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Barrichello fastest in first practice

Rubens BarrichelloRubens Barrichello put the Brawn team on top in the first free practice session for the European Grand Prix at Valencia.

As Brawn seeks to recover some competitive ground to its championship rival Red Bull, the Brazilian set his 1m42.460s lap with 15 minutes of the session still to go. He then looked like he was going to improve on the final moments before his car became stuck in gear.

Under-pressure Heikki Kovalainen went second fastest, using a new McLaren front wing to do so, 0.018s ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

Jenson Button was fastest for a long period in the session but dropped to fourth, 0.6s slower than his team-mate.

Sebastian Vettel was the top Red Bull driver in fifth position, having swapped positions with Button at the front earlier on.

Adrian Sutil was an impressive sixth quickest for the improving Force India team, another team to have brought a package of updates to Valencia.

Kazuki Nakajima was seventh for Williams ahead of Mark Webber's Red Bull. Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile completed the top 10.

There were no serious incidents in the 90 minutes, though several drivers went the wrong side of the kerbs on the dirty asphalt surface.

Indeed, the fact that the field was split by more than 3s suggested that the track conditions improved rapidly through the session.

Jaime Alguersuari was the fastest of the three rookies in 13th position for Toro Rosso (he also shared the most laps with team-mate Sebastien Buemi).

Renault's Romain Grosjean was 17th - just over a second slower than Fernando Alonso. The Frenchman was one of the first drivers out, much like F1 returnee Luca Badoer.

The Italian Ferrari driver was slowest of the runners, 3.380s off the pace of Barrichello and more than two seconds behind team-mate Raikkonen.

Pos Driver        Team                      Time             Laps
 1. Barrichello   Brawn GP-Mercedes    (B)  1:42.460           19
 2. Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:42.636  +0.176   16
 3. Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes     (B)  1:42.654  +0.194   18
 4. Button        Brawn GP-Mercedes    (B)  1:43.074  +0.614   19
 5. Vettel        Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:43.088  +0.628   17
 6. Sutil         Force India-Mercedes (B)  1:43.209  +0.749   13
 7. Nakajima      Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:43.225  +0.765   25
 8. Webber        Red Bull-Renault     (B)  1:43.243  +0.783   19
 9. Alonso        Renault              (B)  1:43.345  +0.885   18
10. Raikkonen     Ferrari              (B)  1:43.384  +0.924   23
11. Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:43.389  +0.929   30
12. Kubica        BMW Sauber           (B)  1:43.419  +0.959   20
13. Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)  1:43.637  +1.177   30
14. Rosberg       Williams-Toyota      (B)  1:43.746  +1.286   22
15. Heidfeld      BMW Sauber           (B)  1:44.040  +1.580   23
16. Fisichella    Force India-Mercedes (B)  1:44.126  +1.666   17
17. Grosjean      Renault              (B)  1:44.356  +1.896   23
18. Trulli        Toyota               (B)  1:44.638  +2.178   26
19. Glock         Toyota               (B)  1:44.732  +2.272   28
20. Badoer        Ferrari              (B)  1:45.840  +3.380   25

All timing unofficial
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