Massa fastest in practice 1 - Turkey

Felipe Massa got his bid for a third successive Turkish Grand Prix victory off to an ideal start by topping the first free practice session at Istanbul

Massa fastest in practice 1 - Turkey

While his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen had to sit out most of the session with a gearbox issue, Massa led the way with a 1:27.323 lap, one tenth of a second ahead of McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen.

The Finn proved there were no lasting effects from his Barcelona crash by beating teammate Lewis Hamilton to second place.

The session got off to an extremely quiet start. Several large damp patches around the circuit - caused by late track cleaning rather than rain - dissuaded drivers from attempting flying laps and left the frustrated teams sitting in the pits waiting for the surface to dry as low track temperatures exacerbated the situation.

Forty minutes elapsed before Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais finally broke the deadlock and put a laptime on the board, encouraging others to leave the garage and finally get the action underway.

Grip remained scarce even then, with the cold conditions making it difficult for drivers to generate sufficient temperature in the harder Bridgestones.

Kazuki Nakajima (Williams), Adrian Sutil (Force India), Jarno Trulli (Toyota), Massa and Hamilton all spun or went off the road in the slippery Turn 3 to 6 complex on their first runs, while Sutil's teammate Giancarlo Fisichella rotated on the exit of Turn 7.

The challenging Turn 8 also caught out several drivers, with Robert Kubica's BMW, David Coulthard's Red Bull, Massa and Sutil visiting the run-off area even as conditions improved.

Kovalainen held the early advantage with a 1:28.283 lap, 0.2 seconds faster than Hamilton managed initially. Ferrari took longer to get up to speed, with Massa lapping a second off the McLarens' pace at first before improving to 1:27.675.

Kovalainen soon closed to within a tenth of Massa's time, before the Brazilian improved to 1:27.323 on his final run.

Massa's teammate barely participated in the session. Raikkonen came out for three laps mid-session as the track dried, but lapped two seconds off the pace and then returned to the garage with a gearbox problem which would sideline him for the rest of the morning, leaving the world champion at the bottom of the timing screens.

Behind Massa and the McLarens, Fernando Alonso's strong form continued as he set the fourth fastest time for Renault.

It was a promising morning for Honda, with Jenson Button and record-breaker Rubens Barrichello taking fifth and eighth places, split by the impressive Nakajima and Nick Heidfeld (BMW). Renault's Nelson Piquet and Toyota's Timo Glock completed the top ten.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:27.323 16 2. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:27.456 + 0.133 17 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:27.752 + 0.429 15 4. Alonso Renault (B) 1:28.284 + 0.961 16 5. Button Honda (B) 1:28.919 + 1.596 12 6. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:29.002 + 1.679 19 7. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:29.024 + 1.701 21 8. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:29.068 + 1.745 11 9. Piquet Renault (B) 1:29.082 + 1.759 23 10. Glock Toyota (B) 1:29.103 + 1.780 19 11. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:29.329 + 2.006 24 12. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:29.330 + 2.007 7 13. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:29.367 + 2.044 20 14. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:29.756 + 2.433 23 15. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:29.811 + 2.488 23 16. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:30.088 + 2.765 21 17. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:30.340 + 3.017 13 18. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:30.388 + 3.065 19 19. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:30.426 + 3.103 21 20. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:30.732 + 3.409 3 All Timing Unofficial 

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