Practice One - Hamilton heads BMW Saubers at Sakhir 24 Apr 2009
In a relatively quiet opening practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir on Friday morning, Lewis Hamilton led the way for McLaren with a lap of 1m 33.647s, which ended up 0.260s ahead of Nick Heidfeld who jumped up to second for BMW Sauber in the closing minutes. The German lapped in 1m 33.907s and was joined by team mate Robert Kubica on 1m 33.938s. Both were running KERS.
Nico Rosberg continued his quick practice form with fourth place for Williams in 1m 34.227s, which left him just ahead of Brawns Jenson Button (1m 34.434s), McLarens Heikki Kovalainen (1m 34.502s), Brawns Rubens Barrichello (1m 34.531s), Felipe Massa (1m 34.589s in the only Ferrari running KERS), and Red Bulls Mark Webber and Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen who shared the ninth fastest time of 1m 34.827s.
Kazuki Nakajima was 11th for Williams with 1m 34.880s, and Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel (1m 34.938s) and Renaults Nelson Piquet (1m 34.974s) completed the runners below 1m 35s.
Force Indias Adrian Sutil, Jarno Trulli in the Toyota and Force Indias Giancarlo Fisichella were all close to breaking that, with 1m 35.021s, 1m 35.036s and 1m 35.042s respectively. Toyotas Timo Glock was 17th on 1m 35.333s, with Renaults Fernando Alonso (1m 35.348s), Toro Rossos Sebastien Bourdais (1m 35.353s) and Sebastien Buemi (1m 35.369s) all within striking distance.
Alonso and Piquet both ran KERS, but while the Brazilian had Alonsos Chinese diffuser, the Spaniard used a new version on his Renault R29. Alonso, like Raikkonen, Button and Fisichella, had an off-course moment, while Buemi stopped out on the track with mechanical problems.
For comparison, Kubica took pole here last year in 1m 33.096s, and times are expected to fall further this afternoon as the track rubbers in.