Friday, September 21, 2012

Practice One: Vettel leads title rivals

Reigning World Champ Sebastian Vettel set the pace in a damp first practice in Singapore, edging the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton by 0.049s

With the track very wet in some places and completely dry in others after an earlier rain shower, Practice One got underway with a tentative 2:24.476 for Timo Glock.
With thirty minutes gone only four drivers had set times with Jean-Eric Vergne in the P1 slot with a 2:04.866, which put him two-tenths up on Romain Grosjean, who is back in his Lotus having served his one-race ban.
Nico Hulkenberg was the next to lead the way before he was dropped by Fernando Alonso who clocked a 2:01.573 as the sun set over the Marina Bay circuit and the lights begun to take effect. He lost out to Kamui Kobayashi, who was the first driver into the 1:50s as he posted a 1:58.550.
Halfway through the session the top three were Kobayashi - down to a 1:54.017 - Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, however, only 14 drivers had set times with Sebastian Vettel and the two McLarens not amongst those who had.
Rosberg hit the front with a 1:53.416 as his team-mate joined the list of those riding the kerbs. The kerbs have had some work done to them since last season when several came loose during the course of the weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen overhauled Rosberg with a 1:53.268 as Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton finally made their mark on the timesheets with 35 minutes remaining. They went ninth and 15th on their first flying laps.
Sergio Perez had a turn at the top as did Sebastian Vettel, Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado, Vettel again and Hamilton. The McLaren driver, who won the 2009 Singapore GP, lowered the benchmark to a 1:51.172.
As the clock counted down - and the chance of rain this session decreased - Vettel hit the front and held onto the position through the final 20 minutes. Hamilton came the closest to his time, 0.049s adrift, while a late charge from Button put him third. He was, however, still 0.893s down with Alonso the only other driver to get within a second of Vettel's best.
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:50.566 24 laps
02 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:50.615 0.049 15 laps
03 Jenson Button McLaren 1:51.459 0.893 17 laps
04 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:51.525 0.959 20 laps
05 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:51.576 1.010 20 laps
06 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:51.655 1.089 19 laps
07 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:51.658 1.092 24 laps
08 Paul di Resta Force India 1:51.943 1.377 21 laps
09 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:52.275 1.709 24 laps
10 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:52.296 1.730 19 laps
11 Bruno Senna Williams 1:52.629 2.063 25 laps
12 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:52.716 2.150 16 laps
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:52.839 2.273 23 laps
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:52.986 2.420 21 laps
15 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:53.028 2.462 20 laps
16 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:53.080 2.514 17 laps
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:53.189 2.623 25 laps
18 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:53.227 2.661 26 laps
19 Timo Glock Marussia 1:54.908 4.342 20 laps
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:55.091 4.525 16 laps
21 Charles Pic Marussia 1:55.335 4.769 22 laps
22 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:55.760 5.194 22 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:56.656 6.090 21 laps
24 Ma Qing Hua HRT 1:58.053 7.487 20 laps

Source: Planet-F1

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