Tag Archives: Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton takes commanding win in Abu Dhabi

Vettel leads at the start, but not for long...

Vettel leads at the start, but not for long...

Lewis Hamilton was back on form for the first time in months, as he drove fantastically to win the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel didn’t even make it around the first lap, resulting in a surprisingly exciting race on the Yas Marina track.

Fernando Alonso drove the wheels off his Ferrari to take 2nd, with Jenson Button 3rd after a relatively slow race. Here is the full report:

At the start, Vettel retained his lead at Turn 1, but for no longer. A puncture exiting the corner blew a rear tyre, reducing Sebastian to a crawl for the entire lap.

Lewis Hamilton leaped into the lead, while Fernando Alonso shoved his way into 2nd place, ahead of a struggling Jenson Button. Meanwhile, after pitting, it became clear that Vettel’s right rear suspension was ruined, and the world champion retired from the race.

The battle for the lead was between Hamilton and Alonso, as the two traded fastest laps, with Button and Webber squabbling behind. Further back, Paul di Resta and Sebastien Buemi battled for 9th place, with the double DRS resulting in constant passes and re-passes.

Kamui Kobayashi, who pitted on Lap 6, began his ascent through the field, passing both HRT cars in a single corner, as Liuzzi and Ricciardo tussled for position.

Button’s lack of pace was explained by a radio message stating that there was “still a problem” –  which became apparent as a KERS failure. Felipe Massa was the first to pit on Lap 16, taking on more soft tyres.

Hamilton and Alonso stopped a lap later, with Button not far behind in the pits. Webber pitted on Lap 18, but a slow tyre change resulted in the Red Bull dropping down the order, behind Felipe Massa. Replays showed Vitaly Petrov running wide and losing places to Adrian Sutil and Michael Schumacher.

Paul di Resta was instructed to allow Sutil past into 8th place, while Sebastien Buemi retired with an ailing car. It became clear that Di Resta was on a one-stop strategy, losing up to 3 seconds per lap on the medium tyre. He eventually pitted for the option tyre on Lap 28 – a risky call.

Pastor Maldonado was given a drive-through penalty for ignoring blue flags. Button’s lack of KERS meant he was slowly caught by Massa and Webber. Mark was the first to make a move, slicing past the Ferrari, but Felipe re-took the position at the second DRS zone.

Their battle was interrupted by Pastor Maldonado, who, after not learning anything after his first drive-through, held up both drivers as he swerved around the track.

Webber pitted for soft tyres on Lap 36, indicating he was on a three-stop strategy. Button stopped a lap later, taking on the harder compound. At the front, Alonso began chopping into Hamilton’s lead, bringing the gap down to 3.9 seconds.

Webber gets by Button while on a different strategy

Webber gets by Button while on a different strategy

Sergio Perez got past Vitaly Petrov for 10th place. Mark Webber set fastest lap after fastest lap on the option tyres. Lewis Hamilton pitted with 14 laps to go, to cover Alonso’s excellent pace.

While Fernando stayed out, Webber’s race began to slowly unravel, as he was stuck behind Jenson Button, despite two instances of DRS helping the Red Bull. Eventually Mark pushed his way past the McLaren, but as he needed to stop again, Jenson didn’t bother defending his position.

A poor pit stop for the Ferrari ruined his chances of jumping Hamilton in the stops. Rosberg and Webber in 3rd and 4th both needed to stop again, but battled it out on track regardless. Mark got past the Mercedes, but it became clear he had lost his chance of a podium finish.

Massa spins after yet another poor race

Massa spins after yet another poor race

Kamui Kobayashi eaasily passed teammate Sergio Perez for 10th place with 8 laps to go. Felipe Massa spun at Turn 1, ensuring that Webber would remain ahead of the Ferrari after his final stop.

Daniel Ricciardo became the final retirement of the day, pulling off the track with 3 laps to go. As expected, Webber pitted on the final lap, dropping him to 4th place.

Lewis Hamilton crossed the line to take his first win since the Nurburgring, ensuring a return to form at the end of the 2011 season. Alonso pushed as hard as he could, but a win was too much to ask for. Button took a steady 3rd after his KERS issues.

