F1 Istanbul - FRI - Practice Day

McLaren are back in a very good shape, after the numerous failures and problems they have encountered since the 2008 F1 season began. Friday, as always, is the Practice Day on every circuit which a race will be held on on Sunday. McLaren did a brilliant work yesterday, in both practice sessions. In the first round, that started at 10:00 AM local time(GMT + 2), Heikki Kovalainen almost reached first position, but the final result was the 2nd place, thus demonstrating to everybody he is 'fit and tight' after the terrible accident he suffered in Spain two weeks ago. His mate Lewis Hamilton came behind him on 3rd. In the second and last Practice session, the situation changed in favour of the British driver, who finished on the 2nd place, behind Ferrari's Raikkonen, while Kovalainen returned to the paddock area on the 5th position. All in all, we can sum up that team McLaren has many chances to make a good impression this weekend at Istanbul, both today, in the Practice and Qualifying rounds, and tomorrow, in the race. Below you can read the official press release related to the subject and download more exciting photos taken at Istanbul Ride Park.


Istanbul, Friday, May 09, 2008

Lewis Hamilton MP4-23 04
Heikki Kovalainen MP4-23 05

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen finished Friday's second Free Practice for the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul in second and fifth positions respectively. Lewis completed 31 laps and set a best time of 1m27.579 and was 36 thousandths of a second behind the fastest lap of the afternoon. Heikki did 27 laps and did 1m27.954. In the morning session, Heikki was second fastest with a 1m27.456 (17 laps) and Lewis ended up third with a 1m27.752 (15 laps).

"We focused on tyre evaluation and set-up work today and so far things are not looking too bad. Everybody lost a bit of running time in the first session as the track was still wet in places after cleaning. This circuit is constantly evolving which is challenging but also enjoyable. In the first session I stayed on the same set of tyres throughout and experienced no problems. In my last run of the day I put on a new set of tyres but had a small moment which cost me some time. Overall I am pleased with our initial pace and consistency."

"It was nice to get back in the car again and everything was fine. I was on the pace immediately and was able to set some consistent lap times. At the end of the first session I went out on the option tyre but the brake temperature was not quite right, so I was not able to go flat out in that run. The second session went smoothly as well, and we focused on tyre evaluation with some long runs as well as looking at the set-up. A very productive and positive day."

"Two productive practice sessions where both drivers managed to complete their programme. Both were quick and consistent. A special mention to Heikki who went out for the first time since his accident and was fast immediately. We seem to be competitive and look forward to the rest of the weekend."

"A good first practice day. Lewis's and Heikki's lap times looked reasonable, and we completed our planned programme including tyre evaluation. The best news is that Heikki is back in his car, and he drove and worked with the team as we all know from him."

The results of the day

More photos

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