Felipe Massa topped the timesheets in opening practice for this weekend’s British Grand Prix, but Ferrari will have their work cut out to get his car ready for the second warm up session after the Brazilian crashed into the tyre wall.
Massa lapped an impressive 1m 19.575 to go quickest at the mid-way point, but the session was brought to a halt moments later when he careered rear-end-first into Stowe the same place that Michael Schumacher broke his legs in 1999 having lost control of his Ferrari on a trail of oil put down by Fernando Alonso, whose Renault engine let go moments earlier.
With the marshals electing to put white cement down over the oil on the racing line, some drivers appeared reluctant to venture out onto the track in the remaining 20 minutes. But that didn’t stop Kimi Raikkonen and the McLaren duo setting personal best times, despite taking being forced to take a different line into the Stowe corner.
Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton wound up within five hundredths of Massa, both drivers setting quicker sector one times, underlining the step forward that the Woking squad have made in the high-speed corners.
Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest, fourth tenths slower than Massa, ahead of Robert Kubica a further fourth tenths down the line.
Prior to his engine failure, Fernando Alonso had set an impressive pace for Renault and stayed sixth quickest.
Sebastian Vettel, the man widely tipped to step up into the vacant Red Bull Racing seat for next year, went quickest of all early in the session and eventually wound up seventh quickest, a second slower than Massa but ahead of Nelson Piquet (Renault), David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing) and Nico Rosberg (Williams) who complete the top ten.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:19.575 8 2. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:19.587 + 0.012 15 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:19.623 + 0.048 13 4. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:19.948 + 0.373 16 5. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:20.367 + 0.792 11 6. Alonso Renault (B) 1:20.436 + 0.861 7 7. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:20.588 + 1.013 18 8. Piquet Renault (B) 1:20.653 + 1.078 16 9. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:20.698 + 1.123 16 10. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:20.744 + 1.169 27 11. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:20.892 + 1.317 10 12. Glock Toyota (B) 1:21.102 + 1.527 22 13. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:21.107 + 1.532 18 14. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:21.166 + 1.591 17 15. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:21.265 + 1.690 22 16. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:21.282 + 1.707 21 17. Button Honda (B) 1:21.901 + 2.326 7 18. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:22.169 + 2.594 16 19. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:22.219 + 2.644 19 20. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:24.123 + 4.548 4