After a troubled year, Hamilton is back on top

After a troubled year, Hamilton is back on top

Webber led Massa home, while Nico Rosberg beat teammate Michael Schumacher, who pulled over on the cool-down lap to conserve a fuel sample.

The Force Indias performed well, with Sutil and Di Resta 8th and 9th after utilising different strategies. Kobayashi grabbed the final point after a difficult string of races for the Japanese driver.

Hamilton fastest in Abu Dhabi second practice

Hamilton kept McLaren on top

Hamilton kept McLaren on top

McLaren once again dominated practice in Abu Dhabi, but this time it was Lewis Hamilton on top of the timesheets.

Hamilton led teammate Button by nearly two tenths of a second, with the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa behind. Mark Webber was 5th, with Sebastian Vettel 6th.

Both Vettel and Alonso crashed at the same spot in second practice. At the entry to Turn 1, both cars hit the barriers, with Vettel rejoining the session later, and Alonso suffering damage to the back of the car.

Mark Webber also spun out, at Turn 18, but managed to rejoin the track.

Michael Schumacher was 7th, ahead of the two Force India and two Sauber drivers. Nico Rosberg was 20th and 4.5 seconds off the pace, despite setting over 40 laps.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:39.586          31
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:39.785   0.199  30
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:39.971   0.385  20
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:39.980   0.394  34
 5.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:40.104   0.518  35
 6.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:40.132   0.546  26
 7.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:40.553   0.967  34
 8.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:40.951   1.365  34
 9.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:41.021   1.435  37
10.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:41.490   1.904  34
11.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:41.565   1.979  34
12.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:41.680   2.094  33
13.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1:41.947   2.361  31
14.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:41.983   2.397  34
15.  Bruno Senna           Renault                1:42.369   2.783  36
16.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:42.798   3.212  35
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1:42.910   3.324  34
18.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault          1:43.562   3.976  36
19.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1:44.050   4.464  38
20.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:44.265   4.679  41
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1:45.486   5.900  34
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1:46.142   6.556  32
23.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth           1:46.249   6.663  21
24.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1:46.328   6.742  34

Massa vs Hamilton round 5 – who’s at fault now?

Today’s Indian Grand Prix saw the latest spat between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa – both on and off track.

The pair collided while racing for 6th position, leaving Felipe with a drive-through penalty and Lewis with a broken front wing. Hamilton has borne the brunt of blame for most of their collisions this year, most notably in Monaco.

However, this time the McLaren driver is not 100% at fault, as both drivers made poor judgement:

Felipe Massa

Replays showed the Ferrari driver checking his mirrors several times, so there is no doubt that he was aware that Hamilton was closing in. The fact that Felipe continued to turn in was more than likely an estimation that the McLaren wouldn’t attempt a pass – a poor decision considering who he was racing against.

Massa was dealt the drive-through for the incident, but protested his innocence afterwards:

"I simply stayed on the ideal line, braking on the limit and staying on the part of 
the track that was rubbered in. What else could I do?

It’s the umpteenth time that Hamilton runs into me this year and it seems it’s some 
sort of fatal attraction. In the past, I tried to talk to him but he did not seem to 
be interested in doing so."

The Ferrari team have also suggested that the collision contributed towards Felipe’s suspension failure, which is of course absolute rubbish.

Lewis Hamilton

Never the one to stay out of trouble, Lewis is back in the headlines for the wrong reasons once again.

After being docked three places on the grid for ignoring yellow flags on Friday, Hamilton’s weekend was already compromised. The collision with Massa came after a very poor first stint, where the McLaren driver failed to make any progress from 7th.

It was a slightly ambitious move that presumed that Massa would give him space – which of course he didn’t. Lewis will of course argue that he had every right to move up the inside and attempt a pass, which is true. However, he failed to place his car in between Massa and the kerb, backing off slightly as the two cars entered the corner. This resulted in the Ferrari cutting across Lewis and causing the crash.

