Friday, July 24, 2009

McLaren in form as Hamilton tops second F1 practice

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Defending driver world champion Briton Lewis Hamilton confirmed that McLaren Mercedes are back on form by clocking the fastest time in Friday afternoon's second free practice for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.
Earlier, his team-mate Finn Heikki Kovalainen had topped the times in the morning's opening session. Kovalainen was second fastest in a McLaren one-two in the afternoon.
Germany's Nico Rosberg was third for Williams ahead of Australian Mark Webber in a Red Bull and his Williams team-mate Japanese Kazuki Nakajima. German Sebastian Vettel was sixth in the second Red Bull.
This battle of three teams across the top six places left Brazilian Rubens Barrichello down in seventh in the leading Brawn GP car, a further demonstration of the team's slip from dominance.
His team-mate championship leading Briton Jenson Button was 13th, struggling to find the pace to deliver a competitive time on the tight and twisting Hungaroring circuit set in rolling countryside 20 kilometres north of Budapest.
The Ferraris also struggled to make an impact and Finn Kimi Raikkonen was 11th and his team-mate Brazilian Felipe Massa 18th on an afternoon when Spanish new boy Jaime Alguersuari continued to avoid trouble and ended up 20th and last.
Kovalainen was fastest early in the session and stayed there until Hamilton raised the pace with his best lap pf one minute and 22.079 seconds. This was 0.047 seconds faster than Kovalainen.

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