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Practice One - Kovalainen pips Rosberg in Budapest 24 Jul 2009

Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren MP4/24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Robert Kubica (POL) BMW Sauber F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009 Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso Third Driver STR4 wearing a tribute to Henry Surtees (GBR) on his helmet.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday, 24 July 2009

Heikki Kovalainen made the best use of his aerodynamically updated McLaren MP4-24 as first practice kicked off the Hungarian Grand Prix meeting on Friday morning. Last year’s winner snatched fastest time from Williams’ Nico Rosberg on his last lap of the session, stopping the clocks in 1m 22.278s compared to the German’s 1m 22.337s for Williams.

As usual, the times were tight. From Kovalainen down to Sebastian Vettel in 15th, there was barely a second. Lewis Hamilton endorsed McLaren’s pace with 1m 22.554s ahead of German Grand Prix winner Mark Webber in the Red Bull on 1m 22.615s. Kazuki Nakajima was right behind the Australian in the second Williams, with 1m 22.619s.

Jarno Trulli ended the session with sixth fastest time for Toyota in 1m 22.705s, then came the Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen (1m 22.796s) and Felipe Massa (1m 22.855s) in seventh and eighth places. Fernando Alonso was ninth for Renault in 1m 23.001s, and a late improvement moved Jenson Button to 10th for Brawn in 1m 23.130s.

The BMW Saubers of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld were evenly matched in 11th and 12th, on 1m 23.146s and 1m 23.154s respectively, while Rubens Barrichello was 13th in the second Brawn on 1m 23.209s from Toyota’s Timo Glock (1m 23.234s) and Vettel (1m 23.283s). Giancarlo Fisichella was Force India’s lead runner on 1m 23.484s, ahead of Renault’s Nelson Piquet (1m 23.678s) and Force India’s Adrian Sutil (1m 23.845s).

Sebastien Buemi was 19th for Toro Rosso in 1m 23.998s, and on a morning when stars such as Vettel, Rosberg, Nakajima and Massa went off course, rookie Jaime Alguersuari kept it on the island and did a sensible job over the course of his 42 laps for a best time of 1m 24.228s, which was respectably close to his team mate.