McLaren happy with competitive start to Turkish weekend

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Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen finished Friday's second Free Practice for the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul in second and fifth positions respectively. Lewis completed 31 laps and set a best time of 1m27.579 and was 36 thousandths of a second behind the fastest lap of the afternoon. Heikki did 27 laps and did 1m27.954. In the morning session, Heikki was second fastest with a 1m27.456 (17 laps) and Lewis ended up third with a 1m27.752 (15 laps).

Lewis Hamilton: "We focused on tyre evaluation and set-up work today and so far things are not looking too bad. Everybody lost a bit of running time in the first session as the track was still wet in places after cleaning. This circuit is constantly evolving which is challenging but also enjoyable. In the first session I stayed on the same set of tyres throughout and experienced no problems. In my last run of the day I put on a new set of tyres but had a small moment which cost me some time. Overall I am pleased with our initial pace and consistency."

Heikki Kovalainen: "It was nice to get back in the car again and everything was fine. I was on the pace immediately and was able to set some consistent lap times. At the end of the first session I went out on the option tyre but the brake temperature was not quite right, so I was not able to go flat out in that run. The second session went smoothly as well, and we focused on tyre evaluation with some long runs as well as looking at the set-up. A very productive and positive day."

Ron Dennis: "Two productive practice sessions where both drivers managed to complete their programme. Both were quick and consistent. A special mention to Heikki who went out for the first time since his accident and was fast immediately. We seem to be competitive and look forward to the rest of the weekend."

Norbert Haug: "A good first practice day. Lewis's and Heikki's lap times looked reasonable, and we completed our planned programme including tyre evaluation. The best news is that Heikki is back in his car, and he drove and worked with the team as we all know from him."