McLaren fastest in Turkish Grand Prix practice

Britain's Lewis Hamilton and Formula One champion Jenson Button led a McLaren one-two at the top of the timesheets in first free practice for the Turkish Grand Prix today.

Hamilton, the 2008 champion, was nearly a second quicker than his compatriot with a best lap of one minute 28.653 seconds around the undulating anti-clockwise Istanbul Park track to the Asian side of the city.



Button, last year's winner in Turkey with what he described then as a 'monster' of a Brawn, was 0.962 slower with seven times world champion Michael Schumacher third for Mercedes with a time 1.097 slower than Hamilton's.



The German was followed by two compatriots, team mate Nico Rosberg and Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel, who was 1.2 seconds off the leading pace.



Friday was Vettel's first chance to try out a different chassis, dubbed 'Randy Mandy' and used previously only in pre-season testing, at a grand prix weekend after a defect was discovered in the car he had used for the past six races.



Friday practice is more morale-boosting than indicative of true performance however, although Red Bull's championship leader Mark Webber warned on Thursday that the McLarens could be a real threat.



"We saw in Barcelona that things were a little bit different," the Australian, who is level with Vettel on 78 points after six races, reminded reporters.



"Lewis was our closest competitor in that Grand Prix, so you can argue that if we had a Turkish Grand Prix after Barcelona, you might say that the McLaren might be the guys that might be our challengers here.



"But we're also mindful of the fact that Ferrari, and also if Mercedes have a clean weekend, there's lots of guys that can come towards us, so we're definitely not taking anything for granted," he added.



Webber, winner of the last two races at the fast Spanish track and then on the winding streets of Monaco, was eighth fastest.



Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, third in the championship ahead of his team's 800th race, was ninth.



Force India's German Adrian Sutil had the only accident of the session, the German losing control through the difficult Turn Eight in the closing minutes and spinning into the barriers.



Brazilian Bruno Senna sat out morning practice for HRT, his place going to test driver Sakon Yamamoto. The Japanese was 7.4 seconds off the pace and more than a second slower than Indian Karun Chandhok in the other HRT.



News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
tv

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
John Moore inspired this Coca Cola Christmas advert
people

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Jamie Oliver’s version of Jollof rice led thousands of people to post angry comments on his website
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film

Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study

Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
film
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes