Sat, Mar 28, 2009 - Page 20 News List

F1: Rosberg's Williams fastest in Australian GP practice


Nico Rosberg powers his Williams through a corner during the second practice session for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.


Success-starved Williams, Toyota and Formula One newcomers Brawn signaled they could be ready for breakthrough wins by dominating practice yesterday ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The presence of those three teams atop the time sheets will infuriate their rivals, some of whom are convinced their bodywork is illegal.

Williams, Toyota and Brawn showed impressive pace, aided by the additional down-force created by their rear diffusers which rival teams claim are too large and infringe new aerodynamics rules.

The three teams are racing under appeal this weekend, with other teams set to challenge the legality of their cars following next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Williams’ Nico Rosberg was quickest in both the opening and second sessions, posting a best of 1 minute, 26.053 seconds in yesterday’s second session.

Brawn’s Rubens Barrichello was second fastest in the second session with 1 minute, 26.157 seconds, ahead of Toyota’s Jarno Trulli on 1 minute, 26.350 seconds.

Australia’s Mark Webber steered his Red Bull to a fourth quickest time in the second session after a reliability issue in the opening stint.

Brawn’s Jenson Button was sixth in session two, ahead of Toyota’s Timo Glock, Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima and Red Bull’s Sebastien Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton, last year’s winner in Australia and the reigning world champion, was 16th in the first session and 18th in the second, lending credence to his pre-race predictions that his McLaren would struggle for competitiveness in Melbourne.

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were 10th and 11th best in the second session.

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