Red Bull miles ahead in China FP1

Vettel was well ahead of his rivals

Vettel was well ahead of his rivals

Sebastian Vettel headed Mark Webber in Friday Practice 1 for the Chinese Grand Prix, with Vettel 2 seconds faster than any other competitor after Webber.

The McLarens of Hamilton and Button were 3rd and 4th, although Jenson was delayed by a KERS issue. Nick Heidfeld was 5th after setting only 5 laps, but crashed with half an hour to go.

Felipe Massa was 6th while teammate Alonso was 12th, with Ferrari running more tests on their faltering aerodynamic package. Sebastien Buemi finished 10th, while Daniel Ricciardo took over Jaime Alguersuari’s car and was placed 16th.

Vitantonio Liuzzi managed to split the Virgins in 21st position. Luiz Razia drove Jarno Trulli’s car, but was 5.8 seconds off the pace, 3 seconds slower than Heikki Kovalainen in 14th.

Narain Karthikeyan was last, but he half a second within the 107% rule for qualifying.

Note: Pirelli have run out of gold bands to put on the softer tyres, so silver bands are also being used on the softer compound.

Heidfeld quickly accepted the blame for his crash:

"It was a driving mistake. I went off twice and that can happen - I just went over 
the limit.

I was in a very good mood until I crashed into the tyre. I have been around for a 
while but I cannot remember crashing twice in one day, so that was not a good start.

It was just my mistake. These things unfortunately can happen, I think a lot of other 
people also went off a bit and had spins. Unfortunately I destroyed two wings, it  
shows it isn't easy today but it is not meant to be an excuse. I just f***** up!"

Times from China FP1:

 1.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1.38.739	      23
 2.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1.39.354    0.615   27
 3.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1.40.845    2.106   21
 4.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1.40.940    2.201   22
 5.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault                1.40.987    2.248   5
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1.41.046    2.307   25
 7.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1.41.189    2.450   20
 8.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1.41.222    2.483   20
 9.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1.41.231    2.492   16
10.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1.41.328    2.589   21
11.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1.41.361    2.622   23
12.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1.41.434    2.695   15
13.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1.41.494    2.755   20
14.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault          1.41.579    2.840   13
15.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1.41.610    2.871   18
16.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1.41.752    3.013   20
17.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1.41.939    3.200   25
18.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1.42.301    3.562   23
19.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1.43.792    5.053   20
20.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1.44.089    5.350   20
21.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth           1.44.359    5.620   18
22.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1.44.438    5.699   11
23.  Luiz Razia            Lotus-Renault          1.44.542    5.803    9
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1.45.019    6.280   23

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