Tag Archives: Friday practice

Maldonado leads another rainy session in Germany

Maldonado made the most out of limited dry running

Maldonado made the most out of limited dry running

Pastor Maldonado surprisingly topped the timesheets for second practice for the German Grand Prix, but the session was again disrupted by rain, even heavier than that in FP1.

Michael Schumacher suffered the worst luck, crashing out with four minutes to go in the session. He languished in 23rd, having not set a time in the dryer conditions earlier on.

In the opening stages, only Bruno Senna went out on track, to assess his repaired car after Valtterri Bottas crashed his Williams in first practice.

As conditions improved, the Ferrari drivers and Romain Grosjean traded fastest laps at the top of the timesheets. While it momentarily appeared as if the track would be dry, rain quickly poured again, ruining all chances of car development for the teams.

As well as Schumacher, Daniel Ricciardo was also caught out in the tricky conditions, running wide and getting stuck in the gravel at turn 13.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:27.476           14
 2.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:27.564  +0.088   24
 3.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:27.902  +0.426   24
 4.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:28.402  +0.926   26
 5.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1:28.420  +0.944   20
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1:28.495  +1.019   22
 7.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:28.513  +1.037   23
 8.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:28.516  +1.040   16
 9.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:28.877  +1.401   21
10.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1:29.327  +1.851   22
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:29.364  +1.888   26
12.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:29.719  +2.243   15
13.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:29.785  +2.309   24
14.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:30.090  +2.614   19
15.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:30.220  +2.744   16
16.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1:30.291  +2.815   22
17.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:30.331  +2.855   26
18.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:30.437  +2.961   14
19.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:30.617  +3.141   16
20.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:31.207  +3.731   20
21.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:32.241  +4.765   22
22.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:32.349  +4.873   17
23.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:32.777  +5.301   18
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:42.566  +15.090   8

Button heads rain-disrupted Germany first practice

Button may have taken another step towards curing his recent poor pace

Button may have taken another step towards curing his recent poor pace

The rain once again made a mockery of the Formula 1 paddock, as the German Grand Prix weekend opened to persistent showers and rain. It was Jenson Button who took top spot, as he set his times early, avoiding the rain showers later on.

Teammate Lewis Hamilton was nearly half a second behind, with McLaren testing new sidepods for this weekend. Lewis’ time came at the end of the session, when the track began to dry out.

Williams test driver Valterri Bottas almost beat Button’s time, but a crash in the Stadium section at the end of his lap left him 13th overall.

While Pirelli attempted to run their experimental hard tyre today, the rain ruled out much signs of usable data. Mark Webber set his fastest time on the developing compound, but was 3.5 seconds off the pace in 20th place.

Lotus have brought a raft of upgrades to this Grand Prix, the most interesting being two “ear” intakes on each side of the engine intake. Kimi Raikkonen spent most of FP1 doing short runs, rarely setting a fast time. A “double DRS” system was planned to be raced, but after today’s washout the team have decided not to run the device.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1:16.595          27
 2.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1:17.093  +0.498  22
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1:17.370  +0.775  21
 4.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1:17.382  +0.787  20
 5.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1:17.413  +0.818  28
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1:17.599  +1.004  17
 7.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1:17.915  +1.320  27
 8.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1:17.995  +1.400  22
 9.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault        1:18.020  +1.425  20
10.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault           1:18.130  +1.535  21
11.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1:18.226  +1.631  22
12.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1:18.339  +1.744  21
13.  Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault        1:18.422  +1.827  28
14.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:18.709  +2.114  30
15.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault           1:18.831  +2.236  14
16.  Jules Bianchi         Force India-Mercedes    1:18.972  +2.377  21
17.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1:19.039  +2.444  34
18.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault        1:19.674  +3.079  24
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault        1:19.963  +3.368  24
20.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1:20.122  +3.527  27
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth       1:20.169  +3.574  20
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth       1:20.539  +3.944  18
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth            1:21.138  +4.543  24
24.  Dani Clos             HRT-Cosworth            1:21.740  +5.145  27

Vettel on top in Valencia second practice

Sebastian Vettel reitered Red Bull’s fast pace this weekend, by topping second practice for the European Grand Prix.

Vettel, who has taken pole and the win in the last two races here, was lightly faster than the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg. Kamui Kobayashi, Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna completed the top 5.

The usual suspects were unusually far down the grid, with Button and Hamilton 12th and 14th, Alonso and Massa 7th and 15th. The Lotuses didn’t show much raw pace in 8th and 11th.

