Daily Archives: June 10, 2011

Alonso heads disrupted Canadian Friday Practice 2

Fernando Alonso headed the field for Friday Practice 2 for the Canadian Grand Prix. His time of 1.15.107 was several tenths faster than the pole position time from Lewis Hamilton in 2010.

The session was blighted by three crashes within 20 minutes of each other. The first was when Adrian Sutil took off the front left suspension after hitting the wall at Turn 6.

The yellow flags were quickly put out, but the red flag was thrown soon, as Kamui Kobayashi slammed into the barriers at Turn 4.

The session restarted after 10 minutes, but a crash by Jerome D’Ambrosio in the exact same spot as Kobayashi disrupted the session yet again with another red flag.

Because the clock still runs under red flags in Friday Practice, Pedro de la Rosa’s running in the Sauber was ruined. A late replacement for Sergio, the C30 had to be modified for Pedro’s extra height, which cost him time. The red flags resulted in him barely getting any track time.

Paul di Resta impressed with 6th place, while both Mercedes cars lagged in 19th and 20th after struggling with their tyres.

Times from FP2:

 1.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1.15.107          34
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1.15.476  0.369   29
 3.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1.15.601  0.494   33
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1.15.977  0.870   26
 5.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1.15.989  0.882   25
 6.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1.16.089  0.982   34
 7.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1.16.102  0.995   28
 8.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                 1.16.324  1.217   32
 9.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault                 1.16.422  1.315   32
10.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth       1.16.687  1.580   28
11.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes    1.16.905  1.798   16
12.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth       1.16.941  1.834   39
13.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1.17.051  1.944   32
14.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1.17.684  2.577   34
15.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1.17.757  2.650   20
16.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault           1.18.470  3.363   33
17.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault           1.18.482  3.375   38
18.  Pedro de la Rosa      Sauber-Ferrari          1.18.536  3.429   14
19.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1.18.601  3.494   38
20.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1.19.209  4.102   28
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth         1.19.810  4.703   25
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth            1.20.284  5.177   31
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth            1.20.311  5.204   38
24.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth         1.20.922  5.815   26

De la Rosa replaces Perez for Canada

Pedro de la Rosa, pictured here in 2010, will replace Sergio Perez in Canada

Pedro de la Rosa, pictured here in 2010, will replace Sergio Perez in Canada

Pedro de la Rosa will replace Sergio Perez for the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Perez was involved in a heavy shunt in Monaco qualifying, and was ruled out of the race. He returned to the cockpit in Friday practice today, but withdrew after the first session, after he reported feeling sick.

As a precaution, the team have decided to replace him for this weekend. Regular test driver Esteban Gutierrez was not in Montreal this weekend, so he has lost his chance to drive an F1 car for the first time.

A statement from Perez reads as follows:

"Of course I wanted to drive and I had no doubt I was alright. 
But apparently this is unfortunately not the case.

I am deeply disappointed. I spoke to the team after the session 
and told them that I’m not a hundred per cent fit. I only want 
to drive when I’m a hundred per cent well. I need some more time 
to recover."

McLaren have allowed their reserve driver De la Rosa the chance to drive the C30 this weekend.

De la Rosa drove for Peter Sauber’s outfit last year, before he was dumped with 5 races to go, and replaced by Nick Heidfeld.

Rosberg leads while Vettel crashes out of Canada FP1

Rosberg led FP1 in Canada

Rosberg led FP1 in Canada

Nico Rosberg led proceedings for first practice for the Canadian Grand Prix. A 1.15.591 was 2.5 seconds faster than the fastest lap set in FP1 last year.

However, the main highlight of the session was Sebastian Vettel crashing out with half an hour to go.

The Red Bull driver locked up at the final chicane, and slid into the “Wall of Champions”, notorious for crashes in the past. As well as losing valuable track time, the team also lost a new front wing which was on Vettel’s car.

Onboard with Vettel as he slams into the Wall of Champions

Onboard with Vettel as he slams into the Wall of Champions

The session was littered with incidents as the track was still in its “green” stage. Nick Heidfeld, Paul di Resta, Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber, Narain Karthikeyan, Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa all had off-track moments.

The first hour was spent testing Pirelli’s medium tyre to be used in Valencia, and soon focus switched to the soft compound. The super-soft compound was not used in this session.

Times from FP1:

 1.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1.15.591           32
 2.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1.16.139   0.548   27
 3.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1.16.549   0.958   30
 4.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1.16.658   1.067   26
 5.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1.16.676   1.085   20
 6.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1.16.842   1.251   19
 7.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth       1.16.990   1.399   28
 8.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1.17.294   1.703   26
 9.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault                 1.17.445   1.854   28
10.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1.17.549   1.958   20
11.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1.17.662   2.071   27
12.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1.17.820   2.229   30
13.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1.18.458   2.867   31
14.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                 1.18.506   2.915   15
15.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1.18.648   3.057   35
16.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1.18.852   3.261    8
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth       1.18.932   3.341   20
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault           1.19.274   3.683   29
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault           1.19.422   3.831   30
20.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1.19.577   3.986   26
21.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth         1.19.838   4.247   31
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth            1.19.960   4.369   23
23.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth         1.20.520   4.929   21
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth            1.20.839   5.248   27

Bahrain abandons efforts for 2011 race

Heads of the Bahrain International Circuit have given in to mounting pressure and announced that they will not persue holding a Grand Prix in Bahrain in 2011.

In recent days the FIA announced that the Bahrain event would return to the calendar, moving into India’s original spot. However, Max Mosley, Bernie Ecclestone and FOTA all agreed to oppose the event. Their argument was that unanimous agreement was needed in order to change race dates, which was never going to be achieved.

After months of critisism from international media, the circuit organisers have conceded that a race will not occur there in 2011.

Circuit chairman Zayed Alzayani has announced:

"Whilst Bahrain would have been delighted to see the Grand Prix progress on October 
30th in-line with the World Motor Sport Council’s decision, it has been made clear 
that this fixture cannot progress and we fully respect that decision.

Bahrain has always sought to play a positive role in the continued development of 
Formula One, from pioneering F1 racing in the Middle East, to helping other countries 
in facilitating their own races in new territories, as well as providing our own 
unique experience and universal welcome to Grand Prix supporters.

Bahrain has absolutely no desire to see a race which would further extends the 
calendar season detract from the enjoyment of F1 for either drivers, teams or 
supporters. We want our role in Formula One to continue to be as positive and 
constructive as it has always been, therefore, in the best interest of the sport, 
we will not pursue the rescheduling of a race this season.

We look forward to welcoming teams, their drivers and supporters back to Bahrain 
next year and would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our supporters, including 
staff, volunteers, sponsors, private businesses and the general public, for whom I 
know this year’s decision will be a disappointment. We would also especially like to 
thank the FIA, FOM, The Bahrain Motor Federation (BMF) and the teams for all support 
and understanding they have extended to us at this time."

While it will not be confirmed for a while, it is almost certain that the Indian Grand Prix will now be returned to its original October 30th date.