Friday, September 23, 2011

Practice One: Kerbs, crashes and fires in Singapore

Lewis Hamilton topped what proved to be an interesting first practice session in Singapore, which included kerb issues, crashes and a fire

Although the session was expected to run for 90 minutes, there were only 50 minutes of action as the start was delayed as marshals had to remove temporary kerbs.

Added to that, the kerb issue also took a further five minutes off near the session while an incident that left Mark Webber with a broken front wing and Timo Glock with a puncture also cost time due to red flags.

When the action was going on it was interesting with Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton trading fastest laps. But, in the end, it was Hamilton who came out on top with a 1:48.599.

Report: Practice got off to a delayed start as marshals needed time to clean up fluid spilt at Turn 14 while there were also concerns regarding some of the temporary kerbs, which had lifted during the earlier practices for the support races. The kerbing at Turn 3 and 14 was removed with drivers being informed they can cross the while line on the exits of both turns.

Once underway, 30 minutes later than scheduled and cut down to just 60 minutes, in hot and humid conditions, it was Jaime Alguersuari who led the field out for their installation laps. Timo Glock started his session a trip up an escape road at Turn 7 before rejoining the action.

Nico Rosberg posted the first time, a 1:57.351 while Bruno Senna added his name to the list of those struggling to find grip and running off the track. Rosberg was overhauled by his team-mate, Michael Schumacher, who in turn lost out to Mark Webber before Felipe Massa went fastest with a 1:52.043.

Webber was held up by Glock for two or three laps and when he finally made a move, Glock shut the door right on Webber's front wing. Broken wing for Webber, rear left puncture for Glock. The session was red flagged due to debris on the track.

And while Webber and Glock were limping back to the pits, Heikki Kovalainen pulled over at Turn 18 with his Team Lotus on fire from very hot front right brakes. The marshals were quickly on hand to put out the flames and pushed the car down an escape road.

Five minutes later the session was green flagged with Massa, Webber and Sebastian Vettel holding the top three places on the timesheets. Paul di Resta, Rubens Barrichello and Adrian Sutil all moved ahead of Vettel. But the entire order changed as Jenson Button went quickest only to lose out to reigning World Champ Vettel. Vettel lowered the benchmark time to a 1:49.656.

Lewis Hamilton was the next to lead the way with a 1:49.515 but seconds later Vettel again led the way, half a second up on the McLaren driver. Two laps later Hamilton again moved ahead of Vettel by 0.406s. While they were battling for the P1 slot, Massa almost became airborne by carrying too much speed and hitting the kerbs.

With eight minutes left on the clock, the session was red flagged as the kerb that Massa hit had been knocked loose with the bolt that should have been holding it in place sticking up in the air! The session was restarted with three minutes on the clock and a massive queue of drivers waiting to hit the track.

Practice One ended with Hamilton quickest of all with his 1:48.599 while Vettel was second, 0.406s off the pace. Webber was third ahead of Fernando Alonso, Button, Massa, Adrian Sutil and Schumacher.

01. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m48.599 10 laps
02. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m49.005 + 0.406 15 laps
03. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m50.066 + 1.467 16 laps
04. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m50.596 + 1.997 11 laps
05. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.952 + 2.353 12 laps
06. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m52.043 + 3.444 14 laps
07. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m52.251 + 3.652 13 laps
08. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m52.416 + 3.817 12 laps
09. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m52.435 + 3.836 13 laps
10. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m52.815 + 4.216 13 laps
11. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m52.991 + 4.392 17 laps
12. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m53.050 + 4.451 17 laps
13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m53.399 + 4.800 18 laps
14. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.703 + 5.104 19 laps
15. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.749 + 5.150 12 laps
16. Bruno Senna Renault 1m53.765 + 5.166 17 laps
17. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m53.785 + 5.186 16 laps
18. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m54.736 + 6.137 8 laps
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m54.821 + 6.222 9 laps
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m56.198 + 7.599 8 laps
21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m57.798 + 9.199 13 laps
22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m58.792 + 10.193 6 laps
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m59.169 + 10.570 17 laps
24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m59.214 + 10.615 18 laps

Source: Planet-F1

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