Lewis Hamilton has thrown down a challenge to his Ferrari rivals for the World Championship title after topping both of today’s practice sessions for the German Grand Prix.
In the fastest lap of the day Hamilton came within a few hundredths of a second of breaking the 1:15 barrier with a timesheet-topping 1:15.025. His nearest rival, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, was more than half a second slower on 1:15:722.
In third place was current world champion Kimi Raikkonen fractionally behind his team-mate on 1:15.760. And the last driver to clear 1:16 was McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen with a fastest lap of 1:15.990.
Red Bull’s Mark Webber in fifth was the only other driver within a second of Hamilton. His team-mate David Coulthard was 10th on 1:16.378 while Honda’s Jenson Button was 13th on 1:16.542, just ahead of Rubens Barrichello.
In the initially rainy first session the McLaren drivers had already underlined the suitability of their car for this circuit by laying down a fastest one-two.
Lewis Hamilton topped the morning timesheet at 1:15.537 while team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was less than two-tenths of a second behind him.
Third was Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, roughly the same distance from the Finn as he was from his team-mate, while Renault’s Fernando Alonso came fourth as the first driver to fail to break the 1:16 barrier.
Kimi Raikkonen was a surprise fifth, setting a time of 1:16.327, with Williams’ Nico Rosberg and Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel snapping at his heels. The BMW drivers Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica were ninth and 18th respectively.
The Pole was the only casualty of the first session, ploughing across the gravel into the Agip Kurve and hitting the tyre wall. However he was able to come back for the second session and salvage a decent time.
The midfield Brits had a reasonable session. Red Bull’s David Coulthard was 11th on 1:17.108, three places ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.
Honda’s Jenson Button was 12th, a few hundredths of a second down the road from Coulthard and four places ahead of team-mate Rubens Barrichello.
Session two times:
- Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:15.025 (37 laps)
- Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:15.722 (31 laps)
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari: 1:15.760 (34 laps)
- Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren-: 1:15.990 (37 laps)
- Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:16.017 (25 laps)
- Fernando Alonso, Renault: 1:16.230 (38 laps)
- Nico Rosberg, Williams: 1:16.355 (41 laps)
- Robert Kubica, BMW: 1:16.363 (36 laps)
- Nick Heidfeld, BMW: 1:16.377 (40 laps)
- David Coulthard, Red Bull: 1:16.378 (35 laps)
- Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso: 1:16.422 (41 laps)
- Jarno Trulli, Toyota: 1:16.530 (45 laps)
- Jenson Button, Honda: 1:16.542 (38 laps)
- Rubens Barrichello, Honda: 1:16.677 (28 laps)
- Nelson A. Piquet, Renault: 1:16.734 (42 laps)
- Timo Glock, Toyota: 1:16.781 (44 laps)
- Kazuki Nakajima, Williams: 1:16.829 (21 laps)
- Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso-: 1:16.860 (14 laps)
- Adrian Sutil, Force India: 1:17.008 (39 laps)
- Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India: 1:17.047 (37 laps)
Session one times
- Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:15.537 (22 laps)
- Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren: 1:15.666 (19 laps)
- Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:15.796 (22 laps)
- Fernando Alonso, Renault: 1:16.163 (22 laps)
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari: 1:16.327 (23 laps)
- Nico Rosberg, Williams: 1:16.606 (27 laps)
- Sebastian Vettel, Toro Rosso: 1:16.618 (25 laps)
- Nick Heidfeld, BMW: 1:16.719 (20 laps)
- Kazuki Nakajima, Williams: 1:16.821 (26 laps)
- Nelson A. Piquet, Renault: 1:17.063 (26 laps)
- David Coulthard, Red Bull: 1:17.108 (18 laps)
- Jenson Button, Honda: 1:17.131 (28)
- Timo Glock, Toyota: 1:17.185 (28 laps)
- Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:17.268 (11 laps)
- Giancarlo Fisichella, Force India: 1:17.471 (30 laps)
- Rubens Barrichello, Honda: 1:17.500 (24 laps)
- Jarno Trulli, Toyota: 1:17.556 (29 laps)
- Adrian Sutil, Force India: 1:17.784 (29 laps)
- Robert Kubica, BMW: 1:18.779 (8 laps)
- Sebastien Bourdais, Toro Rosso: 1:21.506 (16 laps)