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2011 Singapore Grand Prix (Rd 14, Free Practice 1, Sept 23rd, TV Notes)

September 24, 2011

Marina Bay circuit. © Creative Commons / Readro

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
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