Kubica quickest in disrupted first practice

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

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?ā??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