The most interesting thing I found about the crash was Hamilton’s reaction immediately afterwards. After he gestured towards the Ferrari, he continued to slow for several seconds before he got back on the throttle. To me, it seemed as if he didn’t even care about the race for a while, being incredibly frustrated after this many accidents.

In my opinion…

While Lewis could have judged his move better, I feel that Felipe gave him absolutely no opportunity to make a move. Hamilton has been lambasted for his off-form driving this year – and rightly so – but this incident should not be blamed on the Brit.

The more I look into these past collisions,the more childish Massa appears to me. While it is understandable that a driver would be furious after a collision, it is immature to say that they “don’t care” about what the other driver feels about the incident (referring to minor tap by Hamilton in Suzuka).

However, the most important thing out of this is that it doesn’t turn into a juvenile clash-fest every single race. These drivers should realise that F1 is supposed to be the collection of the finest racing drivers in the world, and should at least attempt to resolve their conflict. Not that many see that happening, of course.

Who do you hold at fault for today’s collision? Here is a replay:

Hamilton penalised en route to leading India first practice

Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice

Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice

Lewis Hamilton headed the first ever official practice session for the Indian Grand Prix – but suffered a grid penalty in the process.

Hamilton set a flying lap at the very end of the session, putting him half a second ahead of anyone else, but sped through Turn 16 under double-waved yellows, resulting in a penalty from the stewards.

Lewis will be dropped 3 places on the grid, with Sergio Perez receiving the same penalty for the same action.

The red flag was out within minutes of the session beginning, as a stray dog wandered onto the track. Once the session restarted, Karun Chandhok (who will only participate in Practice 1) and Narain Karthikeyan led proceedings.

Pastor Maldonado's stray Williams soon caught out Hamilton and Perez

Pastor Maldonado's stray Williams soon caught out Hamilton and Perez

Fernando Alonso was out of the session early, with the Ferrari losing power. Felipe Massa was handed the Spaniard’s new front wing, which has since caused controversy, as it has been seen vibrating and showering sparks through Turn 4.

Pastor Maldonado pulled over near the end of the session, causing double-waved yellows, which consequently caused Hamilton and Perez’s penalties.

The Red Bulls were 2nd and 3rd, over half a second behind Hamilton. Jenson Button was a further second behind Vettel and Webber, with Michael Schumacher 5th.

Indian drivers Chandhok and Karthikeyan were 19th and 22nd in their respective Lotus and HRT cars.

Times from Friday practice 1:

01.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:26.836    	     22
02.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:27.416   0.580   23
03.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:27.428   0.592   27
04.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:28.394   1.558   23
05.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:28.531   1.695   23
06.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:28.542   1.706   29
07.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:28.644   1.808   22
08.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:28.705   1.869   23
09.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:29.219   2.383   24
10.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:29.355   2.519   29
11.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:29.700   2.864   24
12.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1:29.705   2.869   22
13.  Bruno Senna           Renault                1:29.799   2.963   20
14.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:30.132   3.296   25
15.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:30.367   3.531   21
16.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:30.566   3.730   19
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1:30.699   3.833   22
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1:30.818   3.982   22
19.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault          1:32.487   5.651   24
20.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1:32.771   5.935   24
21.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1:33.928   7.092   27
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1:34.113   7.277   30
23.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1:35.896   8.960   19
24.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:35.899   9.063    4

Hamilton breaks Red Bull’s pole position streak in Korea

For the first time since the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix, a Red Bull will not start from pole position. Today, it was Lewis Hamilton who took top spot for the Korean Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver was on the pace all weekend, but his teammate was unable to challenge for pole, instead being split for 3rd by Sebastian Vettel. Mark Webber was disappointingly slow in Q3, finishing 4th, with the off-pace Ferraris 5th and 6th. Here is what happened:

Q1

The Renaults briefly led Q1, before a flurry of cars exited the pits. Strangely enough, both Red Bull cars decided to make their first runs on the super-soft tyres.

Lewis Hamilton soon went top with a 1:38.278, with Jenson Button half a second off his teammate. Despite being on faster tyres, both Red Bulls were unusually slow, lapping in the 1:39s.

