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

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