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DATE News (chronologically)
03/16/07
f1
Melbourne Friday: Massa leads Ferrari 1-2
Felipe Massa led a Ferrari one-two in the second practice session in Melbourne Friday afternoon.  Like he did the entire off-season, Massa was faster than his much heralded Ferrari teammate Raikkonen, who replaces Michael Schumacher. 

Race rookie Lewis Hamilton was third for McLaren, ahead of Fisichella (Renault), Nick Heidfeld (BMW) and Williams' Alex Wurz.

World champion Fernando Alonso is seventh.

True to the prediction for changeable weather, light rain started falling during the final free practice session in Melbourne on Friday.

It caught a few spinning drivers out, but lap times were not overly affected.  Air temperatures hovered around a cool 20 degrees (C).

The session was red-flagged at 2.46pm local time to remove the crashed Honda of Rubens Barrichello.  He spun in the final corner after putting a wheel on the grass and hit the barriers lightly with the rear of his earth-liveried RA107 car.

Rubens Barrichello admitted to making a driving error after making light contact with the Albert Park barriers on Friday afternoon. The incident brought out the red flags for fifteen minutes.

"I just put a wheel on the grass," Honda's Brazilian said as he walked back to pit lane, "but before I spun I was quite encouraged by the pace."

Shortly before that, Heikki Kovalainen's Renault ground to a halt at turn five with an apparent mechanical failure.

Local hero Mark Webber's (pictured right) day of practice at Albert Park ended early after he coasted into pit lane with a silent Red Bull.

Mechanics worked at the rear of the car and paddock whispers suggested a possible engine or gearbox issue.

If the Renault V8 needs to be replaced, the Australian driver will avoid penalty thanks to the revised weekend format for the 2007 season.

Webber ended the session seventeenth quickest.

Giancarlo Fisichella rounded out a miserable Friday for defending champions Renault by stopping at turn three.  Teammate Heikki Kovalainen also brought his R27 to a halt earlier in the second practice session with an unknown mechanical problem.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen became the first driver in 2007 to cop an FIA speeding fine, but at 200 Euros for exceeding the 60kph pit lane speed limit by 1.7kph, it is unlikely to break the Finn's bank.

Pos  Driver        Team                Time              Laps
 1.  Massa         Ferrari            1:27.353           32
 2.  Raikkonen     Ferrari            1:27.750 + 0.397   33
 3.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes   1:27.829 + 0.476   29
 4.  Fisichella    Renault            1:27.941 + 0.588   33
 5.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber         1:27.970 + 0.617   27
 6.  Wurz          Williams-Toyota    1:27.981 + 0.628   31
 7.  Alonso        McLaren-Mercedes   1:28.040 + 0.687   25
 8.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota    1:28.055 + 0.702   29
 9.  Kubica        BMW Sauber         1:28.281 + 0.928   26
10.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault   1:28.495 + 1.142   23
11.  Davidson      Super Aguri-Honda  1:28.727 + 1.374   28
12.  Trulli        Toyota             1:28.921 + 1.568   33
13.  Sato          Super Aguri-Honda  1:29.009 + 1.656   23
14.  Button        Honda              1:29.066 + 1.713   30
15.  Barrichello   Honda              1:29.542 + 2.189   12
16.  R.Schumacher  Toyota             1:29.574 + 2.221   26
17.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault   1:29.801 + 2.448   11
18.  Kovalainen    Renault            1:30.097 + 2.744   10
19.  Speed         Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:30.383 + 3.030   28
20.  Sutil         Spyker-Ferrari     1:31.108 + 3.755   35
21.  Albers        Spyker-Ferrari     1:31.175 + 3.822   32
22.  Liuzzi        Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:31.693 + 4.340   16

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