Vettel fastest as Alonso hits trouble

Brazilian Grand Prix first practice

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2010

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest driver in the first practice session at Interlagos, lapping almost half a second faster than anyone else.

But championship rival Fernando Alonso’s session came to an early end when his Ferrari stopped on the track.

Before the failure Ferrari said they were planning to change Alonso’s engine ahead of the second session anyway. Afterwards they said the engine had expired earlier than expected.

Because the cars are not under parc ferme conditions Alonso will not incur a penalty for the engine change.

Mark Webber made it a Red Bull one-two ahead of the two McLarens.

Robert Kubica set the fifth fastest time but team mate Vitaly Petrov hit trouble once again. He spun at Ferradura and crashed heavily into the barriers.

Another driver to hit trouble at the fast right-hand corner was Kamui Kobayashi, but he didn’t make such heavy contact with the barriers after spinning off.

One driver who had a very quiet session was Timo Glock, who didn’t set a time until the final 20 minutes. He ended up second-fastest of the new teams.

The sixth-fastest time went to Nico Rosberg and it was reported during the session that Mercedes were using the track time to test a 2011-style diffuser.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’12.328 23
2 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’12.810 0.482 28
3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’12.845 0.517 24
4 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’13.267 0.939 24
5 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’13.370 1.042 24
6 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’13.516 1.188 26
7 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’13.546 1.218 26
8 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’13.643 1.315 25
9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’13.918 1.590 26
10 22 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-Ferrari 1’14.000 1.672 23
11 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’14.004 1.676 23
12 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’14.155 1.827 29
13 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’14.246 1.918 20
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’14.370 2.042 23
15 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’14.395 2.067 26
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’14.487 2.159 26
17 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.618 2.290 30
18 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’14.734 2.406 29
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’15.603 3.275 25
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’15.860 3.532 20
21 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’16.057 3.729 26
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’16.707 4.379 28
23 20 Christian Klien HRT-Cosworth 1’16.839 4.511 18
24 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’17.360 5.032 30

2010 Brazilian Grand Prix

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82 comments on Vettel fastest as Alonso hits trouble

  1. reddevilandy10 said on 5th November 2010, 13:39

    Wow…

    When is that rain expected exactly? Practice 2? The rest of the weekend?

  2. Mach1 said on 5th November 2010, 13:40

    Maybe all their remaining engines are prone to expiring early. Oh well… one can only hope….preferably one race early. :)

  3. M Sakr said on 5th November 2010, 13:43

    Alonso has no problems. Ferrari was going to change his engine anyways for practice 2. And will change it yet again for quali

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th November 2010, 14:00

      What does that tell you about them when they have to change engines ahead of every session?

      • If they are this close on engines, they must be pinning everything on wrapping up the championship this weekend.

        Not going to be many engines left for the next race.

        • JamesR said on 5th November 2010, 16:07

          Don’t they have practically new engine1 being held back till Abu Dhabi, that will run the full weekend if necessary.

          This weekend they’re simply optimising engine use, I suspect the team are quite relaxed about any P1/2 failure and confident with their race engine choice. This situation has been managed since the beginning of the season and no surprise to the team or Alonso, Watch P2 to see them bounce back.

      • dyslexicbunny said on 5th November 2010, 14:26

        It tells me they plan on saving his good engine until it’s needed.

      • M Sakr said on 5th November 2010, 15:06

        Either they’re being very, very cautious, OR they have a biiiig engine problem!!

  4. BasCB said on 5th November 2010, 13:43

    Interesting about Mercedes testing their diffusor ideas for next year. It might help them for next year to have a pretty well developed car to start with.

    During the session I listenedto the 5Live commentary, where Davidson was pretty much speaking up for Vitaly, with the amount of pressure put on him racing in a top team with a world class teammate.

  5. sumedh said on 5th November 2010, 13:44

    Alonso will not incur a penalty

    Do you mean he will now take a 9th engine and not get a penalty. Or that he won’t get a penalty if he goes back to one of his used engines.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th November 2010, 13:46

      If he uses a ninth engine he will regardless of what happens but Ferrari haven’t said he will. They won’t be using a race-mileage engine on Friday, as they admitted.

      These rules are a bit of a headache, though!

    • DeadManWoking said on 5th November 2010, 13:48

      Because the cars are not under parc ferme conditions Alonso will not incur a penalty for the engine change

      That applies to transmissions not engines. Alonso would get a penalty if were to use a 9th engine at any time .

      • CarsVsChildren said on 5th November 2010, 13:52

        Not if he re-uses an old engine.

        The 8 allowed engines can be used at any time throughout the season, with penalties only dished out if they are changed in parc ferme conditions.

        Therefore if they were using a high mileage older engine this morning, they could change to a lower mileage engine any time before qualifying without any problems.

      • DeadManWoking said on 5th November 2010, 13:53

        and if remember correctly the transmission penalty includes Saturday morning practice as well, not just parc ferme.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 5th November 2010, 14:22

        Good point – I’ve scratched the parc ferme bit.

        • DeadManWoking said on 5th November 2010, 14:48

          There is no penalty for changing an engine for a previously used one under parc ferme conditions except that

          Sporting Regs
          28.4 e) If an engine is changed in accordance with Article 34.1 the engine which was replaced may not be
          used during any future qualifying session or race with the exception of the last Event of the Championship.

