Wurz Quickest in Practice 1 - Germany

McLaren took the early advantage in Friday's opening practice for the German Grand Prix when test driver Alex Wurz topped the times as closest rivals Renault chose to stay in the garage and limit their mileage

Wurz Quickest in Practice 1 - Germany

McLaren made the most of their third car advantage to allow Wurz to run 21 laps as he set a best time of 1:14.277 to beat Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta to the top spot by 0.616 seconds.

Under overcast skies with temperatures of 21 degrees the McLarens were dominant and Kimi Raikkonen, who is 26 points down on Championship leader Fernando Alonso, was the fastest race driver some 1.357 seconds off the pace in third.

His teammate Juan Pablo Montoya finished fifth fastest, just behind Briton Jenson Button in his BAR-Honda, while World Champion Michael Schumacher and Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello claimed sixth and seventh respectively.

Vitantonio Liuzzi was eighth fastest in Red Bull Racing's third car while Takuma Sato, in the second BAR-Honda, and Ralf Schumacher, in the second Toyota, completed the top ten runners.

Alonso, who only needs to continue finishing in the high points positions to secure the title, joined his Renault teammate Giancarlo Fisichella in not to setting a timed lap as they limited running to maximise engine reliability.

Nicolas Kiesa, making his debut for Jordan in their third car, was the first driver out on track but Alex Wurz, who replaced Pedro de la Rosa in the third McLaren, set the first time of the day with a lap of 1:17.376.

Christian Klien was off the circuit within three minutes of the session when he made a mistake at turn nine but he returned to the track, as did Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan, who went off at turns six and one respectively.

The session saw Zonta and Wurz continually swapping times with Zonta on top with half the session gone, then Wurz bettered it, Zonta moved back ahead again and finally Wurz claimed the top spot.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:14.277 21 2. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:14.893 + 0.616 27 3. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:15.634 + 1.357 9 4. Button BAR-Honda (M) 1:15.851 + 1.574 16 5. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:15.901 + 1.624 9 6. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:16.259 + 1.982 20 7. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:16.280 + 2.003 17 8. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:16.733 + 2.456 26 9. Sato BAR-Honda (M) 1:16.795 + 2.518 16 10. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:17.197 + 2.920 14 11. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:17.277 + 3.000 14 12. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:17.341 + 3.064 14 13. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:17.423 + 3.146 13 14. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:17.442 + 3.165 13 15. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:17.665 + 3.388 10 16. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:17.689 + 3.412 10 17. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:18.132 + 3.855 8 18. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:18.988 + 4.711 21 19. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:19.151 + 4.874 19 20. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:19.400 + 5.123 19 21. Kiesa Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:19.933 + 5.656 25 22. Doornbos Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:20.108 + 5.831 17 23. Fisichella Renault (M) No Time 2 24. Alonso Renault (M) No Time 2 All timing unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Author Will Gray
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