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???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. Sauber doesn’t look fast, that’s the biggest surprise for me at this moment.

    1. I expected them to be a bit slower in practices and qualifyings, as they’re true potential is that they don’t ruin tyres quickly – which helps the most in the race. But I didn’t expect them to be this slow.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys
    12th March 2010, 9:41

    Has anybody else notised the way the grey Hispania livery tends to blend in with the track?

    1. I would have noticed, but the two shades of grey are so similar, I didn’t even realise the car was there!

      On another note, the biggest disappointments for me were Williams and Sauber, but then this is only FP1, and they could have been running any kind of setup and fuel levels. Biggest surprise for me would be Kubica in the Renault, I really didn’t expect him to be up there.

      1. There is a rumor that he ran with more fuel than both ferraris…

    2. Don’t worry, the yellow helmet wil help clear up any confusion between car and track.

      1. A disembodied yellow helmet whipping round the track – very odd imagery.

        1. I remember you can do that in Grand Prix 2 on the PC. When I was having a go at modding the files and textures, I accidentially deleted some car files… some of the teams had cars made up of 4 wheels and a floating helmet!

          1. I remember playing around with that. I made a Scuderia Ferrari Kit Kat I was very proud of.

    3. Could be dangerous for other drivers when asphalt grey coloured pieces fall off the dodgy HRT and onto the track!!!

  3. The Red Bulls didn’t look good out there..
    But its still too early to tell, Next practice will be better, warmer and more rubber on track.

    I like that sutil was out in front, i think they will be dangerous all season. But that they just have a real shot in top score now in the beginning before some other team pass them in development.

    1. Yea Sutil will be dangerous this season, probably just not in the way you meant…

      1. Hehe, He has a bit of badluck to always hit some other car during the races.

        1. LOL. Bang on, force india may challenge byut Sutil does have massive reliability issues

  4. I’m not too surprised that Lotus/Virgin/HRT are seven seconds behind at the moment. They will more than likely be concentrating on full tank running, since there would seem to be no point doing otherwise. The other teams will be looking for a compromise setup for both qualifying and the race, whereas Lotus/Virgin/HRT need only worry about race setup, knowing that they will not be getting through to Q2 in qualifying.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys
    12th March 2010, 9:43

    I have to say … I’m kind of disappointed. The sheer coverage of the off-season testing has meant that I’m missing the whole “Yes! It’s finally here! The new season of acing is about to begin!” excitement. It feels like we’re in the middle of the season.

    1. Agreed. Also, I was kind of expecting something to all come together and we would see an actual pecking order. I guess that will have to wait until tomorrow!

      I am also a bit saddened that the words “McLaren” and “controversy” are in the same sentence again… It is not their fault this time, all they have done is be clever, but it would be nice if all results this season weren’t marked “provisional” for a week after the race.

    2. I found exactly the same thing!

      I think qualifying might get the juices flowing a bit more :)

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        12th March 2010, 10:00

        It probabl doesn’t help that I won’t be able to get any coverage until 10:30pm on Sunday night – and even then, it probably won’t be live. The local broadcaster tends to put the races on late because they only care about the Autralian Grand Prix.

        That, and the fact that 2009 was the first time I actually got to watch a full season at my leisure. I didn’t have a television from 2006-2008 (and when I did have access to one, it was usually taken by the Grey’s Anatomy fanclub), I worked very early on Monday mornings in 2005 and was usually too exhausted to stay up past 9pm, I was doing my HSC in 2004 and so had no time for it, and in 2003 I was only sixteen, so anything earlier than that and I was never really old enough to watch every race and follow every pice of news the way I obsessively-compulsively do now.

  6. Did anyone expect so slow times? I thought they would need around 1.45 for a lap.

    1. Considering how slow and long the lap is now: yes.

  7. Last year Red Bull were 9th and 12th in firday practice 1 in Baharin. Thye wen’t onto score a 2nd place and could have done better if not Webber being held up. So I believe that we can’t rely on prac 1 to much.

  8. Trap times on F1 Live has the Mercedes powered cars on top, low downforce Force india or tricked up wing McLaren or maybe just that Merc engine. Funny Kubica and Petrov both getting a mention even with their lagging engine.

  9. Prisoner: that’s on demand media saturation for ya. :)

    And shakedown or not, that HRT car looked extremely unbalanced. I almost felt sorry they put Bruno’s name on that car in such a large typeface, as it was easy to read while the car was skiddishly understeering at low speeds…

    Now I’m even more curious how they’ll perform against the other newcomers.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th March 2010, 9:56

      Well, considering that the car had never been driven before – much less driven in anger – it’s not surprising that the car looked unstable. They had absolutely no idea what kind of setup data they’d need; sure, Virgin and Lotus haven’t driven around Bahrain before, but they know how their cars respond to setup changes. Hispania have no idea, but now tat they’d got several laps’ worth of data, they should be good for the second session.

  10. BBC red button wasnt working for me :-(

    1. If you have digital terrestrial TV, it’s channel 301

  11. Any chance you can add % of position 1 time to the tables will be especially handy if they’re indeed going to bring back the 107% rule for qualifying.

    1. 124.743 seconds is 107% of Sutil’s time, providing my maths is correct (which has been proven unreliable by many exam boards in the past).

