Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso topped what was a very wet and windy first practice session in Istanbul yesterday morning.
The Spaniard set a best lap of 1:38.670, some 1.4 seconds quicker than the Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.
Alonso clocked up thirteen laps in the sodden conditions, giving he – and the rest of the field – some precious running on wet and intermediate tyres.
Those that committed any significant track time noted a the wet tyres suffered a similar drop off to Pirelli’s dry rubber.
Rosberg and Schumacher led the Nick Heidfeld (4th) and Vitaly Petrov (5th) on the sheets, albeit three-tenths adrift of the silver machines. Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi filled out the top-six.
Both Red Bull and Virgin brought upgrades to Turkey, although with the conditions as the were, little information would have been gathered.
Backmarkers Virgin delivered a new nose section, floor, exhaust and diffuser to Istanbul to help lift them of the bottom of the sheets. Timo Glock and Jerome d’Ambrosio finished the session in 18th and 19th respectively, but little meaning can be assumed from this result.
Red Bull fitted a new rear wing section for Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, although neither completed many laps with the new parts. Webber ran five laps on the wet tyre, while Vettel took to the intermediate rubber.
It would bite the German hard during the session. Exiting turn 8, Vettel placed one wheel on the slick kerbs, pitching him into a meeting with the barriers and bringing out a short-lived red flag.
Unsurprisingly, the session was littered with spins and aquaplaning cars – most were harmless, except for Williams’ Pastor Maldonado who slid helplessly into the barriers at the tail of the session.
At Hispania, Narain Karthikeyan lost much of the session due to a mechanical issue as the morning started. He would get out eventually, setting eight laps, nearly ten seconds off of Alonso’s ultimate lap.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m38.670s 13 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m40.072s + 1.402 14 3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m40.132s + 1.462 18 4. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m40.338s + 1.668 9 5. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m40.401s + 1.731 10 6. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.421s + 1.751 16 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m40.697s + 2.027 14 8. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.094s + 2.424 18 9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m41.178s + 2.508 22 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m41.347s + 2.677 16 11. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m42.564s + 3.894 5 12. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m42.597s + 3.927 7 13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m43.525s + 4.855 11 14. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m43.913s + 5.243 5 15. Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 1m43.986s + 5.316 6 16. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m44.787s + 6.117 20 17. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m44.954s + 6.284 4 18. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m45.183s + 6.513 15 19. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m45.237s + 6.567 11 20. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m48.461s + 9.791 8 21. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m51.676s + 13.006 6 22. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m55.791s + 17.121 13 23. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2m00.666s + 21.996 4 24. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes no time 1