Friday, November 2, 2012

Practice One: Hamilton dominates in Abu Dhabi

There was no stopping Lewis Hamilton in Friday's first practice in Abu Dhabi as the McLaren driver not only posted the fastest time but also had an answer every time his rivals attacked

Practice One got underway on a sweltering hot track with several changes to the usual line-up as Max Chilton replaced Charles Pic, Giedo van der Garde was in for Vitaly Petrov, Jules Bianchi at Force India, Valtteri Bottas at Williams while Ma Qing Hua climbed into Narain Karthikeyan's HRT.
Chilton posted the first time of the session but it was a slow 2:27.380 as the Brit carried out out aero testing that included constant-speed runs down the long straights.
Jean-Eric Vergne was the first to post a competitive time, a 1:48.885, which put him at the top at the 30 minute mark. That point, though, also signalled the arrival of others out on track as the action finally heated up.
15 minutes later, 14 more drivers had posted times and it was Bottas, who is chasing a 2013 Williams race-seat, leading only to lose out to Michael Schumacher. The Mercedes driver, contesting his third last F1 grand prix weekend, posted a 1:45.309.
Fernando Alonso, driving an upgraded Ferrari that his mechanics broke curfew to update this morning, was the next to lead the way, 0.2s up on Schumacher, while his title rival Sebastian Vettel climbed to fifth.
The contenders, though, were no match for Lewis Hamilton's pace as the McLaren driver leapt to the top of the timesheets by a full second as he became the first to break into the 1:44s.
The Brit was leading the way as the session entered its final 30 minutes ahead of team-mate Jenson Button with Vettel third and Alonso fourth.
The final third kicked off with quicker times from Button, Vettel and Mark Webber but they were undone by Hamilton putting in yet another spate of purple sector times to lower the benchmark to a 1:43.285 thereby extending his advantage to 0.749.
The leaders headed back into the pits before returning to the track for their final run of the session. However, there were more errors than improvements as several headed out on heavy fuel loads and had to establish how hard they could push.
Practice One ended with Hamilton at the top of the timesheets with a 1:43.285, 0.333s ahead of Button while Vettel was a further 0.43s adrift.
01 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:43.285 21 laps
02 Jenson Button McLaren 1:43.618 0.333 19 laps
03 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:44.050 0.765 23 laps
04 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:44.366 1.081 21 laps
05 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:44.542 1.257 22 laps
06 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:44.694 1.409 23 laps
07 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:45.115 1.830 26 laps
08 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:45.194 1.909 19 laps
09 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:45.347 2.062 25 laps
10 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:45.422 2.137 15 laps
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:45.567 2.282 24 laps
12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:45.587 2.302 20 laps
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:45.722 2.437 20 laps
14 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:45.743 2.458 20 laps
15 Jules Bianchi Force India 1:45.769 2.484 22 laps
16 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:45.811 2.526 22 laps
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:46.649 3.364 24 laps
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:46.708 3.423 26 laps
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:47.418 4.133 23 laps
20 Timo Glock Marussia 1:47.891 4.606 21 laps
21 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:48.354 5.069 22 laps
22 Max Chilton Marussia 1:48.887 5.602 22 laps
23 Ma Qing Hua HRT 1:50.487 7.202 20 laps
Giedo van der Garde Caterham 3 laps

Source: Planet-F1

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