Vettel fastest as Hamilton crashes in FP1

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel picked up where he left off after winning last year’s Japanese Grand Prix, setting the fastest time in first practice.

But title rival Lewis Hamilton hit trouble when he crashed at Degner halfway through the session. He damaged the front-left corner of his McLaren and took no further part in the session.

Team mate Jenson Button had a similar moment in the dying minutes of the session but survived without hitting the barriers.

Mark Webber kept his team mate honest, lapping within five hundredths of a second of Vettel as Red Bull confirmed pre-race expectations by topping the times sheets.

Their closest rival, Robert Kubica in the Renault, was half a second slower, with Adrian Sutil a further half a second adrift.

Despite missing half the session Hamilton still had the fifth-fastest time. Behind him the Williams pair were separated by just three-hundredths of a second.

Michael Schumacher was eighth on his return to Suzuka. Nick Heidfeld and Nico Rosberg completed the top ten.

Ferrari had a quiet session with Felipe Massa 11th and Fernando Alonso 13th.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’32.585 23
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’32.633 0.048 23
3 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’33.129 0.544 23
4 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’33.639 1.054 13
5 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’33.643 1.058 9
6 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’33.677 1.092 21
7 10 Nico H?ā??lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’33.707 1.122 24
8 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’33.739 1.154 20
9 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’33.791 1.206 23
10 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’33.831 1.246 9
11 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’33.929 1.344 25
12 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’34.042 1.457 19
13 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’34.169 1.584 23
14 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’34.271 1.686 19
15 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’34.373 1.788 24
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’34.379 1.794 21
17 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’34.991 2.406 26
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’35.684 3.099 22
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’36.949 4.364 25
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’37.329 4.744 17
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’37.388 4.803 23
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’37.778 5.193 23
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’38.814 6.229 28
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1’39.443 6.858 26

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

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43 comments on “Vettel fastest as Hamilton crashes in FP1”

  1. Hamilton is too nervous, he should calm down and not go to the limit always. Let’s hope his car is repaired for the next training session.

    1. Actually its the car’s new upgrade not Lewis. Button did the same thing at the same corner. I dont think he should change a thing.

    2. I wouldn’t say Hamilton’s accident was a result of nervousness. If a driver is nervous, he tends to go slower. Given that Hamilton had just set the fastest time in S1, I’d say his problem had nothing to do with nerves and everything to do with trying to find the limits of the car.

      1. This will test him whether he can keep things cool when their are not going his way.

        1. He kept it pretty cool in 2009, when nothing was going his way. He may be a ‘kid’ still in the eyes of many, but his maturity levels have come a very long way since he joined the Forumla One circus. ;)

    3. Their cars did not help having also witnessed Button going into the same barriers. But the difference between the two drivers is still consistent with Hamilton having to continue straight into the barriers as if he could correct it. Compared to Button who just knew he lost it and took actions to stop the car.

    4. Is it just me or does it look (and sound) like Lewis’s brakes failed? He didnt even lock the brakes and he didn’t really decrease in speed. Free roll’n.

  2. Great mention for F1f on BBC stream and R5 Live. Texted thanks for the mention and then Crofty gave another mention, go F1f :)

  3. Wow, six Germans in the top ten. And that’s impressive that Hamilton’s time held on to fifth when he wrecked so early.

    1. Looks like quite a bit of degradation on the hard tyre, then. Early days, though.

      1. Probably so. That could be good news for the race. Unless of couse the option tire lasts a race distance.

        1. Nakajima (remember him?) did the longest stint on the softs last year, 25 laps, but was passed by Liuzzi four laps from the end of it.

    2. It looked like he was on yet another run for a strong time. He was purple in sector 1 before he crashed. It looked like he bottomed out and just got launched then hit a depression and into the curbing again and launched of again. Almost the same thing for Button except he didn’t get launched after hitting the curb so he could save it.

      1. Yep. It’s like the drivers all say, it’s an unforgiving track with very little room for error.

      2. Too lose it in Deg2 means your taking plenty speed into Deg1, not all bad.

      3. Mr. Zing Zang
        8th October 2010, 4:17

        I think the damage to Jenson’s car was worse than Hamilton’s. I would rather loose a suspension piece than to have a cracked floor.

  4. HamiltonĀ“s just using his bad luck BEFORE the race. itĀ“s all strategy people… You just donĀ“t know it.

    1. I hope you’re right! ;)

  5. HĆ¼lkenberg 0.03s slower than Barrichello in his first session at Suzuka. Petrov 1.2s off Kubica.

    1. I’ll be surprised if Petrov stays at Renault. It really seems like they should be passing him off to Lotus and getting Glock or Sutil.

