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Formula 1 News - August, 2008
Team-by-team summary: Friday, Valencia

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A promising opening salvo for the Italian team on Friday; Felipe Massa was beaten to the morning top-spot only by a showboating Toro Rosso, before Kimi Raikkonen recorded the fastest lap of the day in the second 90-minute session. "It is far too early to say where we are compared to the opposition," said the Finn.



A low-profile morning, but home hero Fernando Alonso was pipped to the fastest lap of the day by Raikkonen by only the barest of margins in the afternoon session. "It is difficult to understand too much about our situation relative to the others," said engineering boss Pat Symonds. Nelson Piquet's deficit to the former world champion was 7 tenths in the morning and almost a full second in the afternoon.



On super-soft Bridgestones, Jenson Button recorded the third best time of the day late in the afternoon session. "Hopefully we can further improve the car overnight and be reasonably competitive for qualifying tomorrow," he said. In absolute contrast, Rubens Barrichello was the slowest runner of all in the same session. "I'm confident that we can get back on the pace for qualifying tomorrow," said the Brazilian.



Despite a recent run of form, the McLarens - led in pace as usual by Lewis Hamilton - spent Friday out of the limelight, as the pair achieved just the 5th and 6th fastest times in the quicker afternoon session. "We're in pretty good shape," said championship leader Hamilton.



Timo Glock, who finished on the podium three weeks ago in Hungary, ended the first day of practice promisingly with the 7th best time. Jarno Trulli struggled with balance and only just pegged the deficit to his teammate below the one second mark. "That was not a particularly good day for me," he confirmed.



Nick Heidfeld seems to be struggling; his deficit to teammate Robert Kubica was a full second per lap both in the morning and again in the afternoon. "I'm not happy with the lap times yet," the German confirmed. The highlight of Kubica's Friday was his morning P6.



Force India's Friday, to be the race-debut of the new seamless shift gearbox, is difficult to analyse; when Giancarlo Fisichella was slow in the morning, Adrian Sutil was P13. And when Sutil ended the day 17th, Fisichella was just a second off the ultimate pace.



A low-profile start to the weekend for Red Bull, with Mark Webber's P11 in the afternoon the highlight, following an uncompetitive morning for both RB4s. "We're not as quick as we'd like to be," the Australian admitted. David Coulthard was the first F1 driver to hit the barriers as he ended his morning with a gentle impact.



Nico Rosberg, who nearly took out Webber with the afternoon session's most spectacular spin, went into the weekend predicting his FW30 would suit the virginal 25-corner layout. He ended the afternoon session heading the British team's charge with the 12th fastest time.



With new tyres fitted, Sebastian Vettel stunned the timesheets with the coveted P1 at the end of the morning session, with teammate Sebastian Vettel highlighting the achievement by netting the fourth fastest time. The STRs then tumbled down the afternoon order, ultimately only securing P16 (Vettel) and 19. "Now it will be interesting to analyse what we have done and see what the others did," said the German.

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