Local driver Pedro de la Rosa was the only man to crash during the session. His HRT understeered at turn 14, and couldn’t stop hitting the barriers.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:39.334           33
 2.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1:39.465  +0.131   32
 3.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:39.595  +0.261   20
 4.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:39.601  +0.267   27
 5.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault       1:39.644  +0.310   34
 6.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:39.700  +0.366   32
 7.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:39.733  +0.399   34
 8.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1:39.868  +0.534   33
 9.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:39.901  +0.567   30
10.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:39.926  +0.592   32
11.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1:39.945  +0.611   34
12.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:39.990  +0.656   33
13.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1:40.075  +0.741   29
14.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:40.147  +0.813   25
15.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:40.244  +0.910   35
16.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:40.511  +1.177   29
17.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1:40.963  +1.629   20
18.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:41.121  +1.787   32
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1:41.197  +1.863   38
20.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:41.263  +1.929   29
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1:42.424  +3.090   21
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1:42.958  +3.624   30
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1:44.201  +4.867   33
24.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1:44.260  +4.926   12

Maldonado ahead in Valencia first practice

Pastor Maldonado was marginally fastest in first practice

Pastor Maldonado was marginally fastest in first practice

Pastor Maldonado gave an indicator of Williams’ returning pace, as he topped the timesheets for Friday Practice 1 in Valencia.

Both Red Bull drivers were within a tenth of Maldonado by the end of the session, with Sebastian Vettel pipping Mark Webber by 0.011 seconds.

The field was incredibly bunched up, even by 2012 standards, as the top 8 drivers were separated by 3 tenths of a second.

Jenson Button showed he may be getting on top of his tyre issues, finishing 4th, and only a tenth off Maldonado. Despite being tipped to shine this weekend, the Lotus drivers were 10th and 11th.

Heikki Kovalainen continued to make progress for Caterham, finishing ahead of both Toro Rossos and was only a tenth of Valtteri Bottas for Williams.

Pedro de la Rosa’s DRS jammed open during FP1, similarly to Michael Schumacher’s incident in Canada.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:40.890           22
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:40.973  +0.083   21
 3.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:40.984  +0.094   19
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:40.994  +0.104   19
 5.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:41.065  +0.175   26
 6.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:41.105  +0.215   15
 7.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:41.117  +0.227   22
 8.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:41.158  +0.268   18
 9.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:41.182  +0.292   21
10.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1:41.620  +0.730   21
11.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1:41.784  +0.894   15
12.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:41.838  +0.948   19
13.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:41.861  +0.971   16
14.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:42.109  +1.219   20
15.  Jules Bianchi         Force India-Mercedes  1:42.175  +1.285   21
16.  Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault      1:42.299  +1.409   24
17.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:42.442  +1.552   26
18.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:42.758  +1.868   26
19.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:42.777  +1.887   28
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:43.209  +2.319   19
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:44.173  +3.283   18
22.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:44.996  +4.106   15
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:45.120  +4.230   23
24.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:45.338  +4.448    7

Alonso tops shortened Monaco first practice

Fernando Alonso put his Ferrari on top in Thursday practice 1 today.

The session was red flagged with 10 minutes to go, after Heikki Kovalainen’s engine blew. With the racing line covered in oil, no more running was completed.

Michael Schumacher’s session was cut short, after damaging his car at the exit of the Swimming Pool chicane. He suffered front wing and wheel cap damage.

Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen didn’t set a fast lap at all, the Lotus team opting to adjust the steering on his car.

Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean initially traded fastest laps, but it was a 1:16.265 for Alonso that put him on top.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:16.265            22
 2.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1:16.630  +0.365   17
 3.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:16.711  +0.446   19
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:16.747  +0.482   12
 5.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:16.760  +0.495   20
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:16.843  +0.578   19
 7.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:17.038  +0.773   21
 8.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:17.190  +0.925   13
 9.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:17.222  +0.957   14
10.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:17.261  +0.996   18
11.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:17.413  +1.148   14
12.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1:17.631  +1.366   18
13.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:18.106  +1.841   14
14.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:18.209  +1.944   25
15.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:18.252  +1.987   28
16.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:18.302  +2.037   16
17.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1:18.617  +2.352   20
18.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:19.039  +2.774   20
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:19.341  +3.076   16
20.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:20.838  +4.573   26
21.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:20.895  +4.630   18
22.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:21.638  +5.373    9
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:22.423  +6.158   15
24.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         N/A       N/A       1

Button back on top in Spanish second practice

Button beat Sebastian Vettel to top spot

Button beat Sebastian Vettel to top spot

Jenson Button put his McLaren on top of the timesheets in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

When on the harder tyre, he complained of “unbelievable understeer”, but was much faster on the softer compound. Sebastian Vettel was again 2nd, leading Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.