      1. Depends how much money he’s bringing

        1. They’re looking competitive enough that they ought to be thinking about competitive drivers above pay drivers. It makes sense for HRT, it doesn’t for a team that’s nipping at the heals of the Red Bulls, McLarens, and Ferraris. Maybe they’re not in as good a financial situation as their performance would suggest though…

          1. A lot of Renault’s income is from East European sponsors. If they give up Petrov, they give up at least some of those sponsos. But like I said, it’s his first time at Suzuka. It doesn’t take an idiot to realise that when a driver learns a circuit for the first time, you fuel his car heavy so that he can stay out for longer. Otherwise you get the Nico Hulkenberg method, where you have to pit every other lap for fuel.

      2. Iā€™ll be surprised if Petrov stays at Renault. It really seems like they should be passing him off to Lotus and getting Glock or Sutil.

        Bear in mind that a) it’s Petrov’s first visit to the circuit, and b) it’s first practice. Times will improve over the weekend – just as they did in Singapore – but first he has to learn the circuit.

    2. Kubica crushed Petrov today not looking good for Petrov. BUT the question begs where they doing same strategies for practice and do they have the same bits on the car?

      1. FP2 is underway – Petrov has already found a second from his FP1 time. He’s probably light and/or on the softer options. The point is that FP1 doesn’t really mean anything – because Alonso is also up the pointy end of the grid, dammit.

  6. Good for Nick Heidfeld – he’s getting back from his old form.

    1. Indeed. He’s fighting for a next year’s seat.

      1. He needs to impress some vacant seat like Force India & Lotus.

    2. vodka and orange
      8th October 2010, 12:55

      …so hes still crap then! #:) how many races without a win??? oh, that right, he holds the record at 150 odd !!! #:)

  7. Webber and Vettel look closely matched so far. V diff from the last race where Vettel blew him away. Looking forward to seeing some “close” racing from these 2 this weekend. Lots of talk about respecting each other etc but here are 2 guys that drive to the max and are desperate to win the WDC.

  8. Off topic slightly here, but I love the way Google’s translator interprets Vitaly Petrov’s twitter updates. Case in point just now:

    First came to the difficult Japanese Suzuka track, Vitali showed in the first workout Friday 15 th result, while preventing errors

  9. Thank u Keith 4 your work.

  10. 1 and 2 Red Bull! Hopefully the Top5 manage to finish, I don’t want to see a blown engine making the chamionship decision.

  11. I dont know, is something going on with Lewis, be it in his personal life or what have you? Or is this just EXTRA ordinary bad luck???
    He cant keep crashing these cars…I mean, maybe he’d benefit from a ‘benching’? Let the test driver have a go in the second session? I dont know but Lewis needs to forget everything, overtaking, webber, button, mclaren…just race man….no pressure whatsoever on you.

    1. In his personal life? Lewis crashed out of two GPs in a row and compromised his chances of winning the championship. Until he wins another GP (preferably this one) those mistakes will still be in the back of his mind, and will probably affect his driving.

      Anyway, the problem seemed to be with the car, seeing as how Jenson nearly crashed at the same spot. Is he going to run all of FP2?

  12. It seems like Mclaren’s latest upgrade is fast but not stable. It has happened repeatedly this year after they bring big upgrade package. When it came, Hamilton push hard but take some risk, and Button doesn’t take risk but significantly slower than Hamilton. Maybe Mclaren prefer performance than stability. but sometimes it makes Hamilton crash and Button struggle.

  13. Its gonna be a tough fight between Sutil and both the Williams while Liuzzi just watching his team mate from Behind….
    Put in Di Resta or Chandhok…..

  14. McLaren say Hamilton will be out in FP2 but not right at the start.

    1. And so it proved to be, only 10 minutes on track for him in FP2!

      Seems McLaren is still a bit in trouble with bumps and riding right on the edge to get a good lap.

  15. Speckled Jim
    8th October 2010, 9:00

    Lewis is on edge at the moment and pushing hard, cant really blame him I guess. Watching the footage its clear he went into the corner to deep and ran off. I dont think It was the car I think it was a little bit of desperation. He definetly missed the braking zone thats for sure. Chin up though Lewis, I like the way you try so hard mate. Just need to take a deep breath.

  16. Back luck for Hamilton,seeing at the footage I have to blame him can’t make mistakes like this at this stage of the championship. I believe it will be Red Bulls race to loose to Alonso but Kubica can surprised a few just as he did in Belgium.

  17. miguelF1O (@)
    9th October 2010, 0:09

    congrats to mentioned twice today at bbc

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