Rubens Barrichello topped the morning free practice session on Friday, beating the McLarens and team mate Jenson Button and setting a lap time around the streets of Valencia that was 0.176s clear of Heikki Kovalainen. Sebastian Vettel led the Red Bull charge with P5 and 0.1s ahead of Adrian Sutil in the Force India. Kazuki Nakajima showed Nico Rosberg the way, outpacing his more experienced team mate while Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top ten.
The European Grand Prix will see one new driver debut and another returning to the cockpit on a race weekend after ten years away from the limelight. Renault have chosen to replace Nelson Piquet Jr with French pilot Romain Grosjean. The returnee is Luca Badoer, the Italian substituting Felipe Massa in the Ferrari while the Brazilian recuperates away from the race track. Grosjean completed his first session in a Formula One car in P17, 1s shy of Fernando Alonso’s pace. Luca Badoer fared less well and finished the morning’s running in P20, some 2.5s shy of Kimi Raikkonen’s benchmark.
Both Scuderia Toro Rosso pilots did well before breaking for lunch, with Sebastien Buemi managing to haul his STR4 into P11 and Spanish rookie Jaime Alguersuari not too far behind in P13. Conversely, the Toyotas didn’t do so well, with Jarno Trulli back in P18 and team mate Timo Glock just a tenth slower in P19.
|1.||Rubens Barrichello Brawn||1m42.460s||19 Laps|
|2.||Heikki Kovalainen McLaren||1m42.636s||16 Laps|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton McLaren||1m42.654s||18 Laps|
|4.||Jenson Button Brawn||1m43.074s||19 Laps|
|5.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||1m43.088s||17 Laps|
|6.||Adrian Sutil Force India||1m43.209s||13 Laps|
|7.||Kazuki Nakajima Williams||1m43.225s||25 Laps|
|8.||Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||1m43.243s||19 Laps|
|9.||Fernando Alonso Renault||1m43.345s||18 Laps|
|10.||Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari||1m43.384s||23 Laps|
|11.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m43.389s||30 Laps|
|12.||Robert Kubica BMW||1m43.419s||20 Laps|
|13.||Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m43.637s||30 Laps|
|14.||Nico Rosberg Williams||1m43.746s||22 Laps|
|15.||Nick Heidfeld BMW||1m44.040s||23 Laps|
|16.||Giancarlo Fisichella Force India||1m44.126s||17 Laps|
|17.||Romain Grosjean Renault||1m44.356s||23 Laps|
|18.||Jarno Trulli Toyota||1m44.638s||26 Laps|
|19.||Timo Glock Toyota||1m44.732s||28 Laps|
|20.||Luca Badoer Ferrari||1m45.840s||25 Laps|