Fernando Alonso abandoned his run on the softer tyre, leaving him 14th by the end of the day.

Running race-fuel simulations, Lotus had an impressive day, finishing 5th and 6th. Romain Grosjean was set to go faster, but was caught up by slower traffic, Felipe Massa and Charles Pic being the culprits.

Mark Webber and Kamui Kobayashi both speared into the gravel trap at turn 4 during the session. Lewis Hamilton and Bruno Senna also slipped off the track near the end.

Narain Karthikeyan did no running in second practice, as the HRT team fixed an electrical fault from FP1. He emerged from the pits with half an hour to go, but quickly coasted to a halt.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:23.399          38
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:23.563  +0.164  38
 3.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:23.771  +0.372  41
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:23.909  +0.510  32
 5.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1:23.918  +0.519  32
 6.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1:23.964  +0.565  37
 7.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:24.065  +0.666  34
 8.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:24.080  +0.681  36
 9.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:24.214  +0.815  41
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1:24.365  +0.966  22
11.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:24.418  +1.019  35
12.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:24.422  +1.023  32
13.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:24.468  +1.069  40
14.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:24.600  +1.201  33
15.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:24.688  +1.289  30
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:24.733  +1.334  34
17.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:24.769  +1.370  37
18.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1:25.047  +1.648  42
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:26.296  +2.897  36
20.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:26.740  +3.341  35
21.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:27.314  +3.915  27
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:27.664  +4.265  30
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:28.235  +4.836  26
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          N/A       N/A      2

Alonso leads Spanish first practice for first time in 2012

Alonso put Ferrari on top

Alonso put Ferrari on top

Fernando Alonso gave Ferrari their first top spot in an official F1 session this year.

The Spaniard pleased the home crowd with a 1:24.430. Sebastian Vettel briefly went fastest after the first half hour, but settled for 2nd, ahead of Kamui Kobayashi.

McLaren ran a new higher nose on their MP4-27, with Jenson Button 4th and Lewis Hamilton 8th, the latter complaining of understeer on his car. Button lamented that it was difficult to turn the tyres up to temperature.

Valtteri Bottas was 5th, over a second ahead of Pastor Maldonado back in 17th. Force India ran a batch of new updates, with Nico Hulkenberg entering the top 10. Jules Bianchi took over the second car, ending the session in 18th place.

Alexander Rossi tested for Caterham, his first F1 practice session, and ended up 21st, a second behind Vitaly Petrov. Dani Clos drove for HRT, and was 2.5 seconds off Pedro de la Rosa.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:24.430           20
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:24.808  +0.378   18
 3.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:24.912  +0.482   28
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:24.996  +0.566   24
 5.  Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1:25.120  +0.690   24
 6.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:25.187  +0.757   15
 7.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1:25.217  +0.787   16
 8.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:25.252  +0.822   20
 9.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1:25.285  +0.855   29
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1:25.339  +0.909   24
11.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:25.367  +0.937   22
12.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:25.433  +1.003   21
13.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:25.539  +1.109   23
14.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:25.607  +1.177   20
15.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:25.918  +1.488   19
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:26.226  +1.796   24
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1:26.297  +1.867   18
18.  Jules Bianchi         Force India-Mercedes   1:26.630  +2.200   21
19.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1:27.475  +3.045   20
20.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1:28.267  +3.837   21
21.  Alexander Rossi       Caterham-Renault       1:28.448  +4.018   25
22.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1:28.633  +4.203   22
23.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1:29.107  +4.677   19
24.  Dani Clos             HRT-Cosworth           1:31.618  +7.188   19

Alexander Rossi to make F1 debut in Spanish Friday practice

Alexander Rossi will drive for Caterham in Spain

Alexander Rossi will drive for Caterham in Spain

American racing driver Alexander Rossi will make his first appearance in Formula 1 at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The 20-year-old will replace Heikki Kovalainen at Caterham for Friday practice 1.

Rossi has won the 2006 Skip Barber Western Regional, as well as the 2008 Formula BMW Americas and Formula BMW World Final. He tested for the Caterham team – back when it was known as Team Lotus – in last year’s young driver test in Abu Dhabi.

He is currently competing in Formula Renault 3.5 with Arden Caterham Motorsport, partnering Red Bull-back Lewis Williamson.

