Daily Archives: October 8, 2010

Toro Rosso and Force India retain drivers for 2011

It has been announced today that both the Toro Rosso and Force India teams are to retain their driver line-up for the 2011 season.

Both Force India and Toro Rosso are to keep their drivers for 2011

Both Force India and Toro Rosso are to keep their drivers for 2011

There had been rumours around that both teams were considering driver changes, but all of that appears to have been put to one side as Sebastien Buemi, Jaime Alguersuari, Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi will continue to race for their respective teams.

This of course means that there is no space available for Paul di Resta, the highly rated test driver for Force India, and contracted to the Mercedes racing group. His only option is if there is a vacancy at Mercedes, which looks very unlikely.

 

Vettel stays on top in Suzuka FP2

Sebastian Vettel continued to extend his lead over the other drivers in Friday Practice this morning, as he set the fastest lap for the second time today in Suzuka. He was 3 tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.

Sebastian Vettel continued to lead FP2 today

Sebastian Vettel continued to lead FP2 today

Robert Kubica was again impressive in 3rd, although he had a high-speed spin into the gravel trap during the session, where he was lucky to keep the car going. In 4th and 5th were Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, though amazingly they were a full second slower than the Red Bulls.

Jenson Button was very close behind in 6th. Lewis Hamilton’s car was fully repaired from his crash in FP2 with 10 minutes to go, and only set 8 laps. His fastest was only enough for 13th place.

Vitaly Petrov was 7th, ahead of Michael Schumacher, Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg and Nico Rosberg. Kamui Kobayashi was 12th, after another eventful session of running wide multiple times. His team-mate Nick Heidfeld was 15th.

Vitantonio Liuzzi struggled behind the two Toro Rossos in 18th place. Heikki Kovalainen continued to be the fastest driver of the new teams in 19th, ahead of Jarno Trulli. Lucas di Grassi took back his race seat from Jerome D’Ambrosio and was 21st behind Timo Glock.

Times from FP2:

Pos.
Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’31.465 32
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’31.860 0.395 29
3 Robert Kubica Renault 1’32.200 0.735 32
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’32.362 0.897 34
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’32.519 1.054 35
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’32.533 1.068 28
7 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’32.703 1.238 32
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’32.831 1.366 27
9 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’32.842 1.377 26
10 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’32.851 1.386 26
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’32.880 1.415 26
12 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’33.471 2.006 31
13 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’33.481 2.016 8
14 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’33.564 2.099 16
15 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’33.697 2.232 33
16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’34.005 2.540 32
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’34.055 2.590 37
18 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’34.310 2.845 33
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’36.095 4.630 37
20 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’36.333 4.868 33
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’36.630 5.165 28
22 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’36.834 5.369 28
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’37.352 5.887 33
24 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’37.831 6.366 34

Hamilton crashes out in Japanese FP1 while Vettel leads

Continuing from his dominant victory last year, Sebastian Vettel lead the first practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka this morning.

 

Sebastian Vettel led the first practice session in Suzuka today

Sebastian Vettel led the first practice session in Suzuka today

 

However, Lewis Hamilton’s weekend got off to a terrible start, after crashing into the barriers at Degner, after setting only 9 laps. He ran wide, hit the gravel, and took off most of the front left suspension. He took no further part in the session.

Jenson Button had a simiar moment near the end of the session, but kept his car on track. Despite setting twice as many laps though, Button was 12th, half a second behind Hamilton in 5th.

Up front, Vettel led with a 1.32.585, though Mark Webber was well within striking distance, only 0.05 seconds behind his team-mate. Robert Kubica was half a second behind in 3rd. Adrian Sutil was another 0.5 slower in 4th.

Lewis Hamilton's car being removed from the track

Lewis Hamilton's car being removed from the track

Behind this group came the two Williams drivers, Schumacher, and Nick Heidfeld in 9th, 4 tenths quicker than Kamui Kobayashi.

The Ferraris were 11th and 13th, suggesting that they would be running heavy fuel loads. Vitaly Petrov struggled in 15th, while Buemi and Alguersuari were the slowest of the established teams. The 3 new teams were quite off the pace, with Heikki Kovalainen 4.3 seconds off Vettel’s time.

Jerome D’Ambrosio, in his first practice session in a Formula 1 car, was 22nd, and only 4 tenths off Timo Glock. Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto filled the back row.

Times from FP1:

Pos.
Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’32.585 23
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’32.633 0.048 23
3 Robert Kubica Renault 1’33.129 0.544 23
4 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’33.639 1.054 13
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’33.643 1.058 9
6 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’33.677 1.092 21
7 Nico Hülkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’33.707 1.122 24
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’33.739 1.154 20
9 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’33.791 1.206 23
10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’33.831 1.246 9
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’33.929 1.344 25
12 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’34.042 1.457 19
13 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’34.169 1.584 23
14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’34.271 1.686 19
15 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’34.373 1.788 24
16 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’34.379 1.794 21
17 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’34.991 2.406 26
18 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’35.684 3.099 22
19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’36.949 4.364 25
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’37.329 4.744 17
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’37.388 4.803 23
22 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’37.778 5.193 23
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’38.814 6.229 28
24 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’39.443 6.858 26
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