          34.1…
          Any work not listed above may only be undertaken with the approval of the FIA technical delegate following a written request from the team concerned. It must be clear that any replacement part a team wishes to fit is similar in mass, inertia and function to the original. Any parts removed will be retained by the FIA.
          However, if a team wishes to change a part during the qualifying session and/or on the grid before the start of the race, this may be done without first seeking the permission of the technical delegate, provided it is reasonable for the relevant team to believe permission would be given if there was time to ask and the broken or damaged part remains in full view of the scrutineer assigned to the car at all times.

          Liuzzi at Monza and Kovaleinen at Korea were able to change their engines after Qualifying for previously used ones without penalty. However PDLR at Spa and Massa at Singapore changed theirs after Qualifying and received 10 place grid drops because they both changed to their 9th engines.

          • DeadManWoking said on 5th November 2010, 16:58

            There is no penalty for changing an engine for a previously used one under parc ferme conditions except that

            On reflection I should have said that there is no penalty for changing to any of their allotment of 8 engines even under Parc Ferme. Remember that Ferrari changed both Alonso’s and Massa’s engines for new ones after Qualifying for Bahrain without incurring any grid penalty.

  6. Johnny86 said on 5th November 2010, 13:44

    Yes, thats the best you can hope for, when he is driving so much better than others.

    • Lluis said on 5th November 2010, 13:50

      He deserves some bad luck as the others also.

      • Steve said on 5th November 2010, 14:09

        He has had his fair share of bad luck mate. More than most. Only recently has things been going his way.

        • Bad luck….Alonso? He is the luckiest barsteward on the grid! He is the most scandalous driver in existance. Even more than Schumacher.

          • My 2 cents…I think Alonso is in for some bad karma come Sunday and today’s FP1 incident is just the beginning…considering what the team did to Massa in Germany…for Goodness sake a win there would have meant so much to Massa in terms of his confidence…you don’t take that away from someone and expect smooth sailing. I’d love the championship to go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi. Some bad luck for Alonso at Interlagos would equalize everything then its every driver for himself come next weekend.

  7. Hitcher said on 5th November 2010, 13:46

    The engine that broke was the last engine? And now Alonso can use the leftover engines from the previous races?

    • Mach1 said on 5th November 2010, 13:55

      I think they were using one of the older engines from earlier in the season just to test the set-up. It was an engine they were expecting to die quickly and it did, just a bit quicker that they expected.

  8. Dan Newton said on 5th November 2010, 13:47

    If its true that Mercedes were trying out a 2011 style defuser that’s a very clever way round the limited testing/testing ban. Some good thinking there I’d say..

    • Derek said on 5th November 2010, 14:07

      That the Ross Brawn, Michael Schumacher teamwork for you.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 5th November 2010, 14:44

      but double deck diffuser will be banned in 2011! if they’re testing ordinary diffuser, it would be great! theoretically it should produce lower down force than double one but if they don’t lose performance much, it means they’re making great car for the next year.

  9. Johnny86 said on 5th November 2010, 13:49

    Yes,this was probably on of the high mileage ones. He’ll be using the monza engine for quali and race.

  10. CarsVsChildren said on 5th November 2010, 13:49

    Surely that is the end of Petrov’s time at Renault…

    Why don’t they ship him off to Air Asia X (formerly known as Lotus) let him get his bearings, while maintaining the Renault link to the Russian market.

    If he does well they could bring him back in time for the Russian GP…

  11. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 5th November 2010, 13:55

    Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but I wasn’t impressed at all at the reaction of the Renault mechanics when Petrov went off. It was like “what a stupid plonker” as if he was a figure of fun or a rival driver. I suppose all you can do with Petrov is laugh, though.

    • BasCB said on 5th November 2010, 14:26

      And afterwards Kobayashi did pretty much exactly the same mistake at the same place, showing it is probably more to do with a lack of experience with the corner taking it a bit wrong.

    • Adam Smith said on 5th November 2010, 15:02

      The funny thing about Petrov, is my girlfriend normally sits with me whilst im watching the F1, and whenever she sees a car go off, she asks is it Petrov?! She doesn’t even like F1 but still knows its likely to be him in the gravel!

      • Funny…when Petrov went off in FP1 I instantly thought of the similarly error prone Nakajima flying into the wall at the same track last year..I think the 2010 season is the last we’ll be seeing of Vitaly…sad especially since I believe he has soo much potential.

        • M Sakr said on 5th November 2010, 15:15

          You know what the problem is?? The more Russian sponsors appear on that Renault, the more accidents we see from Petrov!! :D

      • Hairpin said on 5th November 2010, 19:40

        Sounds like you need a new girlfriend. !!

  12. Brian T said on 5th November 2010, 13:55

    Yes.. Looking forward to the race. Hope Alonso’s engine blows on Lap 1.. Haha. Massa is useless, and so that leaves Webber and Vettel who will take each off at the first corner.

    Viva Lewis!!!

  13. Derek said on 5th November 2010, 13:56

    If Hamilton does not win the Championship I hope Webber does, then he leaves to join Renault & Kubica as WDC. Renault would be happy, afer all he would have won the championship using their engines.

    • Kirby said on 5th November 2010, 14:11

      And if this was to happen who would you want to pair up with Vettel at RBR? Petrov? lol I joke.. I joke..

      But maybe someone like Kimi? despite ruling himself out?

  14. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 5th November 2010, 13:57

    Alonso?

    In trouble?

    Oh, be still my heart!

  15. roser said on 5th November 2010, 14:00

    Ferrari anticipated somehow engine problems. They were using an old engine wich already had high mileage and they were going to replace it in FP2 anyway

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