Ferrari were the team to beat in free practice session 1 of the Japanese Grand Prix. Felipe Massa had the quickest time for the majority of the session, however towards the end, Kimi Raikkonen put in a storming lap time of 1:19.119 to finish top of the timesheets.
The two McLarens finished in third and fourth spots with Alonso just over half a second behind Raikkonen, and Hamilton a tenth of a second behind his team-mate. Williams had a good practice with Nico Rosberg finishing in fifth and Alex Wurz in seventh. Splitting the two team-mates was the BMW-Sauber of Robert Kubica.
At the team s home Grand Prix, Jarno Trulli managed eighth for Toyota. His team-mate Ralf Schumacher had a poor session finishing 15th overall and also taking a spin at Turn 6 late in the session.
Adrian Sutil in the Spyker was one of the few drivers who opted to test the soft tyres. He managed an impressive ninth overall, just ahead of the Super Aguri of Anthony Davidson and the Honda of Rubens Barrichello.
Kovalainen and Heidfeld had poor results finishing 12th and 13th respectively. However both showed good form throughout the session and the placings are not really indicative of their true form.
The day was marred by several technical problems. Sakon Yamamoto and Sebastien both stopped on track, while local boy Takuma Sato spent an hour in the Super Aguri garage with the mechanics looking over the rear of his car.
Unofficial times for free practice 1 at the Japanese Grand Prix: