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Practice One - Vettel pips Massa in maiden Valencia session 22 Aug 2008

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 22 August 2008 Onboard with Alonso approaching the bridge as he tails Button Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Force India F1 VJM01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 22 August 2008 David Coulthard (GBR) Red Bull Racing, Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams, Ross Brawn (GBR) Honda F1 Team Principal, a VIP, Patrick Head (GBR) Williams Director of Engineering and a VIP during the silence for the Madrid plane crash.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 22 August 2008

Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa enlivened the final moments of the first practice session round Valencia’s new urban circuit this morning, as they swapped fastest time.

The track was dusty and slippery to begin with, but despite predictions there were few significant incidents as everybody set about confirming their pre-race simulations. Clearly, some were on different strategies to others as unfamiliar faces appeared in unfamiliar places.

Sebastien Bourdais set the pace initially for Toro Rosso, followed by Vettel, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, Toyota’s Timo Glock, McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton, BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica and Massa.

In the end it came down to Vettel versus Massa. The German lapped his STR3 in 1m 40.813s before Massa replied with 1m 40.654s. But right at the end Vettel got the verdict by a similar margin with 1m 40.496s.

Hamilton ended the session third on 1m 40.822s, having spun in Turn 12. Bourdais jumped up to fourth with 1m 41.099s, and was followed by Kovalainen (1m 41.163s), Kubica (1m 41.281s), Raikkonen (1m 41.317s), Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima (1m 41.329s), Renault’s Fernando Alonso (1m 41.385s), Williams’ Nico Rosberg (1m 41.706s), Honda’s Rubens Barrichello (1m 41.830s), Toyota’s Jarno Trulli (1m 41.930s) and Force India’s Adrian Sutil (1m 41.951s). The Force Indias, incidentally, were running their seamless-shift transmissions again and will keep them for qualifying and the race.

Glock ended up 14th on 1m 42.036s after focusing on race set-up work, then came Renault’s Nelson Piquet (1m 42.107s), BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld (1m 42.453s), Honda’s Jenson Button (1m 42.460s), Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 43.075s), and, right at the back, the two Red Bulls. David Coulthard lapped his in 1m 43.312s before stopping in Turn 14 at the end, and Mark Webber took his round in 1m 43.524s.

Shortly after the end of the session drivers and Formula One personnel observed a minute's silence to remember those who died in this week's Madrid plane crash in Spain.