Practice One - Barrichello sets European pace 21 Aug 2009
Signalling a return to form for his team, Brawn GPs Rubens Barrichello set the fastest time in the first practice session here in Valencia on Friday morning, lapping in 1m 42.460s in 27 degrees Celsius ambient temperature.
It was close-run, however, as the Brazilian had the McLarens of Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton right behind him on 1m 42.636s and 1m 42.654s respectively, indicating that their form is also carrying over from Hungary.
Jenson Button was an early pacesetter in the second Brawn and was satisfied with fourth best time of 1m 43.074s, with fellow title contender Sebastian Vettel on his tail with 1m 43.088s in the lead Red Bull. His team mate, Mark Webber, was eighth on 1m 43.243s.
Between them were Adrian Sutil in sixth for Force India on 1m 43.209s and Kazuki Nakajimas Williams on 1m 43.225s. Renaults Fernando Alonso on 1m 43.345s and Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen on 1m 43.384s completed the top 10.
Sebastien Buemi only just missed it, however, lapping his Toro Rosso in 1m 43.389s before spinning harmlessly in Turn 12. The Swiss drivers rookie team mate Jaime Alguersuari did another solid job to take 13th place in 1m 43.637s, just behind Robert Kubica in the lead BMW Sauber on 1m 43.419s.
Nico Rosberg was unusually far down with 1m 43.746s leaving his Williams 14th, then came BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld (1m 44.040s), Force Indias Giancarlo Fisichella (1m 44.126s), rookie Romain Grosjean in the second Renault (1m 44.356s), Toyotas Jarno Trulli (1m 44.638s) and Timo Glock (who spun early in Turn Eight before recording 1m 44.732s). Right at the back Ferraris Luca Badoer reacclimatised to F1 racing with almost 30 laps of running for a best of 1m 45.840s.