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2011 Indian Grand Prix (Rd 17, Friday Free Practices, Oct 28th, TV Notes)

October 29, 2011

New Delhi International. © John Chapman / Creative Commons.

McLaren and Ferrari claimed the honours following both free practice sessions for the Indian Grand Prix on Friday.

On a dusty and dirty Jaypee International Circuit, Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets in the morning with a 1:26.836, although the McLaren pilot would garner a three-place grid penalty in the process.

The 2008 World Champion set his quickest lap while running through a double-waved yellow flag section. Driver steward Johnny Herbert handed the same penalty to Sauber’s Sergio Perez for the same reason.
Hamilton’s best was a clear half-second faster than Red Bull duo, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, with Hamilton’s teammate Jenson Button a further second adrift.

The opening session stuttered somewhat under the weight of several incidents, including a brief red flag period due to a wild dog roaming the circuit.
Jaime Alguersuari obtained some television time when he backed his Toro Rosso his the barriers at turn ten, while several moments later Williams’ Pastor Maldonado pulled off the circuit with a blown engine.

An engine problem also halted Fernando Alonso’s progress before the hour mark, with the Spaniard completing only four laps as a result.
Several drivers also marked the opening session with a number of off-track excursions, the most severe of which coming from Vettel, Bruno Senna (Renault), Adrian Sutil (Force India) and Felipe Massa (Ferrari).

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
01.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1m26.836s    	       22
02.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m27.416s  + 0.580   23
03.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m27.428s  + 0.592   27
04.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m28.394s  + 1.558   23
05.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1m28.531s  + 1.695   23
06.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m28.542s  + 1.706   29
07.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m28.644s  + 1.808   22
08.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1m28.705s  + 1.869   23
09.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m29.219s  + 2.383   24
10.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1m29.355s  + 2.519   29
11.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m29.700s  + 2.864   24
12.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1m29.705s  + 2.869   22
13.  Bruno Senna           Renault                1m29.799s  + 2.963   20
14.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1m30.132s  + 3.296   25
15.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1m30.367s  + 3.531   21
16.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m30.566s  + 3.730   19
17.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1m30.699s  + 3.833   22
18.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1m30.818s  + 3.982   22
19.  Karun Chandhok        Lotus-Renault          1m32.487s  + 5.651   24
20.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1m32.771s  + 5.935   24
21.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1m33.928s  + 7.092   27
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1m34.113s  + 7.277   30
23.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1m35.896s  + 8.960   19
24.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m35.899s  + 9.063    4

In the afternoon, Massa jumped to the top of the standings ahead of Vettel and Alonso. The Brazilian spent much of session gathering lap data for a new front wing – an element that raised a number of eyebrows due to its violently flexing endplates.

One of the last to set a fastest lap, Massa turned in a 1:25.706, before concentrating on a race set-up stint.
The Ferrari man would complete thirty-three laps before the chequered flag emerged, leaving him with an advantage of 0.088 seconds over the quickest Red Bull.

Vettel held the top spot for much of second practice, garnering 34 laps around the Jaypee Circuit. A gap of 0.136 split Vettel and Alonso (3rd), although the Spaniard may well have been happy to get in a good deal of running, following his abbreviated morning.
Behind the fastest trio was Hamilton. After heading the pack by at least half-a-second in the morning, the McLaren racer’s best was now 0.5 slower than Alonso’s, although qualifying set-up work may not have been a priority.

The afternoon running also hit a few bumps in the road. With numerous drivers falling off seemingly everywhere, a couple were bound to lose it completely.
On this occasion, Williams’ Pastor Maldonado beached his FW33 into the gravel at turn nine, while later Jerome d’Ambrosio hit the barrier hard exiting turn eleven. Sadly for d’Ambrosio, his Virgin Racing car was quite far beyond repair; however Maldonado returned to action late on in the session, once his car had been returned to the garage.

 Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m25.706s   	      33
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m25.794s  + 0.088  34
 3.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m25.930s  + 0.224  34
 4.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1m26.454s  + 0.748  26
 5.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m26.500s  + 0.794  30
 6.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m26.714s  + 1.008  28
 7.  Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1m27.316s  + 1.610  34
 8.  Bruno Senna           Renault                1m27.498s  + 1.792  36
 9.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m27.853s  + 2.147  35
10.  Sebastien Buemi       Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m27.868s  + 2.162  35
11.  Vitaly Petrov         Renault                1m27.890s  + 2.184  37
12.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1m28.050s  + 2.344  34
13.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1m28.289s  + 2.583  36
14.  Jaime Alguersuari     Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m28.552s  + 2.846  31
15.  Rubens Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1m28.691s  + 2.985  29
16.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Cosworth      1m28.708s  + 3.002  24
17.  Jarno Trulli          Lotus-Renault          1m29.332s  + 3.626  39
18.  Heikki Kovalainen     Lotus-Renault          1m30.241s  + 4.535  41
19.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m31.098s  + 5.392  38
20.  Timo Glock            Virgin-Cosworth        1m31.469s  + 5.763  32
21.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1m31.804s  + 6.098  28
22.  Jerome D'Ambrosio     Virgin-Cosworth        1m32.593s  + 6.887  12
23.  Daniel Ricciardo      HRT-Cosworth           1m32.768s  + 7.062  33
24.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1m32.824s  + 7.118  33
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