McLaren makes a lot of progress on French Friday

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Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen finished Friday's second Free Practice for the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours in fourth and seventh positions respectively. Lewis completed 29 laps and set a time of 1m16.232 whilst Heikki did 36 laps and ended the day with a 1m16.340. In the morning session, Lewis was second fastest with a 1m16.002 (22 laps) ahead of Heikki with a 1m16.055 (20 laps).

Lewis Hamilton: "We made a great deal of progress this morning and seemed to get the car dialled in nicely to the circuit. This afternoon, I unfortunately had a twitchy moment at the exit of Turn Three and ran wide into the gravel. It cut short my run with no major damage and slightly disturbed our run programme. At the end of the session, we tried out a new Safety Car timing system, which still needs a little more work at the moment. But today has shown we’re looking quick this weekend."

Heikki Kovalainen: "This is a circuit I’ve always enjoyed - the sweeping corners and fast chicanes really suit my style and I quickly felt at home. It’s been a pretty straightforward day: during the afternoon, we worked on the set-up and tyre comparison runs without any problems. I’m happy with the balance of the car in both the slow and fast corners and I’m looking forward to tomorrow."

Ron Dennis/ "Heikki had a straightforward run through practice, but there was some disruption to Lewis’s programme this afternoon. He had a couple of offs - one of which damaged a nosecone. But today has been very constructive, we concentrated on our race set-up, and both our drivers seem pleased with their cars. We’re looking quite quick."

Norbert Haug: "It looks as if the times completed under racing conditions are quite close. But - as usual on Fridays - we only will know more about where we are in comparison to our competitors tomorrow."