Lewis Hamilton sets the early pace
British GP - First practice
In overcast, windy but dry conditions this morning at Silverstone, Lewis Hamilton set the pace in his McLaren Mercedes with a best lap of 1:21.100s, just over a tenth clear of his nearest rival.
While Hamilton-mania grips the British circuit, it was a routine morning for the man at the centre of all of the attention, with just one tricky moment as he spun exiting Farm mid-session.
Ferrari are expected to hold the advantage as the weekend goes on, but this morning at least Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa found themselves a tenth and two-tenths respectively behind the championship leader.
It was notable however that the Ferrari team did not feel the need to try a run on the softer tyre late in the session and both drivers were able to set quick laps seemingly at will throughout the longer stints that they ran.
Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest in the second McLaren. Both he and Hamilton tried a set of soft tyres in the final minutes of the session, but unlike Williams Toyota, did not find a large performance jump.
Nico Rosberg used the soft tyres to good effect as he set the fifth fastest time in the final minutes ahead of the BMW Sauber duo of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld. Alex Wurz also ran the soft tyre to vault eighth fastest in his FW29.
Toyota looked strong all morning with Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli ninth and 11th respectively as they continue the good form shown in the recent Silverstone tests. Rubens Barrichello led the way within the Honda camp with the tenth best time with Jenson Button in 15th in what they expect to be a tough weekend.
Anthony Davidson recorded the 12th best time in his Super Aguri Honda and that solid pace is fairly common for the team in the Friday morning practice session. Takuma Sato was 16th in the sister SA07.
Celebrating 30 years in Formula One, Heikki Kovalainen and Giancarlo Fisichella set the 13th and 14th fastest times ahead of Sato and the Red Bull Renault duo of Mark Webber and David Coulthard who spun out of the session in the Luffield complex. Toro Rosso and Spyker brought up the tail of the timesheets.
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