Massa quickest in practice 1 - France

Felipe Massa was fastest for Ferrari by a comfortable seven tenths of a second in an uneventful opening practice session for the French Grand Prix

Massa quickest in practice 1 - France

The McLarens were second and third quickest, with Lewis Hamilton fractionally quicker than teammate Heikki Kovalainen, while Kimi Raikkonen completed the top four in the second Ferrari.

It took almost half an hour before the session got underway in earnest, with Williams' Nico Rosberg finally becoming the first man to set a flying lap after 26 minutes.

Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) then briefly had a turn on top, before the leading contenders all emerged as practice neared the halfway point.

Kovalainen and Massa both led the way for a few minutes, but it was Hamilton who ended up at the head of the timing screens with a 1:16.002, and he remained fastest until Massa re-emerged just after the hour mark.

The Brazilian produced three laps beneath Hamilton's benchmark, eventually ending up on a 1:15.450, while Hamilton went wide at the Adelaide hairpin on his equivalent run and failed to improve.

Massa then shaved a further tenth off his time when he rejoined for a final run, lapping in 1:15.306 to cement his dominant position.

Hamilton remained second, while Kovalainen was fortunate to avoid an accident on his last lap when he ran wide into the Estoril gravel trap at high-speed and came close to hitting the concrete wall as he wrestled the car back under control.

Raikkonen was 0.767 seconds slower than Massa in fourth, ahead of championship leader Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber), who was one second off the pace in fifth place.

Fernando Alonso took sixth place, but stopped on the approach to the 180 corner in the final minutes after suffering what appeared to be a substantial engine failure. The Renault came to a halt in the run-off area with white smoke bellowing from its rear end.

Jarno Trulli escaped a quick spin at the Adelaide hairpin to take seventh for Toyota, with Vettel, Nick Heidfeld (BMW) and Timo Glock (Toyota) completing the top ten.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:15.306 22 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:16.002 + 0.696 22 3. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:16.055 + 0.749 20 4. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:16.073 + 0.767 21 5. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:16.377 + 1.071 19 6. Alonso Renault (B) 1:16.400 + 1.094 23 7. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:16.758 + 1.452 32 8. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:16.838 + 1.532 27 9. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:16.870 + 1.564 21 10. Glock Toyota (B) 1:16.886 + 1.580 31 11. Piquet Renault (B) 1:17.063 + 1.757 31 12. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:17.234 + 1.928 21 13. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:17.269 + 1.963 22 14. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:17.394 + 2.088 30 15. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:17.491 + 2.185 25 16. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:17.683 + 2.377 27 17. Nakajima  Williams-Toyota (B) 1:17.696 + 2.390 25 18. Button Honda (B) 1:17.928 + 2.622 21 19. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:18.072 + 2.766 27 20. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:18.673 + 3.367 13 

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