Jenson Button headed the first practice session for McLaren at Shanghai.
But the session had to be stopped for ten minutes after Sebastien Buemi suffered a shocking accident when both front wheels came off his Toro Rosso.
The Swiss driver experienced the failure at the fastest point on the Shanghai circuit under braking for the turn 14 hairpin.
The front suspension on the car appeared to fail in the braking zone for the corner in a manner similar to Kimi Raikkonen’s crash at the Nurburgring five years ago.
Buemi’s STR5 went straight on and came to a halt in the gravel trap with the driver mercifully uninjured. The session was re-started for six minutes before the chequered flag came out.
Two other teams suffered breakages over bumps at the circuit. The front wing on Timo Glock’s Virgin at turn one and Jarno Trulli lost part of his Lotus’s diffuser at the same corner.
Fernando Alonso suffered his second consecutive Ferrari engine failure in six laps as his Chinese Grand Prix weekend got off to a bad start.
Alonso was supposed to be testing Ferrari’s version of McLaren’s F duct. But he completed just half-a-dozen installation laps, not even getting chance to set a time before his F10’s engine blew.
The McLaren drivers were first and second for much of the session, but they were split by Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes before the end.
Michael Schumacher in the second Mercedes was fourth ahead of Sebastian Vettel and the two Renaults.
Update: According to Lotus it was a front strake which came off Trulli’s car, not part of the diffuser.
|5||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’37.601||0.924||20|
|8||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’37.980||1.303||17|
|9||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’38.008||1.331||13|
|11||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’38.161||1.484||19|
|13||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’38.421||1.744||19|
|15||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’38.618||1.941||26|
|17||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’39.939||3.262||5|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’42.181||5.504||27|
2010 Chinese Grand Prix
- 2010 Chinese Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic review
- Ferrari deny Alonso-Massa rift
- Points for Petrov and first McLaren 1-2 since 2007 (Chinese GP stats and facts)
- Safety car spares Hamilton and Alonso’s blushes (Chinese Grand Prix analysis)
- Chinese Grand Prix fastest laps
- Chinese Grand Prix in pictures
- Webber loses out in safety car incident
- Button leads McLaren to one-two in wet race
- Hamilton’s pit lane dice with Vettel could cost him second (Update: no penalty)
- Button takes lead in title race – full points standings after China