Round 1 Bahrain – Free Practice 1

This morning saw the first officially timed practice session of the 2010 season.  While it was still very early days, there was some interesting points to pick up on.  With many of the teams still desperate for testing mileage the session was busy pretty much throughout.

Surprisingly Adrian Sutil ended the session fastest for Force India with a time of 1:56.583, just in front of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari. Robert Kubica was an encouraging 3rd for the Renault team, with Massa 4th on his debut back in the sport since his accident.  Mclaren drivers Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were well placed in 5th and 6th respectively.

However the session seemed to be a bit of a struggle for the Mercedes and Redbull teams.  7 times World Champion, Michael Schumacher could only manage 10th, a second of fastest man Sutil’s time, and Vettle finished in a lowly 13th place.

New teams Lotus, Virgin and HRT were able to compete their first competitive laps, however Karun Chandhok was unable to get out in the HRT as his team was still building his car in the pits.  It is hoped that he will be able to take some part in the second session in a few hours.

We were able to see the new section of the track for the first time, with most commentators and fans disappointed in its slow, twisty and bumpy nature.  The extra corners has added an additonal 15 seconds or so to the total lap time.

During the session Renault’s Managing Director Bob Bell spoke to the BBC and was scathing in his criticism of the FIA’s ruling to approve the new Mclaren rear wing, which is controlled by the driver in order to achieve higher top speeds. It seems that other teams are unhappy and that there could well be a protest during the course of the weekend.

Pos  Driver         Team                   Time              Laps
 1.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1:56.583            18
 2.  Alonso         Ferrari                1:56.766  + 0.183   18
 3.  Kubica         Renault                1:57.041  + 0.458   19
 4.  Massa          Ferrari                1:57.055  + 0.472   19
 5.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1:57.068  + 0.485   19
 6.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes       1:57.163  + 0.580   19
 7.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes   1:57.194  + 0.611   19
 8.  Rosberg        Mercedes               1:57.199  + 0.616   15
 9.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault       1:57.255  + 0.672   17
10.  Schumacher     Mercedes               1:57.662  + 1.079   16
11.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:57.722  + 1.139   18
12.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth      1:57.894  + 1.311   20
13.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault       1:57.943  + 1.360   17
14.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:58.399  + 1.816   13
15.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth      1:58.782  + 2.199   11
16.  Petrov         Renault                1:58.880  + 2.297   13
17.  de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari         2:00.250  + 3.667   18
18.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari         2:01.388  + 4.805   11
19.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth        2:03.680  + 7.097    8
20.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth         2:03.848  + 7.265   21
21.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth         2:03.970  + 7.387   15
22.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth                             2
23.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth                                3
24.  Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth
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