Lewis went another 7 tenths faster the next lap, with Jenson again off the pace. The Williams drivers, as well as Vitantonio Liuzzi, only left the pits with 4 minutes to go. Although he was using the super-soft compound, Pastor Maldonado could only go 16th.

Rubens Barrichello abandoned his final run, allowing Maldonado to take his teammate out of Q1. Daniel Ricciardo failed to set a time in this session, with an apparent technical problem with the HRT.

Drivers knocked out of Q1:

18) Rubens Barrichello – 1:39.538

19) Heikki Kovalainen – 1:40.522

20) Jarno Trulli – 1:41.101

21) Timo Glock – 1:42.091

22) Jerome D’Ambrosi – 1:43.483

23) Vitantonio Liuzzi – 1:43.758

24) Daniel Ricciardo – No time

Q2

Again, Hamilton comprehensively led Button in the early stages of the session, with Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso off the pace of McLaren. A little twitch from Vettel’s car on his first run slipped him to 7 tenths off Hamilton.

Michael Schumacher’s first run put him only into 9th place. Felipe Massa was forced to use another set of super-softs to survive the session.

Jaime Alguersuari and Paul di Resta briefly made it into 10th place, with the Scot staying there as the chequered flag fell. This left Michael Schumacher stranded down in 12th position for the race.

Drivers knocked out in Q2:

11) Jaime Alguersuari – 1:38.315

12) Michael Schumacher – 1:38.354

13) Sebastien Buemi – 1:38.508

14) Kamui Kobayashi – 1:38.775

15) Bruno Senna – 1:38.791

16) Pastor Maldonado – 1:39.189

17) Sergio Perez – 1:39.443

Q3

Pole favourite Lewis Hamilton was first out, setting a 1:36.130. The Ferraris were well off the pace, with Button still nearly half a second off his teammate. Sebastian Vettel was slower than Hamilton by only 0.03 seconds after his first run.

A 1:35.820 improved Hamilton’s benchmark, with Button 0.3 seconds off. Mark Webber abandoned his final run after a dismal first sector, a move copied by Paul di Resta.

While the Ferraris failed to make any impact on the front runners, Vettel was on a charge to knock Hamilton off top spot. However, for the first time this year, the Red Bull car will not start on pole position, as Sebastian could only get within 2 tenths of the McLaren.

With that, Lewis will start on pole tomorrow, with Vettel preventing a McLaren front row lockout. Webber will be 4th, ahead of the two Ferraris. Nico Rosberg was 7th, with Vitaly Petrov 8th. Neither Force India car set a time in Q3.

Hamilton leads McLaren 1-2 in wet second practice

Hamilton set his time early on in FP2

Hamilton set his time early on in FP2

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button streaked ahead of the opposition in second practice for the Korean Grand Prix.

Both Brits set fast times early on in the session, when the track was at one of its drier points. For much of the 90 minutes, the McLarens were 2 seconds in front of the rest of the field.

Jaime Alguersuari took a risk on the super-soft tyre in the damp conditions, but was hit by Nico Rosberg, the Mercedes sliding wide at Turn 1 and hitting the Toro Rosso. While Rosberg was not given a penalty for his mistake, he was fined €10000 (€5000 suspended) for failing to appear “in a timely manner” to the stewards afterwards.

The field was split between worn intermediates and super-softs – with neither choice working out. Drivers on slicks, such as Sebastien Buemi, spun out, and the intermediates eventually ran out of grip, as Bruno Senna and both Ferrari drivers can attest to.

As no driver could even get near the McLarens, Hamilton and Button ended the session miles in front.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1:50.828          26
 2.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:50.932   0.104   19
 3.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1:52.646   1.818   30
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1:52.774   1.946   25
 5.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1:53.049   2.221   27
 6.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:53.402   2.574   25
 7.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1:53.707   2.879   24
 8.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1:53.914   3.086   18
 9.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:53.948   3.120   27
10.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1:53.957   3.129   32
11.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1:54.200   3.372   26
12.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:54.392   3.564   26
13.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:54.831   4.003   30
14.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1:54.965   4.137   21
15.  Bruno Senna           Renault                1:55.187   4.359   28
16.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1:55.203   4.375   24
17.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1:55.544   4.716   23
18.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1:56.067   5.239   22
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault          1:56.669   5.841   20
20.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1:57.173   6.345   19
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1:58.269   7.441   25
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1:59.458   8.630   26
23.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1:59.958   9.130   19
24.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth           2:00.165   9.337   20

