The first day of running for the Gran Premio de Espana Telefonica saw McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso set the fastest practice session times in preparation for the fourth round of the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship and the first race held in Europe.
Hamilton set the fastest time of 1min 21.880secs in the morning 90 minute session held under glorious sunshine at the Circuit de Catalunya. The British joint drivers' championship leader was almost four tenths faster than team-mate Alonso. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) set the third and fourth fastest times.
Alonso was the only driver in the 1min 21s for much of the latter part of the second practice session, but the Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen joined him there with Fisichella under three tenths adrift at the end of the 90 minutes. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) set the fourth fastest time.
Kees van de Grint, Bridgestone Motorsport Head of Track Engineering Operations: Today it looks like the Bridgestone Potenzas provided a very good balance for all competitors. It is becoming very close in terms of lap times and we saw twelve cars set times in the 1min 22s and the entire grid separated by under 2.5 seconds, but Alonso certainly knows his way around his home circuit. Both the hard and the medium compound worked very well, but as a consequence of this the difference in lap time between the two is very small, which means strategy will very much be a case of driver preference. The new track layout has not affected the tyres and the higher temperature compared to last week's test has meant there is less difference between the two compounds.