Hamilton fifth fastest in European GP practice

PUBLISHED: 19:12 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:27 26 October 2009

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2008, GP of Hungary, Ungarn, ungarischer, 22 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes),
 *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

Motorsports / Formula 1: World Championship 2008, GP of Hungary, Ungarn, ungarischer, 22 Lewis Hamilton (GBR, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes), *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel +++

HOCH ZWEI / Michael Kunkel

LEWIS Hamilton was slightly off the pace in today s free practice sessions for the European Grand Prix in Valencia. The 23-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen finished today s second session for the European race in f

LEWIS Hamilton was slightly off the pace in today's free practice sessions for the European Grand Prix in Valencia.

The 23-year-old Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen finished today's second session for the European race in fifth and sixth positions respectively after getting stuck in traffic.

Driving on the new Valencia street circuit, Lewis completed 31 laps and set a fastest time of 1 minute 39.712 seconds.

This morning, Lewis was third with a 1 min 40.822 secs after completing 21 laps

However, the Formula 1 star from Tewin was satisfied with the progress the team made ahead of Sunday's race.

World Championship leader Hamilton said: "Considering the dustiness of the track, we made a very promising start on set-up this morning.

"We were able to go quicker on each run without changing too much and we took a very good baseline into the afternoon session.

"In P2, our adjustments were again spot-on but the sheer volume of traffic meant it was difficult to immediately confirm our final set-up changes.

"Nonetheless, we're in pretty good shape and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

This weekend marks the 200th grand prix for the McLaren-Mercedes partnership, which began at the 1995 Brazilian Grand Prix.

The team has achieved 57 Formula 1 victories, 59 pole positions, two drivers' championships - for Mika Häkkinen in 1998 and '99 - and one constructors' title in 1998.

Qualifying takes place on Saturday and the grand prix on Sunday.

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