  12. Button 1 Hamilton 0 :)

    1. Are you Englishman? I just have a question… Who is most popular in England – Button or Hamilton?

      1. Probably even – they each have staunch unmoveable followers

  13. Alonso, Kubica both makes a difference. Hope Roberto will join Ferrari in next season!

    1. Well obviously I hope that doesn’t happen :P

      1. Osvaldos, why d u hope that?

        1. Kubica’s good but I prefer Massa. Just personal opinion although I rate him over Rosberg

          1. massa over kubica… really interesting :)

  14. Force India can be a bit of surprise, they look very strong and they can very well be on the podium this weekend. Red Bull didn’t show the pace but they will, and hopefully Vettel will win this sunday!

  15. It’s FP1 so it doesn’t mean that much. Perhaps slightly more indicative than testing but this will not be the order of quali so I don’t see why it is being taken so seriously.
    Welcome back Massa after 8 months.
    Congratulations to HRT who I most certainly think are not a joke. I hope their car can be fairly reliable although I do expect some issues. It was great to see Bruno on track and as Mark says, they may have been 15 seconds down but he had to let cars through.
    Schumacher didn’t seem happy with his cars but it is very early.
    Kubica did better than expected but who knows, that pace could vanish slightly by quali.
    A few drivers marked out that Sauber and FI looked good. Sutil may well be lighter as I don’t expct FI to be at the front but there could be some genuine pace there. As for Sauber, they’re best on their tires so I expect them to shine race day rather than for outright speed.
    Anyway, thank God F1 has returned!

    1. ya most important news is F1 has returned!

    2. I’m with you in the HRT fan club. They have done really well to even make it ot the race, and once Bruno and Karun have got a few miles under their belts, they will be challenging Virgin and Lotus.

      On the HRT story, did anyone else notice the new logo’s on BRuno’s overalls and on the car? It says “Banco di something or other”…

      1. Yeah I am in the fan club to :D. I saw those logo’s, I assume they are a Senna sponsor, like Embratel.

        1. Cool we’ve started a fan club now :p should we have t shirts or something? ;)

          1. Haha that would be awesome!

          2. Let’s go with Blue caps, just like Bruno.

      2. Ditto re: HRT. First time the car has rolled – those were instalation laps in a car they have no data on. Will take several install laps with various setup changes to gauge the cars reaction to them. Sunday will be a good reliability run for the car, but daft testing restrictions make the first 2 or 3 GPs a write off for them.

        Good to see them there and wish them all the best. All teams have to start somewhere.

        Suspect Shovlin is wondering whether he drew the short straw if Michael is tossing his toys out of his grey pram already ;)

        1. I’d love to see HRT do well this season. I have to admit I was extremely excited to see Bruno out in that car today, especially with that Senna yellow helmet. It brought back those sad memories of watching in 1994 and I just hope things work out for the team.

          Imagine if Bruno had been given the Brawn GP drive last year like planned? He probably would have been in the running of the championship and one of the potentials for this season.

  16. Wow, so many surprises and big question marks!
    1. Force India
    – Are they so fast or is it just the track that suits them so well? Or were they just light on fuel…
    2. Renault/Kubica – right on!
    – Was Kubica very light as he’s so much in front of Petrov? Or is Renault so fast and Petrov so slow?
    Is Kubica going to be the dark horse?
    3. Button 1:0 Hamilton.
    – Yeah! Go champ! This is important for the image of the sport. Button must show he carries the “1” deservingly.
    4. Sauber-Ferrari 17th and 18th.
    – What a disappointment!
    5. Williams-Cosworth 12th and 15th.
    – Will we see the team joining the ‘Cosworth group’ at the bottom of the pack?
    6. Trulli, Glock, Kovalainen “+7sec or more”.
    – It’s sad seeing those drivers so far off the pace.

    @ Keith.
    Could you bring the Prediction Game Article back on the first page of the site? It’d be unfair for many of the guys to miss it because they didn’t know it was there.

    I see a poll about the first drivers to get lapped in the race coming. :-)

    1. I think Keith said it will be on the front page after first two practices.

    2. @2 according to paddock rumors kubica was not light. havier than ferrari. this looks optimistic for renault but we will see at quali.

      petrov was probably very heavy.

  17. Good for Sutil

    Hope all cars will start on Sat/Sun

    This will be a very close season! :)

  18. I have not seen any F1 cars actually going flat out against each other since Abu Dhabi. I will watch the 2nd practice and I just cannot wait. Welcome back F1!

  19. i hope HRT can be out with both cars during the whole P2.
    Same with Virgin & Lotus.

    they should almost get an extra practice hour (read day haha) to help them catch up.

    1. That will be quite emotional for some older fans like myself.
      Michael Schumacher and a Senna together on a F1 track. Hmm. Kinda brings a tear to my eyes.

  20. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an underdog win this race?

    1. Like Senna? :D

    2. Prisoner Monkeys
      12th March 2010, 10:46

      Cast your mind back twelve months to Melbourne: Nico Rosberg and Williams were fastest in the first practic session. They didn’t win.

      As has no doubt been repeated time and again both here and elsewhere on the internet: it’s FP1 of the first race of the season. It doesn’t count for anything.

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