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Rosberg, Nakajima enjoy Spanish outing

NICO Rosberg led a Williams 1-2 at the top of the timesheets in practice for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona yesterday after championship leader Jenson Button set the pace in the morning.

Germany's Rosberg, who has been fastest in eight of the season's 14 practice sessions to date without finishing higher than sixth in a race, lapped the Circuit de Catalunya in 1:21.588 seconds.

Japanese teammate Kazuki Nakajima, who has yet to score a point this year after finishing only one of the four races, was second 0.152 slower in an afternoon session that saw Spain's double world champion Fernando Alonso third for Renault.

Rosberg's afternoon was clouded late in the second session when he pulled off the track and parked up with a mechanical problem.

Button, chasing his fourth win in five races for Brawn GP, made a dream start in the morning with a best lap of 1:21.799 and was sixth later on.

The leading times were all well inside Kimi Raikkonen's 2008 pole position for Ferrari of 1:21.813.

Today's qualifying, at a circuit familiar to all teams from pre-season testing, will be crucial for a race that has been won by the driver on pole position for the past eight years.

Toyota's Italian Jarno Trulli was second in the morning ahead of the BMW-Saubers of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld.

Champion Ferrari introduced a revamped car, with significant changes that included a new rear diffuser and aerodynamic package, after suffering its most disappointing start to a season since the championship started in 1950. There was no obvious improvement, however.

Brazilian Felipe Massa, who was overall runner-up last year but has yet to score a point from the opening races, was ninth quickest in the morning and 15th in the second session. His teammate Raikkonen, the 2007 champion whose last victory was in Barcelona a year ago, has an altogether new chassis but was only 11th and 10th respectively.

McLaren's world champion Lewis Hamilton was 13th in the afternoon.


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