At the announcement today, Rossi said:

"I am looking forward to getting back into the F1 car in Spain and I want to thank 
the team for the chance to run in FP1 in Barcelona.

I have a clear goal for the session – make sure I run to the plan set by the 
engineers, not make any mistakes and learn as much as I can over the whole weekend."

Rosberg heads Bahrain practice 2 while Force India pack up early

Rosberg was comfortably ahead of the Red Bulls

Rosberg was comfortably ahead of the Red Bulls

Nico Rosberg led second practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix, but the main story of the day was Force India packing up early for safety reasons.

After a team bus was caught up in a petrol bomb attack on Wednesday evening, the team has decided to leave the paddock early, in order to avoid the planned protests later on in the evening. It is expected that they will return for qualifying tomorrow, however.

Rosberg’s time of 1:32.816 was 4 tenths faster than Mark Webber, with Sebastian Vettel another 3 tenths back. Michael Schumacher had a near miss with Vettel near the end of the session at turn 10, but both cars emerged unscathed, with the Mercedes going 5th.

Despite leading proceedings, Rosberg warned that Mercedes’ tyre overheating issues were worse than ever:

"We have to analyse things. In general, conditions are probably the worst they
have been here with the tyres overheating.

We learned a lot and we are looking much better than maybe we would have thought. 
But we need to see where we are. We are having to make changes because out there 
it's very unusual - conditions are very tough."

Times from FP2:

 1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:32.816            35 
 2. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:33.262  +0.446   26 
 3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:33.525  +0.709   28 
 4. Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:33.747  +0.931   26 
 5. Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:33.862  +1.046   31 
 6. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:34.246  +1.430   28 
 7. Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:34.411  +1.595   34 
 8. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:34.449  +1.633   31 
 9. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault         1:34.615  +1.799   32 
10. Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:34.893  +2.077   34 
11. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:34.895  +2.079   29 
12. Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:34.941  +2.125   29 
13. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault         1:35.183  +2.367   33 
14. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:35.229  +2.413   26 
15. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault      1:35.459  +2.643   38 
16. Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault      1:35.913  +3.097   32 
17. Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault      1:35.968  +3.152   35 
18. Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault      1:36.169  +3.353   30 
19. Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth     1:36.587  +3.771   32 
20. Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth     1:37.803  +4.987   33 
21. Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth          1:37.812  +4.996   28 
22. Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:39.649  +6.833   27
23. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  N/A                 0
24. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  N/A                 0

Hamilton leads Bahrain first practice

Hamilton only set 11 laps

Hamilton only set 11 laps

After all of the debate during the last few days, the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend had a quiet start, with Lewis Hamilton leading an uneventful first practice.

Lewis only set 11 laps in the 90-minute session, setting a 1:33.572 regardless. Sebastian Vettel had reverted to the newer-spec Red Bull car, and was 0.3 seconds off the McLaren.

Paul di Resta was 3rd, on the softer tyre. Chinese GP race winner Nico Rosberg was 4th, with Jenson Button 5th, who said he was not expecting to be fast this weekend:

"At the moment I'm not a guy to watch out for but at the moment the Red Bulls and 
the Mercedes look very quick. The Red Bull is surprisingly [quick] but hopefully 
we will know a bit more tomorrow.

There is a lot of work needed in our garage to improve what we have. I'm not happy 
today, we have tried lots of different things and none of them really worked so we 
will work late tonight and hopefully find something that will work tomorrow.

At the moment I can't make either [tyre] work."

Fernando Alonso was almost two seconds off the pace in 13th place, with teammate Massa a further two places back.

Timo Glock’s spin at turn 1 near the end of the session was the only noteworthy event.

Times from FP1:

 1. Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:33.572          11
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:33.877  +0.305  21
 3. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:34.150  +0.578  26
 4. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:34.249  +0.677  23
 5. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:34.277  +0.705  14
 6. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1:34.344  +0.772  26
 7. Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:34.483  +0.911  17
 8. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:34.552  +0.980  22
 9. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1:34.609  +1.037  17
10. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1:34.847  +1.275  20
11. Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:35.024  +1.452  22
12. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1:35.268  +1.696  24
13. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:35.436  +1.864  21
14. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1:35.497  +1.925  24
15. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:35.719  +2.147  19
16. Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:35.929  +2.357  24
17. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:36.195  +2.623  20
18. Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1:36.330  +2.758  11
19. Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1:36.484  +2.912  18
20. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:36.591  +3.019  20
21. Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1:37.467  +3.895  17
22. Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1:38.006  +4.434  18
23. Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1:38.877  +5.305  19
24. Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1:39.996  +6.424  23
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