McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton topped a shortened first practice at Singapore’s Marina Bay circuit on Friday.
Loose kerbs caused the initial ninety-minute session to lose its opening thirty minutes, while repairs were applied to the temporary circuit.
There frantic action once the circuit was green-lighted, although Hamilton lost further time in the pits, once a change of suspension became paramount. McLaren brought an upgraded rear wing, but both drivers would lose time throughout the day, as they put the part through its paces.
Despite the various woes, Hamilton pilot still shot to the top of the leader board late on – his best of 1:48.599 proving to be much for the chasing pack.
Both Red Bull’s followed with Sebastian Vettel, albeit split by an entire second. Vettel’s teammate, Mark Webber, lost time during the session thanks to a clumsy collision with the Virgin of Timo Glock.
The pair collided following a misjudged overtaking manoeuvre by the Australian, breaking Webber’s front wing – Glock for his troubles ended his session in the pits moments later. It had been a difficult session for Glock, having already lost time with a brake failure early on.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso filled out the top four, although the Spaniard was nearly two seconds shy of Hamilton, despite a new front wing package.
McLaren’s Jenson Button and Felipe Massa (Ferrari) assumed 5th and 6th respectively – both of whom finished the practice well off their teammate’s respective pace.
The top ten was filled with the four remaining Mercedes-powered cars, with Force India’s Adrian Sutil front and centre, although the German’s best tour was a startling 3.65 seconds shy of the ultimate pace.
Bruno Senna ran quicker than teammate Vitaly Petrov at Renault; however the Russian’s practice ended early due to massive overheating problem’s caused by upgraded bodywork.
Lotus brought a new floor and various minor aerodynamic upgrades – unfortunately neither Heikki Kovalainen nor Jarno Trulli could manage more than nine tours. Kovalainen suffered the added problems of a gearbox failure, followed by a brief fire in his brakes.
Red flag’s reappeared in the final moments of the session, due to more kerbing problems, although practice restarted three minutes from the end, allowing teams one final quick run.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m48.599s + 10 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m49.005s + 0.406 15 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m50.066s + 1.467 16 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m50.596s + 1.997 11 5. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m50.952s + 2.353 12 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m52.043s + 3.444 14 7. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m52.251s + 3.652 13 8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m52.416s + 3.817 12 9. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m52.435s + 3.836 13 10. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m52.815s + 4.216 13 11. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m52.991s + 4.392 17 12. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m53.050s + 4.451 17 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m53.399s + 4.800 18 14. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.703s + 5.104 19 15. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m53.749s + 5.150 12 16. Bruno Senna Renault 1m53.765s + 5.166 17 17. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m53.785s + 5.186 16 18. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m54.736s + 6.137 8 19. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m54.821s + 6.222 9 20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m56.198s + 7.599 8 21. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m57.798s + 9.199 13 22. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m58.792s + 10.193 6 23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1m59.169s + 10.570 17 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m59.214s + 10.615 18