Daily Archives: May 7, 2010

Klien given Superlicence 10 minutes before practice

Christian Klien almost didn't make it to Friday Practice 1

Christian Klien almost didn't make it to Friday Practice 1

It turned out today that HRT test and reserve driver Christian Klien was only granted his Superlicence 10 minutes before the start of Friday Practice 1.

The Austrian driver was being offered to drive in FP1 as part of being the team’s second reserve driver, alongside Sakon Yamamoto. However, his debut drive for the team nearly didn’t happen at all, as Christian explains:

"It was a bit exciting today as I got my Superlicense only ten 
minutes before the start of the first practice session! 
Fortunately, everything had been prepared perfectly and then I was 
allowed to jump into the car.

I had 90 great minutes in the car. It was my first time in a Formula 
1 car since January last year and felt perfect right away; I was 
able to feel the limits of the car and posted constant times, which 
will help the engineers - I was able to give them important feedback 
to improve, in terms of setup, and my work with top teams will help 

I’m glad that Klien is being given a chance to drive in F1 again, but he still needs a good car to be able to prove himself. However, the fact that he beat Bruno Senna by an entire half a second in only 90 minutes of practice shows what potential he has.

The problem is the testing ban. With this, test and reserve drivers, especially young drivers, will be unable to get attention for themselves and therefore struggle to get race drive positions. One idea I had would be a “reserve driver test”, once or twice a year, where the test and reserve drivers would test and develop the car. This would help the teams with their development, and also give a chance for reserve drivers to show what they are worth. I’ll write more on this idea after this weekend.

Spanish Grand Prix Friday Practice in pictures

Here are some pictures from today’s Friday Practice sessions:

Red Bull lock out Spanish Friday Practice 2

Sebastian Vettel in Friday Practice 2 in Spain today

Sebastian Vettel in Friday Practice 2 in Spain today

The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber lead the second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix today. Nobody was near these two, as the closest competitor was half a second behind.

Vettel was the only driver who got under the 1.20 minute mark, and was 2 tenths ahead of Mark Webber. Michael Schumacher was again 3rd, half a second behind Webber. Fernando Alonso improved in this session to get 4th, while Lewis Hamilton was another 4 tenths behind the Spaniard.

Robert Kubica was 6th, followed by Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Adrian Sutil, to top off the top 10. Pedro de la Rosa was actually able to set a lap time this session, and finished 11th. With 37 laps, he set the most laps (alongside Sebastien Buemi) this session. Vitantonio Liuzzi was 12th.

Kamui Kobayashi was 13th, Sebastien Buemi was 14th, Rubens Barrichello was 15th, and Vitaly Petrov was 16th. Jaime Alguersuari and Nico Hulkenberg were quite uncompetitive this session, getting 17th and 18th. Nico was 1.4 seconds behind Jaime.

Again, the Lotuses of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen were the best of the new teams, once again only 4 seconds off the frontrunners’ pace. Lucas di Grassi was 21st, while both HRT drivers beat Timo Glock. Karun Chandhok was one tenth faster than his team-mate Senna. This was despite Karun reporting brake problems, after repeatedly locking up and running wide at Turn 10, La Caixa. Glock was a further half a second behind Bruno.

Times from Friday Practice 2:

Driver Team Fastest lap Difference # of laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.19.965 24
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.20.175 0.21 35
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.20.757 0.792 28
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.20.819 0.854 30
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.191 1.226 23
6 Robert Kubica Renault 1.21.202 1.237 36
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.21.271 1.306 27
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.21.302 1.337 25
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.364 1.399 26
10 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.21.518 1.553 32
11 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.21.672 1.707 37
12 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.21.904 1.939 32
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.21.931 1.966 29
14 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.184 2.219 37
15 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.22.192 2.227 33
16 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.22.435 2.47 35
17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.449 2.484 34
18 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.23.765 3.8 7
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.24.209 4.244 26
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.24.894 4.929 22
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.25.066 5.101 30
22 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.25.972 6.007 23
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.26.152 6.187 25
24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.26.596 6.631 21

Hamilton tops Spanish Friday Practice 1

Lewis Hamilton in Friday Practice 1 in Spain today

Lewis Hamilton in Friday Practice 1 in Spain today

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button led the first practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend. Jenson was a full half a second behind his team-mate.

Michael Schumacher was 3rd in the revised Mercedes with its new airbox, which will be put up in the photo section later. He led the session early on, but was demoted by the McLarens as the session went on. He remained only 5 hundreths of a second behind Button though. Mark Webber was 4th, 3 tenths back from Schumacher. Sebastian Vettel was 5th, a further 2 hundreths behind.

Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica were 6th and 7th. Fernando Alonso was 8th, running a blown rear wing. He also did back-to-back to back tests with the unblown rear wing settings.Vitaly Petrov did very well to finish 9th, only 2 tenths behind his team-mate. Kamui Kobayashi finished off the top ten.

Sebastien Buemi and Felipe Massa were 11th and 12th, while Paul di Resta beat his team-mate by getting 13th. Behind them, it was Jaime Alguersuari, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg in the top 17.

Lotus, and Heikki Kovalainen in particular, made a good step forward by only being 4 seconds off Hamilton’s pace today. Heikki was 18th, while Jarno Trulli was a further second back in 19th place. As usual, the two Virgins were behind them, with Timo Glock leading Lucas di Grassi. Timo was the first out on track, but his left turning vane broke on his first lap out, and he spent an hour in the pits.

However, there was a surprise at HRT. Christian Klien, who hasn’t raced an F1 car since Britain 2007, beat team-mate Bruno Senna by half a second. I told you he needed an opportunity. Pedro de la Rosa was unable to set a time, because of a gearbox failure, and finished at the back.

Times from Friday Practice 1:

Driver Team Fastest lap Difference # of laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.134 21
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.21.672 0.538 14
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.21.716 0.582 12
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.22.011 0.877 27
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.22.026 0.892 22
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.22.070 0.936 19
7 Robert Kubica Renault 1.22.202 1.068 22
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.22.258 1.124 19
9 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.22.397 1.263 23
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.22.492 1.358 26
11 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.22.588 1.454 24
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.22.975 1.841 22
13 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1.23.030 1.896 21
14 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.23.110 1.976 31
15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.23.284 2.15 19
16 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.23.312 2.178 22
17 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.23.471 2.337 20
18 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.25.329 4.195 17
19 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.26.244 5.11 20
20 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.26.340 5.206 23
21 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.26.694 5.56 24
22 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1.27.250 6.116 26
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.27.752 6.618 27
24 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 3