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Free practice marked by Massa crash

Latest update : 2008-07-05

Brazilian Felipe Massa crashed after setting the fastest time in the opening free practice session. His Ferrari slid on an oil spill at the 210kph Stowe corner, slamming backwards into the wall. Finnish Heikki Kovalainen set the best time.

Heikki Kovalainen set the pace in Friday's second practice session ahead of this weekend's British Grand Prix.
  
The Finnish McLaren driver was smooth and controlled throughout, setting a fastest lap time over half a second quicker than that of his nearest rival, Red Bull's Mark Webber.
  
Home favourite Lewis Hamilton gave the Silverstone crowd something to cheer by setting the third fastest time in the other McLaren and Webber's Scottish teammate David Coulthard was an impressive fourth on the timesheet.
  
Hamilton was quick early on and despite one skid onto the grass the 23-year-old Brit completed a solid, if unspectacular, day of testing with no drama.
  
World championship leader Felipe Massa sat out the first half of the afternoon as mechanics worked to repair the Ferrari he crashed in the first practice period of the day.
  
The Brazilian had set the fastest time of the day in the morning but his preparation was interrupted by a high-speed collision after sliding on oil spilled from Fernando Alonso's Renault.
  
When Massa did finally emerge from the pits he struggled for pace, sitting alongside his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, halfway down the times.
  
Massa would eventually finish eighth fastest with Raikkonen 12th.
  
The young German pair Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel were fifth and sixth fastest respectively while Jenson Button completed a good afternoon for the British contingent by delivering the seventh quickest time in his Honda.
  
Williams' prospect Rosberg and Honda veteran Rubens Barrichello also set strong early times to move into second and third behind Hamilton.
  
Webber was next to top the times but the Australian was quickly supplanted by Toro Rosso driver Vettel and then by Kovalainen who would stay there for the remainder of the session.
  
Italian Jarno Trulli struggled at the bottom of the field all day and his miserable afternoon session ended early when his Toyota suffered a rear wing failure into Stowe corner with half an hour to go.
  
While Rosberg continued to impress, his Japanese William's teammate Kazuki Nakajima was the next driver to head back to the pits early after spinning into a wall and losing his front wing.
  
As the session came to an end Webber mounted a late assault to move up to second behind Kovalainen, but no one could get close to the talented Finn.

Date created : 2008-07-04

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