Sutil heads Bahrain free practice one

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Adrian Sutil was fastest in the first session of the year driving the VJM03
Adrian Sutil was fastest in the first session of the year driving the VJM03

Adrian Sutil put Force India at the top of the times sheets at following free practice one at Bahrain.

Ferrari and McLaren also headed the times during the 90-minute session with Fernando Alonso ending the session second quickest ahead of the man who replaced him at Renault, Robert Kubica.

The three new teams struggled to find the pace on the extended Bahrain circuit. The two Lotus drivers many several laps but at Virgin only Timo Glock was able to set a time.

Neither HRT car managed a time either. Karun Chandhok spent the entire session in the pits while Bruno Senna went out for just three laps. On his final tour of the circuit he was 15 seconds off the pace over the first two sectors.

Bahrain Grand Prix free practice 1 times

Position Car number Driver Car Best lap Laps
1 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’56.583 18
2 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’56.766 0.183 18
3 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’57.041 0.458 19
4 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’57.055 0.472 19
5 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’57.068 0.485 19
6 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’57.163 0.58 19
7 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’57.194 0.611 19
8 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’57.199 0.616 15
9 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’57.255 0.672 17
10 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’57.662 1.079 16
11 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’57.722 1.139 18
12 10 Nico H?â??lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’57.894 1.311 20
13 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’57.943 1.36 17
14 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’58.399 1.816 13
15 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’58.782 2.199 11
16 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’58.880 2.297 13
17 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 2’00.250 3.667 18
18 23 Kamui Kobyashi Sauber-Ferrari 2’01.388 4.805 11
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2’03.680 7.097 8
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 2’03.848 7.265 21
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 2’03.970 7.387 15
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 2
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 3
24 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 0

More analysis of the practice times later today at F1 Fanatic.

112 comments on “Sutil heads Bahrain free practice one”

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  1. that i didn’t expect!

    1. im afraid this season will fail his expectations

    2. im afraid this year its going to fail expectations

  2. classic friday practice.

    1. So is Sutil going to become classic Friday’s champion? :)

  3. Mark Hitchcock
    12th March 2010, 9:01

    “On his final tour of the circuit he was 15 seconds off the pace over the first two sectors.”

    After being held up for a few corners then rudely barged off-line by a Torro Rosso!

    Didn’t look nice to drive even before that though.

    1. He managed to lose 10 seconds in the twisty middle sector, as he was “only” 5 seconds down at the end of sector 1. The car really did look a handful through that series of new corners, the front tyres seemed to be chattering and skitting sideways at some points.

      He was looking to be 20 seconds down by the end of the lap before he pulled across into the pits

  4. Nice surprise to see the two Force India’s up there. Ditto Bob’s Renault. Interesting commentary from R5L chaps on Schumacher’s agitation about his cars setup. Nico must be laughing over his mid-morning wurst roll.

    Pleased to see Button keeping Hamilton honest, but early days yet. The true test won’t come till Sunday when these beasts are fully fuelled and the wrestling will begin.

  5. Lets hope that Force India have a strong season.

    Can’t help but feel a bit concerned for HRT, first they can’t put the wheels on their car the right way round, now they can’t even set a time.

    Still annoyed that Stefan weren’t given a place, oh well.

    1. What makes you think Stefan would be any better then Hispania?

      1. “What makes you think Stefan would be any better then Hispania?”


  6. Top 10 seperated with 0.627s. WOW. Combine that with some talent of Schumacher and we are going to have a freight train in the top 10.

    Vettel, a little dissapointing. But it is only P1. Renault and Force India look promising to me. Good session for Liuzzi.

    Expected better from Red Bull. But only FP1 so much more to come.

    You can see how excited I am with all my rambling. =D

    1. You mean top 9. Schumi is 10th

    2. Hey Karan, good to see you over here :D

      Pretty impressive pace from the Force Indias. Its early days of course but its looking good to be ‘best of the rest’ after the big four, if not even better.

      Great to see Senna and HRT make it out on track. I just hope it doesn’t lead to too many disputes over the pace of the slower cars. The top drivers just need to grow a pair and accept they’ll have to lap them a few times and even then its only if they last a while in the race.

      Incidently, if anybody would like to play my predictions game, I still have 7 slots left. You can’t read too much into FP1 so any entries before FP2 will be accepted for Bahrain:

      (sorry to spam!)

      Can’t wait for FP2 :D

      1. Hey man, I’ve been a lurker for about 8 months haha, I am a part of much smaller communities, but I love the time and effort Keith puts into this site, I feel we really owe him.

  7. Nice job by Sutil!(Running empty I suppose)This is just a warm up though. The real thing starts later on and will be at its maximum tomorrow during ‘real qualifying’. I can’t wait!

    1. I don’t think he was empty low maybe but not empty otherwise he would stopped )

  8. haha, had to laugh during the 5live coverage when someone made the comment that there was a relaxes atmosphere, and there had been no scandals yet. Boom! 5 minutes later renault were certainly not holding back on mclarens stalling the rear wing. Didn’t take long :)

  9. Prisoner Monkeys
    12th March 2010, 9:09

    Two things:

    HRT were doing a shakedown. Senna was no doubt specifically told not to drive the wheels off it.

