Kubica quickest in disrupted first practice

Paul di Resta made his first appearance in an F1 practice session

Paul di Resta made his first appearance in an F1 practice session

Robert Kubica put Renault at the top of the times sheets at the end of free practice one for the Australian Grand Prix.

But Sauber suffered a difficult session. Kamui Kobayashi suffered two broken front wings which caused a pair session stoppages and Pedro de la Rosa’s car rolled to a halt with ten minutes left on the clock.

Kobayashi’s first problem was self-inflicted as he clouted the cone on the inside of turn 12, breaking his front wing. This brought the red flags out around 40 minutes into the session while the debris was retrieved.

But when Kobayashi returned to the track after the session restarted his front wing collapsed on the approach to turn three and he was lucky to stop without hitting anything. This caused the second stoppage of the session.

In between the disruptions the McLaren duo made the early running, trading fastest times.

Jenson Button eventually set the third-fastest time behind Kubica and Nico Rosberg, who was the quicker of the Mercedes drivers once again.

Traffic seemed to be more of a problem at the Albert Park circuit and could play a significant role during qualifying.

Some drivers also struggled with the new combination kerb at turn nine, where Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov both spun.

Paul di Resta was 11th in his first official F1 practice session appearance for Force India, 0.3s slower than team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Timo Glock was the slowest of the runners after suffering more problems in his Virgin. There have been fresh reports that the team need to modify the rear of their car because their fuel tank isn’t large enough.

Position Car Driver Car Best lap Laps
1 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’26.927 22
2 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’27.126 0.199 18
3 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’27.482 0.555 22
4 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’27.511 0.584 18
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’27.686 0.759 23
6 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’27.747 0.82 21
7 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’27.793 0.866 22
8 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.014 1.087 21
9 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’28.114 1.187 18
10 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’28.192 1.265 18
11 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’28.537 1.61 25
12 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’28.550 1.623 19
13 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.572 1.645 21
14 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’28.683 1.756 22
15 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’29.465 2.538 13
16 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’29.712 2.785 18
17 10 Nico H?â??lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’30.249 3.322 26
18 23 Kamui Kobyashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’31.588 4.661 5
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’31.652 4.725 13
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’31.654 4.727 26
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’32.831 5.904 25
22 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’33.401 6.474 24
23 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1’34.251 7.324 19
24 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’34.925 7.998 8

Image (C) Force India F1 Team

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22 comments on Kubica quickest in disrupted first practice

  1. Jarred Walmsley said on 26th March 2010, 3:35

    Good to see that the HRT’s have improved significantly over their Bahrain running somewhere in the range of 3seconds over their Qualifying pace if I have calculated that right. So hopefully by Malaysia we will see them well on the tail of Lotus and Virgin.

    • Jarred Walmsley said on 26th March 2010, 3:37

      Also I have just figured out the 107% and found that both HRT’s would make it below the 107% time of 1.34.82. The only car that wouldn’t make it would be Glock’s Virgin

    • Varun said on 26th March 2010, 3:39

      Yes, the HRT’s have certainly improved. But I don’t think there would be much progress in the teams by Malaysia which is just one week later. Hopefully some changes will be seen by China where the teams would get a two week break to work on their cars.

      • Jarred Walmsley said on 26th March 2010, 3:44

        Yes, you’re right, I forgot Australia – Malyasia was a double header. Yep, I think China will be a good indicator of the HRT’s actual pace

        • Mike said on 26th March 2010, 7:40

          I doubt significant improvement until Europe, until then improvement will be from reliability and actually getting some practice in, Barcelona should see them gain something really tangible.

  2. Diego said on 26th March 2010, 3:35

    8 Cosworth-powered cars in the bottom 9…
    The Renault engine seems to be very solid.. I wonder what happened to Webber, he’s a full second slower than Seb../

  3. Mike said on 26th March 2010, 3:35

    You know, even as an Australian I’ll admit, it’s no Spa, and it doesn’t promote lots of passing… but…. It’s a dam good track, and It’s different, It isn’t like any other track (talking to Mr Tilke) and it looks good. It actually is pleasant to just look at the track, None of the new tracks can boast that.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys said on 26th March 2010, 3:38

    Very impressed by Petrov. I think he’s got that x-factor. I’m looking forward to seeing him perform this season … and – it has to be said, because you know I’m thinking it – rubbing it in the faces of everyone who wrote him off as a paydriver. You don’t get to be two seconds quicker than the nearest rookie without something special.

