashing immediately after establishing the benchmark.
The Brazilian had just lapped in 1m 19.575s when he encountered freshly spilled oil at Stowe corner, courtesy of Fernando Alonso whose Renault had just lost its engine. The Brazilians Ferrari snapped sideways and went off backwards, hard, into the tyre wall on the outside. Massa was unhurt, but his F2008 is a mess.
Later Heikki Kovalainen raised McLaren hopes by reducing his time to 1m 19.587s to displace team mate Lewis Hamilton, who had worked down to 1m 19.623s. Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari was the final runner beneath 1m 20s, with 1m 19.948s for fourth fastest slot.
Robert Kubica was some way off the leading quartet for BMW Sauber, lapping his F1.08 in 1m 20.367s to fend off the hamstrung Alonso, who recorded 1m 20.436s before his problem.
Sebastian Vettel was again in strong form for Toro Rosso with 1m 20.588s, and the young German was chased by Renaults Nelson Piquet on 1m 20.653s, Red Bulls David Coulthard on 1m 20.698s and Nico Rosberg on 1m 20.744s. Mark Webbers 1m 20.892s in the second Red Bull rounded out in 11th place the runners below 1m 21s.
Timo Glock was another driver to encounter Alonsos oil, but only spun his Toyota. Earlier he had also rotated at Brooklands before posting 1m 21.102s to head Nick Heidfeld on 1m 21.107s in the second BMW Sauber. Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais was 14th with 1m 21.166s ahead of Toyotas Jarno Trulli on 1m 21.265s and Williams Kazuki Nakajima on 1m 21.282s. Then there was a gap to Jenson Button in 1m 21.901s in a slightly improved Honda RA108.
Adrian Sutil survived a hefty off-course moment at Becketts which put some serious impacts into the floor of his Force India, to lap in 1m 22.169s, just ahead of team mate Giancarlo Fisichella on 1m 22.219s.
At the back, Rubens Barrchello only managed 1m 24.123s before his Honda ran into undisclosed mechanical trouble. The session was run in overcast but dry conditions, and a track temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.