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De la Rosa fastest in Istanbul

August 19, 2005 18:25 IST

Spain's Pedro de la Rosa lapped fastest for McLaren as the roar of Formula One cars echoed around the Turkish Grand Prix circuit in Istanbul for the first time on Friday.

The opening practice session was not without incident, both seven times world champion Michael Schumacher and Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello spinning off on the undulating anti-clockwise layout.

De la Rosa, who will not race on Sunday, then brought proceedings to a halt when his car came to a stop on the track with 11 minutes remaining.

Team mate and title contender Kimi Raikkonen was the second fastest race driver with a time of one minute 28.453 seconds compared to De la Rosa's 1:27.882.

The Finn, winner of the last race in Hungary, is 26 points adrift of Renault's championship leader Fernando Alonso with six rounds remaining.

Renault also lead McLaren by 12 points in the constructors' championship.

Australian Mark Webber was a surprising third quickest for Williams, ahead of Toyota test driver Ricardo Zonta, as all drivers had their first taste of the only new track in the championship this year.

Briton Jenson Button was fifth fastest for BAR with Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya compounding McLaren's strong showing with sixth place.

Schumacher was eighth fastest while Alonso was seventh.


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