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2011 European Grand Prix (Rd 8, Free Practice 1, June 24th)

June 24, 2011

Valencia Street Circuit.

Mark Webber topped the opening practice session for the European Grand Prix at Valencia.

The Australian ran 22 laps around the dusty street circuit, registering a best tour of 1:40.403 – some eight-tenths quicker than the best efforts Vitaly Petrov (Renault) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari).

Webber’s Red Bull teammate, Sebastian Vettel, spent much of the first session testing the RB7’s revised engine mapping programme to used from Silverstone onward.
It would see the reigning champion only set the 16th quickest lap of the morning.

Lewis Hamilton was the faster of the McLaren Mercedes pair, securing 4th on the timing sheets, four-tenths and three places up on teammate Jenson Button. Less appealing was that Hamilton’s best was a clear 1.1 seconds off of Webber’s pace. McLaren brought an updated front wing to this race in an aid to challenge the Red Bull’s.
Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa made it another Renault / Ferrari pairing in 5th and 6th places respectively; both of whom finishing the practice around half-a-second shy of their stablemates.

Adrian Sutil was the quickest of the Force India’s in 8th, although the German had little trouble from Nico Hulkenberg – sitting in for regular pilot Paul di Resta – whose session lasted all of twenty minutes.
Hulkenberg was on his seventh lap, when he lost control of his Force India in turn twelve, clouting the barrier in the process. With the suspension damaged on both wheels on the left side, Hulkenberg’s day was done.

Another Friday morning replacement not having a good session was Karun Chandhok. Following disappoint stints in Melbourne and Istanbul, the Indian only managed a further two laps before his Lotus developed a gearbox failure.
It makes it only five laps that Chandhok has attempted so far this season.

Other than that, Toro Rosso stand-in Daniel Ricciardo enjoyed a fruitful day. Ricciardo secured 12th in practice two-tenths, two places and two laps shy of teammate Jaime Alguersuari.

Williams didn’t have as good a morning. Veteran Rubens Barrichello complained of excessive vibration at high speed, pinning the Brazilian to 13th on the time sheets.
Barrichello spent the session testing an updated exhaust on the FW33. Teammate Pastor Maldonado registered the 15th best time with the original exhaust configuration.

A late session spin by Virgin’s Timo Glock (exiting turn 5) brought out yellow flags with only a minute left, rendering all fast runs null.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault      1m40.403s   	      22
 2.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault               1m41.227s  + 0.824   20
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari               1m41.239s  + 0.836   22
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.510s  + 1.107   23
 5.  Nick Heidfeld         Renault               1m41.580s  + 1.177   24
 6.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari               1m41.758s  + 1.355   23
 7.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes      1m41.926s  + 1.523   14
 8.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes  1m41.955s  + 1.552   20
 9.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes              1m42.043s  + 1.640   22
10.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m42.216s  + 1.813   29
11.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes              1m42.270s  + 1.867   26
12.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m42.412s  + 2.009   27
13.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth     1m42.704s  + 2.301   23
14.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari        1m42.738s  + 2.335   20
15.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth     1m42.841s  + 2.438   28
16.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault      1m42.941s  + 2.538   21
17.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari        1m43.201s  + 2.798   18
18.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes  1m43.769s  + 3.366    7
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault         1m44.136s  + 3.733   17
20.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth       1m45.026s  + 4.623   17
21.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth       1m45.221s  + 4.818   19
22.  Tonio Liuzzi          HRT-Cosworth          1m45.494s  + 5.091   24
23.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth          1m46.926s  + 6.523   27
24.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault         		       2
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