    • MEmo said on 26th March 2010, 3:41

      Well, he IS a paydriver! He just happens to be talented also…

    • Peckers96 said on 26th March 2010, 3:57

      If you count di Resta as a ‘rookie’, he’s only 0.4 sec faster. That said, he’s done pretty well so far.

      I wonder if what Kubica said in testing about the Renault being much less sensitive than the BMWs has a hand in it, i.e. the car doesn’t need to have a perfect set-up to still be fairly quick?

      Perhaps Hulkenberg’s Williams is a lot less forgiving than the Renault, thereby not allowing him to get the most out of it?

    • Patrickl said on 26th March 2010, 3:58

      Petrov is over a second slower than Kubica!

      I guess that’s an improvement over the 2 seconds he was slower in Bahrain, but still. That’s a lot.

      Also, how is he 2 seconds quicker than the nearest rookie? Buemi, Liuzzi, Algersuari and Di Resta are much closer.

      Besides these FP1 times are meaningless. He could have been running on fumes while the rest was lugging 150kg of fuel around.

      I hope he proves to be a talented driver, but I’ll hold my judgement until he actually shows that he is.

      Much like my attitude towards Kobayashi …

      • Jarred Walmsley said on 26th March 2010, 4:39

        None of those bar Di Resta are actually rookies, Buemi, Liuzzi and Algersuari were all in F1 last year if not earlier.

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 26th March 2010, 4:48

        I guess that’s an improvement over the 2 seconds he was slower in Bahrain, but still. That’s a lot.
        Yes it’s a lot. But consider this: he was two seconds slower than Kubica in his first Grand Prix. It’s his second race, and he’s only a second slower. Tell me that isn’t a massive improvement.

        Also, how is he 2 seconds quicker than the nearest rookie? Buemi, Liuzzi, Algersuari and Di Resta are much closer.

        Buemi raced for the entire 2008 season.

        Alguersuari had seven race starts to his name before Petrov got his first.

        Liuzzi has raced in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

        Paul di Resta is not racing.

        • Mike said on 26th March 2010, 7:51

          Jaime is a rookie, his 7 races was more like 7 pre-season testing sessions. Petrov should be a second slower than Kubica, Kubica is ranked very high by many people, anything else and I would consider Petrov a genious.

  5. GST said on 26th March 2010, 3:48

    I think the Cosworth engines are better than most think. They could yet surprise this season.

  6. Alex White said on 26th March 2010, 4:52

    Missed it because my sister was watching tv, and my internet was on the blink, AGAIN! Really happy that the Hispanics.. i mean Hispanias are within 107%, thats a pretty big improvement. Will watch it later – but cheers for the roundup Keith! :D

  7. Cyclops said on 26th March 2010, 7:20

    I wonder where are those people who put Renault on dead end of the midfield just on the basis of pre-season testing… Kind of kills me to say a loud “I TOLD YOU SO!”.

    I think we now have to change the “big four” into “big five”. And no, this is isn’t an impression after one low-fuel FP. This a conclusion drawn from the direction took by Renault and constant, as well as visible, improvement. By the end of the season we WILL see a yellow and black car on the podium.

    • Mike said on 26th March 2010, 7:53

      1 practice session isn’t quite enough for me to count them as a front runner, I think Force India is more likely to fill that position atm…

      That being said, Renault can probably develop quite quickly…

  8. shery said on 26th March 2010, 9:08

    i think kubica will be in the points on sunday.for sure

  9. David said on 26th March 2010, 10:12

    Watched P1 from the approach to turn 3 till turn 5. The Red Bulls were visibly the fastest through turn 5, but in P2 they seemed a little more cumbersome through the chicane of 9/10.

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