Hamilton and Schumacher miss final Q3 run after “ridiculous” incident

Hamilton was clearly frustrated after today's qualifying

Hamilton was clearly frustrated after today's qualifying

Both Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton lost out at the end of Q3 in today’s Japanese Grand Prix qualifying, missing out on the final run in the dying minutes.

As a pack of four cars approached the final chicane – led by Jenson Button – teammate Lewis Hamilton backed off to create a raceable gap between the two McLarens. However, Mark Webber dived down the inside of Hamilton in order to retain a clean section of track in front of him. Meanwhile, Schumacher was on the outside, and took to the run-off area to avoid the duo.

Hamilton was on top of the timesheets at the time, but failed to set another time after crossing the line after the chequered flag. Schumacher suffered the same fate, while Webber made little impact on the frontrunners.

When asked about the incident, Lewis was initially coy on explaining, but later gave his view:

"It is what it is. Jenson was in front of me and he slowed down to get his gap. I 
was coming up to the last corner to make sure I had a gap between me and him. It 
wasn't that big.

Just as I was coming into the chicane I looked in my mirror and I saw Mark diving 
up the inside of me. Out of nowhere, he just shot up the inside and nearly 
crashed with me, so I had to avoid him.

And then I saw...I didn't even see Michael as I gave Mark room, but he nearly 
crashed on me on the left, so it was quite dangerous.

I don't know what the hell he was doing, but he went off onto the grass. It was 
just the most ridiculous thing I've ever experienced in qualifying.

I really hope somebody finds the footage for what happened because it wasn't right 
and it stopped my last qualifying lap."

On the other hand, Schumacher claimed that Hamilton had pushed him onto the grass:

"I had Webber in front because Hamilton slowed down. I don't know what was in front 
of him, if he really had to slow down that much, but it was tight for all three of 
us so we all had to push somehow to make it through and do another lap.

At that moment I was set to do a lap because I didn't know whether Kobayashi, or 
somebody, may go out [to set a time]. I tried my best and Lewis pushed me a little 
bit wide onto the grass."

As of yet there is no television footage of the incident.

Massa: Hamilton “not learning” and “can’t use his mind”

A furious Felipe Massa has struck out at Lewis Hamilton for their collision in today’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Lewis hit the back of Felipe’s car during Turn 7, leaving Hamilton with a broken wing and drive-through penalty, and Massa with a puncture.

Massa was livid, particularly after them nearly colliding in qualifying:

"My thoughts is that again, I told you yesterday, he cannot use his mind. Even in 
qualifying, so you can imagine in the race."

And after having his race ruined by the McLaren driver, Felipe didn’t mince his words on their collision:

"I was on the straight and he touched me, not even when he was on my side. He 
touched me when he was behind me.

Then, when I got to the end of the braking, my tyre was already punctured. For 
sure it was a big, big problem for my race. And he paid for that as well, so 
what can I say?

How many races this year he did this? He went in the wrong direction and he paid 
and he never learned. The FIA is looking for sure for that, because he is doing 
that so many times.

I think he is not learning. I tried to speak to him after we wait, but he didn't 
listen to me. I called him two times, but he didn't listen to me, he [walked] past 
me. He didn't even look to me.

I called him to speak, but when I show him, I said, 'very good job, well done'. 
Like that you will win many championships!"

Regarding the last paragraph of that quote, when Felipe went to speak to Lewis in the driver’s pen, Hamilton responded “Don’t touch me again” after Felipe grabbed his arm.

While Martin Whitmarsh defended his driver’s actions, I feel that Lewis must calm down on the racetrack if he is ever to win another world championship. Countless crashes and mistakes in 2011 have possibly resulted in the worst year of Lewis’ F1 career.

Lewis has been racing at the highest level for 5 years now, and silly rookie mistakes should be well ironed out by now.

