Practice One - McLaren lead early Istanbul running 28 May 2010
Lewis Hamilton drew first blood in the opening practice session for the Turkish Grand Prix on Friday, when he lapped a second faster than McLaren team mate Jenson Button. The 2008 champion circulated in 1m 29.672s to set the pace initially before Button responded with 1m 29.623s. The 2009 champion later trimmed that to 1m 29.615s, but Hamiltons 1m 28.653s was the decider.
Behind the silver arrows came two more, as Michael Schumacher just pipped Mercedes GP team mate Nico Rosberg for third with 1m 29.750s to 1m 29.855s. Sebastian Vettel was close to them in his new Red Bull chassis, with 1m 29.867s, and then came the very closely matched Renaults of Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov in 1m 30.061s and 1m 30.065s respectively. Mark Webber was right behind them with 1m 30.097s in the second Red Bull, and Ferraris Fernando Alonso on 1m 30.294s and Force Indias Adrian Sutil on 1m 30.501s completed the top 10.
Behind them, Kamui Kobayashi squeezed 1m 30.615s out of his BMW Sauber, which was going much better on a flowing track than it had in Monaco, then came Vitantonio Liuzzi on 1m 30.853s in the second Force India and Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari on 1m 30.867s.
Force India, like Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes, were experimenting with their version of the F-duct; in the case of the Silverstone-based team its called the SRW (switchable rear wing).
Sebastien Buemi was 14th for Toro Rosso on 1m 31.011s, ahead of BMW Saubers Pedro de la Rosa on 1m 31.238s, the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello on 1m 31.355s and 1m 31.464s, and Jaime Alguersuari in the second Toro Rosso on 1m 31.735s.
Lotus were far and away the fastest new team and are beginning to make serious inroads into the gap between them and the established midfield runners. Heikki Kovalainen was again on strong form for 1m 32.161s, ahead of team mate Jarno Trulli on 1m 32.990s. Then there was a big gap to Karun Chandhoks HRT. The Indian did one lap with the Cosworth engine apparently in idle mode before lapping in 1m 34.876s, comfortably ahead of Lucas di Grassi in the leading Virgin; the Brazilian lapped in 1m 35.137s. Team mate Timo Glock was 23rd on 1m 35.583s, and HRT reserve Sakon Yamamoto brought up the rear with a respectable 1m 36.137s on his first outing for the team. Bruno Senna will take over the car again this afternoon.
The track was dirtier initially than in previous years, and it wasnt until close to the end of the first hour that Hamilton really got going to set the pace. That meant there were several moments and the slippery surface caught people out, among them Kubica, Petrov and Chandhok in Turn One, Sutil and Buemi in Turn Three, Schumacher in Turn Eight and Chandhok in Turn 12.
Eventually, Sutil lost it comprehensively in Turn Eight, seriously damaging the front of his Force India.