Friday, September 24, 2010

Practice One: Damp track but damper on action

A damp track at the start of Singapore's practice resulted in a rather boring session with the title contenders leaving it extremely late to make their mark

Although heavy showers were forecast for Friday, they had already run their course by the time Practice One got underway, leaving behind a damp Marina Bay Circuit.

As a result only 15 drivers set lap times in the first 70 minutes; when the track was at its worst they were cautious resulting in not a single accident or even a mistake worth noting; and the first of the Championship contenders, Jenson Button, waited until 14 minutes were left in the session before even setting time.

However, the final few minutes made up for the lack of excitement as the contenders hit the track, sparking a furious battle for supremacy.

It was eventually won by Mark Webber with a 1:54.589 while Michael Schumacher lost out on a P1 finish by 0.119s. Adrian Sutil was third quickest ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Jaime Alguersuari and Jenson Button.

As for the other two title contenders, Fernando Alonso was P11 and Lewis Hamilton P18.

Report: Despite thunderstorms earlier in the day, Practice One got underway with no signs of rain, although there were still quite a few puddles remaining on the street circuit. Heikki Kovalainen, Kamui Kobayashi, Tonio Liuzzi, Jaime Alguersuari and Christian Klien, who is filling in for Sakon Yamamoto this weekend, were the first out for their installation laps, quickly followed by the rest of the pack.

Klien was the first to post a lap time, crossing the line with a very tentative 2:18.621. Vitaly Petrov, who is not running Renault's f-duct this session, easily overhauled the Austrian racer. Michael Schumacher joined the action, taking the P1 slot before losing out to Timo Glock with a 2:03.286.

Felipe Massa was the first of the big-name runners to venture out, doing so half an hour into the session. However, he could only manage the fifth-best time on his first attempt while Glock lowered the benchmark. More drivers hit the track with Rubens Barrichello putting his Williams up into third place before he was dropped by his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg. Barrichello improved to second place while Alguersuari slotted in behind Hulkenberg and Nick Heidfeld, who is back in F1 with Sauber, claimed eighth place.

With the floodlights taking over and a bit of a dry line forming, Alguersuari moved to the front of the pack with a 2:00.655 while Petrov improved to second place and Kobayashi took fourth behind Glock before hitting the front with a 1:59.900. Schumacher, back on track after a period in the Merc GP garage, slotted into second place before he was dropped as Petrov claimed the P1 slot. Schumacher went on to go quickest before he was overhauled by Kobayashi with a 1:58.025.

With 30 minutes remaining, only 15 drivers had set times with both McLaren drivers, Red Bull drivers and Fernando Alonso yet to make their mark on the timesheets. Adrian Sutil moved up to third place while Massa came the closest of
anyone all session to putting his car into the barriers - but he didn't. Another minor mistake from Massa but he still managed to improve to third place behind Kobayashi and Schumacher.

Alonso ventured out with 20 minutes on the clock, only to pit without setting a lap time. But with a new nosecone on his F10, he headed back out while Jenson Button joined the action, taking 14th place on his first lap. Button moved up to tenth place while Mark Webber took 11th, Lewis Hamilton P12 and Sebastian Vettel, P16. Still no times for Alonso and Robert Kubica.

The final few minutes saw Button take control with a 1:56.228 before he was overhauled by Sutil. Vettel was the next to top the charts with a 1:55.137 before he was beaten by Schumacher who in turn lost out to Webber.


01. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:54.589 10 laps
02. Schumacher Mercedes 1:54.708 + 0.119 24 laps
03. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:54.827 + 0.238 15 laps
04. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:55.137 + 0.548 12 laps
05. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:55.160 + 0.571 20 laps
06. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:55.333 + 0.744 12 laps
07. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:55.510 + 0.921 15 laps
08. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:55.523 + 0.934 15 laps
09. Kubica Renault 1:55.672 + 1.083 11 laps
10. Petrov Renault 1:55.914 + 1.325 20 laps
11. Alonso Ferrari 1:56.090 + 1.501 12 laps
12. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:56.339 + 1.750 22 laps
13. Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1:56.458 + 1.869 18 laps
14. Rosberg Mercedes 1:56.598 + 2.009 8 laps
15. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:56.603 + 2.014 12 laps
16. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:56.615 + 2.026 17 laps
17. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:56.840 + 2.251 14 laps
18. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:56.884 + 2.295 9 laps
19. Massa Ferrari 1:57.760 + 3.171 22 laps
20. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:59.034 + 4.445 19 laps
21. D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:59.275 + 4.686 16 laps
22. Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:59.783 + 5.194 23 laps
23. Klien HRT-Cosworth 2:03.424 + 8.835 17 laps
24. Fauzi Lotus-Cosworth 2:05.694 + 11.105 11 laps

Source: Planet-F1

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