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Top two dominate European GP practice


Nurburg : McLaren and Ferrari look set for a close battle at the European Grand Prix after both topped the timesheets in the two practice sessions Friday.

Briton Lewis Hamilton was fastest at the Nurburgring for McLaren in the morning, while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was quickest in the afternoon session, reports BBC.

Hamilton set the fastest lap overall with one minute 32.515 seconds compared to Finn Raikkonen's 1:33.339.

Fernando Alonso, Hamilton's fellow McLaren driver, trailed the pair in both runs.

Hamilton and McLaren are looking to reassert their authority at the top of the drivers' and constructors' standings after Ferrari's recent resurgence.

Raikkonen has won the last two races but was second to Hamilton by 0.236 seconds at the end of the first session.

Hamilton has been suffering from flu since Sunday and had been ordered to rest Wednesday after his media engagements.

He recovered enough to continue his impressive form this season and again overshadow world champion Alonso, who was third and fourth respectively in the two sessions.

Hamilton had to make do with second fastest later on as he wrestled with Raikkonen on a wetter track after a midday shower to claim top spot.

The 22-year-old endured a spin on to a run-off area near the end of the session but appears in a strong position to challenge for a third win of the season.

He is 12 points ahead of Alonso in the drivers' standings, with Raikkonen 18 adrift and the Finn's Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa one point further back.

And Alonso said: "There are still four drivers fighting for the championship.

"All of them have opportunities to win, but the one with the best is Lewis because he's first and leading with 12 points.

"The second who has the best chance is me, because I'm second now, and then there is Raikkonen and Massa."