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Formula 1 News - September, 2008
Team-by-team summary: Friday, Singapore

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Fernando Alonso finished his day by topping the late session timesheets, but championship protagonists Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa's first session times remained faster. Nelson Piquet did a similar lap time in both 90 minute sessions, and was P12 at the end of the latter.



A competitive day for championship leader Hamilton; just ahead of Massa in both sessions, the quickest time of the day, and beaten in the second session only by the flying Alonso. Heikki Kovalainen was fourth fastest in both sessions.



In both sessions, Massa was less than a tenth of a second off the pace of his championship rival Hamilton. "Whether we will be more or less competitive than our rivals, I cannot yet say," the Brazilian said. Kimi Raikkonen's best time was set in the first session, when he was four tenths slower than Massa. "We tried a modification at the front that we tried at Mugello last week, but it did not produce the effect we hoped for," said the Finn.



Nico Rosberg was among the top six runners in both practice sessions, while Kazuki Nakajima - who had a brush with the wall in second practice - was nearly a second off the fast German's pace. "The only real issue we encountered was damage to the bargeboards on both cars due to the kerbs," said technical director Sam Michael.



Like Rosberg, Robert Kubica was amid the top six in both sessions, but Nick Heidfeld was a worrying 16th in the latter 90-minute practice. "Overall I had a good first practice day here, although my fastest lap from the second session doesn't give that impression," the German said.



Rubens Barrichello's weekend started badly when he reversed into the barriers in the first session and was slow in the second. "The car was bouncing and touching the ground so much," he said. Jenson Button's form, good enough to be inside the top-ten all day, was much better.



An awful day for Jarno Trulli; universally slow, not entirely happy with the Singapore lighting, and fined 10,000 euros and officially reprimanded after recovering from a spin. Timo Glock was much faster but he crunched his nose against the concrete late in session two, when he was P10. "The track is really bumpy and the car is quite tricky to handle," said the German.



Mark Webber was the first casualty of the Singapore circuit, when he damaged his front right corner on the entrance to the unique grandstand-tunnel. "Even though we lost a lot of track time, I feel we've made a reasonable recovery," said the Australian, who finished the day 11th quickest and ahead of his teammate David Coulthard. Both RB4 cars featured the BMW, Honda and McLaren-style nose horns for the first time.



Monza winner Sebastian Vettel returned to earth on Friday, never rising above tenth place in the two Singapore practice sessions. "My car feels very loose and I don't think we will have an easy time," said the German, ahead of his teammate Sebastien Bourdais in both sessions.



Giancarlo Fisichella, who was the first driver to sample the Singapore lights on Friday, ended his day early with a gearbox problem in the second session. "Today was generally ok, not too bad a start," said the Roman, 17th quickest in the later session after just 12 laps. Adrian Sutil, the slowest runner of the day, predicts a tough race. "Sometimes it actually hurt over the bumps, particularly my legs as they crashed into the monocoque," he reported.

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