Damaged kerbs disrupt Singapore first practice

Kerbs are repaired, delaying first practice

Kerbs are repaired, delaying first practice

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in a reduced first practice session in Singapore.

The session was suspended for half an hour at the beginning, as plastic sections of the kerbs were peeling away from the track. Once the track was repaired, the time limit was reduced to 60 minutes instead of the usual 90.

An extremely dusty track then slowed the cars down for much of the hour, before Lewis Hamilton set a 1:48.599 to take first place.

Mark Webber made contact with Timo Glock, the Red Bull failing to pass the Virgin at the final corner, and damaging the front wing. Mark pitted for repairs, while Timo was left with a puncture.

A bolt breaks off a kerb halfway through the session

A bolt breaks off a kerb halfway through the session

At the halfway point of the session, Heikki Kovalainen had a spot of deja vu, as his Lotus caught fire for the second year in a row in Singapore, this time due to an overheating front left brake.

After a red flag to remove the Lotus car, the stewards were forced to stop the session again with 8 minutes to go, as a bolt broke off another kerb. A green flag allowed the cars to attempt one last run, but Lewis’ previous time was left unbeaten.

Sebastian Vettel was second, with teammate Webber a further second behind. Jenson Button split the Ferraris, who went 4th and 6th. Renault abandoned their bodywork and sidepod adjustments due to overheating problems, leaving Senna and Petrov 16th and 18th.

Narain Karthikeyan drove Vitantonio Liuzzi’s HRT for readjusting to the car before he drives at the Indian GP, and was just pipped by Daniel Ricciardo in the final few moments. Both HRTs were 10 seconds off the pace of Hamilton by the end of the session.

Times from FP1:

 1. Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1:48.599          10
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1:49.005  0.406   15
 3. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1:50.066  1.467   16
 4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1:50.596  1.997   11
 5. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1:50.952  2.353   12
 6. Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1:52.043  3.444   14
 7. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1:52.251  3.652   13
 8. Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1:52.416  3.817   12
 9. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes  1:52.435  3.836   13
10. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1:52.815  4.216   13
11. Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth     1:52.991  4.392   17
12. Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:53.050  4.451   17
13. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth     1:53.399  4.800   18
14. Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1:53.703  5.104   19
15. Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1:53.749  5.150   12
16. Bruno Senna            Renault              1:53.765  5.166   17
17. Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:53.785  5.186   16
18. Vitaly Petrov         Renault               1:54.736  6.137    8
19. Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault         1:54.821  6.222    9
20. Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault         1:56.198  7.599    8
21. Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth       1:57.798  9.199   13
22. Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth       1:58.792  10.193   6
23. Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth          1:59.169  10.570  17
24. Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1:59.214  10.615  18

Vettel rivals concede 2011 title

All of Sebastian Vettel’s title rivals have all but given up hopes on challenging for the 2011 championship crown.

This comes after a crushing victory for the German, slicing past Fernando Alonso in the early stages and dominating the race from there.

Teammate Mark Webber, who has barely led a lap this year, never mind win a race, was the first to concede the title:

"I think we're all battling for second now. Seb needs to have a very, very 
incredibly disappointing finish to the season for anyone to take the 
championship off him at this point.

He's in a great position. He's done a great job. And clearly the car was good 
today, so it was a missed opportunity for me."

Fernando Alonso was next up, stating that the title was well out of reach:

"Sure, it would have been fantastic to do the double after 2010, but we must 
stay cool and concentrate and try to reach targets that are within our reach: 
today we did just that. It’s true the title has gone now, but there is still 
great motivation: we want to win races and try to defend the position I have 
just reached in the drivers’ championship."

Lewis Hamilton was more blunt with his statement, saying:  “I doubt it’s still possible to beat Sebastian for the title, but we’ll keep pushing.”

Vettel has a 112-point lead over Fernando Alonso, and a 117-point lead over Button and Webber, with Hamilton a further 9 points adrift. There are 150 points up for grabs in the final 6 races of the season.

In order to win the championship at the next round in Singapore, Vettel must win the race, with Fernando Alonso 4th or lower.

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