    If Sutil was running light, then so was Fernando Alonso.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      12th March 2010, 9:13

      “Senna was no doubt specifically told not to drive the wheels off it.”

      Probably because the wheels could quite literally come off.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        12th March 2010, 9:18

        Don’t tell me you actually mean that. The Hispania HRT spent longer in development than the Virgin VR-01 or the Lotus T127, and it was designed and built by Dallara. This was not a rush job; if they accelerated anything, it would be finishing Chandhok’s car, and given that they did it in two weeks, it would only be on the finishing touches. The Hispania is not going to suddenly fall apart the way everyone seems to think it wll just because it hasn’t had a shakedown until jsut now.

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          12th March 2010, 9:33

          It was only very, very slightly serious.

          As you say, they are well prepared, but you never know what could happen when the car hits the track at speed.
          You’ve gotta expect some sort of failure. Not necessarily anything extreme, but maybe problems with the hydraulics or the gearbox or something. The problems which are usually ironed out in testing.

          1. Mark Hitchcock
            12th March 2010, 9:41

            And if those problems are going to happen, I’d rather they happen in practice than qualifying when a hold-up in the session could jeopardise someone’s chances of getting into q2.

    2. Did Senna have wheels on?
      We dont have live coverage in Aust – and via the Live Timing on, i assumed that Senna/Lotus/Virgin had forgotten to put wheels on, and had the pit crew pushing them around the circuit they were that slow. 7 – 8 seconds off the pace! Most people were thinking that 3-4 would be bad. This could prove very interesting in the race – but also in Q1 when cars are trying to get a decent run – and run into a slow moving roadblock.

      1. In Barcelona the new teams were 4-5 seconds behind – but this circuit has a lap that takes almost 2 minutes to drive, compared to Barcelona’s 1.20. So 4-5 in Barcelona, 7-8 in Bahrain – basically the same.

    3. Button and Hamilton were out with 150kg of fuel were they? It is way to early for any kind of idea who has done what. Good on Force India for at least getting there. They may supprise many due to clever quali positions and having a choice of tyres.

    4. …then, so were the rest of the grid.

      Saturday we all will know what team/driver has the fastest car.

    5. and so was Jenson and so was Hamilton

  10. Sennas laps were just a shakedown run apparently.

    1. Beaten by prisoner monkey :)

  11. any hi res pics keith? the drivers and their cars photo would be great!

  12. Hmmm… Sounds unconvincing to me. Let’s see what happens tomorrow tough.

  13. Well, if the 107% rule was in operation then all the cars that set times would have been within it…

    1. The 107 % rule has been banished since 2002 (if I remember correctly it’s 2002)

  14. Good job Kubica! Did he have a new difusser? Any pics?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th March 2010, 9:19

      Why do you people all seem to think that pictures are going to be instantly available? The teams take pains to keep their diffusers hidden for as long as possible, so if Renalt have a new one, they’re going to ensure no-one sees it for as long as possible.

      1. The guy (sorry for assuming) only asked for pics, he didn’t demand them as if they were ‘instantly available’. It’s not really my place to say but I’m not sure why you’re being so confrontational, PM.

    2. yes, Robert said thay have new diffuser

  15. I read comments claimed to be from Heidfeld, that the Virgin is very unbalanced and that Lotus has better aerodynamics then the Virgin. Not sure i unserstand that, as both drivers and Gascoyne stated they lack a lot of downforce.

  16. Does anyone know if MercedesGp had the new diffusor installed or not ?

    1. Joe Saward said they do but it didn’t bring them them enough to challenge for the top.

  17. I thought all the cars were bouncing and juddering fairly alarmingly around some of the turns.

    1. Nick Someone
      12th March 2010, 9:32

      Yes very bumpy up that tight hilly bit.

      Still don’t really know for sure what’s going on. I think they should introduce a rule that they have to tell us the fuel weights at all times.

      1. No, Just no, stupid idea.

  18. we might be laughing at HRT now, but if they manage to be reliable cars, and their driver prudent and do the race as a test… the new regulation might catch out some of the guys in front of them, and yipe they finish and in the off chance might score a point… remember points run down to 10th this year so it wont be as hard as usual.

    1. Nick Someone
      12th March 2010, 9:35

      Can’t really say anything about them yet. they have done 3 shake down laps. If anyone is laughing they shouldn’t be. I know they are struggling to get the cars on track and I assume reliability will be a big problem for them, but I can’t determine anything about performance yet.

  19. when i heard the news teams were joining F1 I was excited, but I am not sure now. does it really improve F1 to have these teams so far off the pace? last season was great because even the slowest teams were pretty good, and teams like Force India had a few really great races – no one was well off the pace like now. I dont think its good for the sport.

  20. Why did Di Grassi not manage any laps?

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