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Practice One - Rosberg and Mercedes in front 25 Jun 2010

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia Spain, Friday, 25 June 2010 Force India F1 VJM03 steering wheel.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia Spain, Friday, 25 June 2010 Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 9, European Grand Prix, Practice Day, Valencia Spain, Friday, 25 June 2010

Nico Rosberg pipped the two McLarens for the fastest time in Valencia on Friday morning, stopping the clocks for Mercedes GP with 1m 41.175s. That was 0.164s faster than Lewis Hamilton’s 1m 41.339s, and 0.208s better than Jenson Button’s 1m 41.383s.

It’s early days, however, as the number of drivers running wide in Turn Two testified to the ‘green’ nature of the track, which remained extremely slippery.

Robert Kubica, in fourth place for Renault on 1m 41.715s, was 0.540s slower than Rosberg, and the only other runner below 1m 42s.

For comparison, Sebastian Vettel took pole for the 2009 race in 1m 39.489s with a first-stint fuel load, while the fastest ‘light fuel’ lap of the weekend was turned by Rubens Barrichello’s Brawn in Q2 in 1m 38.000s.

Behind him, Felipe Massa recorded 1m 42.182s, the faster Ferrari time, and headed the Red Bulls of Vettel and Mark Webber, on 1m 42.216s and 1m 42.275s respectively, Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes GP on 1m 42.312s, Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari on 1m 42.421s, the Williams of Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg on 1m 42.463s and 1m 42.707s respectively, and Renault’s Vitaly Petrov on 1m 42.962s.

Sebastien Buemi was 13th for Toro Rosso, ahead of Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India on 1m 43.380s, Pedro de la Rosa’s BMW Sauber on 1m 43.397s and Paul di Resta, who was substituting again at Force India for Adrian Sutil, on 1m 43.437s. Kamui Kobayashi completed the sub 1m 44s runners with 1m 43.729s for BMW Sauber.

Home boy Jaime Alguersuari was 18th for Toro Rosso with 1m 44.183s, while Heikki Kovalainen got Lotus’s 500th race off to a great start by getting closer than the team ever have to a midfield outfit with a lap in 1m 44.491s. Timo Glock was next on 1m 45.653s for Virgin, then came Bruno Senna on 1m 47.123s for HRT, Jarno Trulli shaking down his new Lotus T127 chassis with 1m 47.285s, Christian Klien who was deputising for HRT’s Karun Chandhok for this session only on 1m 47.343s, and Lucas di Grassi in the second Virgin on 1m 47.356s.

Besides the various minor offs which caused no damage, Senna lost his left rear-view mirror after 36 minutes, necessitating a brief red flag as the debris was cleared away after Buemi had run over it.