Last-lap flier puts Hamilton on top in India

2011 Indian GP first practice

Lewis Hamilton was quickest in the first practice session for the Indian Grand Prix.

The McLaren driver hit the top of the times with his last lap of the session.

The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were second and third, separated by one hundredth of a second.

Jenson Button was a slightly frustrated fourth-fastest having been held up by Narain Karthikeyan late in the session.

The first practice session for the Indian Grand Prix began with the four Indian representatives jostling to be first out of the pits.

Adrian Sutil won this minor contest for Force India, before being overtaken by Karun Chandhok. The other Force India of Paul di Resta followed them, along with Karthikeyan.

While the others did single installation laps, Chandhok remained on track to set the first ever lap of the new circuit.

Proceedings came to a halt soon after as Chandhok passed a dog on his subsequent tour. Several had been spotted around the track before the start of the session.

The session was restarted after a five-minute delay and continued without further canine interruptions.

Fernando Alonso dropped out of the session halfway through when he lost power on his Ferrari, leaving Felipe Massa to complete the day’s work for the team. He ran the new front wing Alonso had raced in Korea, which was seen vibrating heavily at turn four at one point.

Drivers struggled for grip on the dusty track and several of them ran wide or had spins during the session. The only one to make it as far as a barrier was Jaime Alguersuari, who went off at turn nine.

It was slippery in the pit lane as well as Chandhok found out to his cost. The Lotus driver almost hit Pastor Maldonado as he got too much wheelspin while leaving his pit bix.

Maldonado’s session ended early as plumes of smoke came from his Williams at the exit of turn four, forcing him to pull over.

The yellow flags came out as the car was recovered and were being withdrawn as Hamilton set his final flying lap.

Michael Schumacher ended the session fifth ahead of his team mate, having been fastest early on.

Felipe Massa was seventh for Ferrari with Sutil, Sebastien Buemi and Kamui Kobayashi completing the top ten.

Update: Follow the session Hamilton and Sergio Perez were given penalties for ignoring double waved yellow flags.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap
1 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’26.836 22
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’27.416 0.580 23
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’27.428 0.592 27
4 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’28.394 1.558 23
5 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’28.531 1.695 23
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’28.542 1.706 29
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’28.644 1.808 22
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’28.705 1.869 23
9 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’29.219 2.383 24
10 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’29.355 2.519 29
11 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’29.700 2.864 24
12 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’29.705 2.869 22
13 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’29.799 2.963 20
14 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’30.132 3.296 25
15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’30.367 3.531 21
16 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’30.566 3.730 19
17 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’30.669 3.833 22
18 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’30.818 3.982 22
19 20 Karun Chandhok Lotus-Renault 1’32.487 5.651 24
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’32.771 5.935 24
21 23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’33.928 7.092 27
22 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’34.113 7.277 30
23 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’35.796 8.960 19
24 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’35.899 9.063 4

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51 comments on Last-lap flier puts Hamilton on top in India

  1. BBT (@bbt) said on 28th October 2011, 7:16

    Wonder if we’ll hear any more about the double waved yellow and green light in the last sector as Hamilton set his time.

  2. Tyson Evans (@bobtehblob) said on 28th October 2011, 7:17

    Why is Massa shown as 24th in the table?

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2011, 7:17

    Seems something is not right with the table @keithcollantine, it has Massa in 24th!

  4. BBT (@bbt) said on 28th October 2011, 7:18

    Decent pace for the FI’s.

    Interesting stuff going on with Massa’s wing, I think the FIA will be interested in that one.

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2011, 7:18

    Anyone think Sutil has his mind set on being the Indian Hero this weekend, making it an extra embarresing thing for Force India to drop him at the end of the season?

  6. Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 28th October 2011, 7:24

    Why Bob Marley and “One Love” on Lewis’ helmet? At first glance i thought it was Marco..but no, it’s Bob Marley…but why? Sorry if this is a bit off-topic but i don’t know where else i could ask this.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2011, 7:33

      Guess its a message to NS that he still diggs here, even if they split up. Got us quite engaged in discussion in the live blog as well
      But it could be just about anything, maybe Marley being Anthony hamiltons favourite artist or whatever.

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 28th October 2011, 7:34

      Lewis is a fan of Bob Marley and his music.

      Like @LAK suggested in the live blog, it may be a thinly-veiled reference to his recent split with Nicole Scherzinger and Marley’s famous song ‘No Woman, No Cry’.

      However, we could just bee looking too much into it.

      • Rob Wilson (@rob-wilson) said on 28th October 2011, 7:36

        Just seen this tweet – Lewis’s Bob Marley helmet: a few months ago, he was asked by the Marley family to sport the special design in India this weekend…

        That explains it.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2011, 7:35

      Just got the answer from McLaren (@TheFifthDriver on twitter):

      Lewis’s Bob Marley helmet: a few months ago, he was asked by the Marley family to sport the special design in India this weekend…

      One love for India then from Marley?

  7. Nas-T said on 28th October 2011, 7:26

    Karun almost two second slower than Trulli. Tony make a good decision.

    • BBT (@bbt) said on 28th October 2011, 7:29

      …and Trulli hasn’t been particularly quick this session…. bit of an odd / big gap though.

    • Dizzy said on 28th October 2011, 8:16

      Trulli went out on the Soft’s while Karun only ran the Hard’s.

    • dam00r (@dam00r) said on 28th October 2011, 8:31

      Why is this odd? Karun have almost not driven the car and not been racing for a while and also being on the hard tyres, that’s actually a pretty impressive time.

      • BBT (@bbt) said on 28th October 2011, 8:57

        Karun have almost not driven the car and not been racing for a while and also being on the hard tyres, that’s actually a pretty impressive time.

        Nah, its practise and he has been in the car in practise, soft vs hard tyre might explain it most of it, I didn’t know that.
        Other drivers have stepped into car with less miles in a car than Karun (even first time in the car) and they have been competitive (within 0.5s). Just cos he is a nice guy doesn’t make his time impressive, far from impressive from him I’m afraid. Is he taking part in FP2, if so I hope he can put some decent times in.
        Like I said Trulli has been pretty poor this session, I’d be surprised if that is Lotus full potential.

  8. Hatebreeder (@hatebreeder) said on 28th October 2011, 7:28

    how is the track? like trackwise? amazing or just like any other, but with dogs and other farm animals?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2011, 7:34

      First look, its an interesting track, although the dust made it even more of a challenge, it seems.

      I guess with FP2 being a bit more cleaned up, it might get the drivers into a real groove to see what the track offers.

  9. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th October 2011, 7:38

    I like the circuit. One of the things we keep hearing in race telecasts is the way television doesn’t really show elevations accurately. And is shows; there’s a drop on the straight before the last corner in Bahrain, and it’s quite a hefty one, but you never really see it on television. Here, though … here, you can see the elevations.

    I particularly like Turn 3. The cars keep far to the left for the ideal line, but the circuit widens to promote overtaking. Combined with the hill, the end result is that the turn-in point is completely blind. Turn 12 is pretty good, too; you’ve got the long Spoon-like Turn 10, which gets tighter in Turn 11, and then the road drops away as soon as you get back on the power, and the cars go wide over the rumble strips. Looks like a critical spot for a good lap time, but very easy to spin it if you get on the power too soon.

  10. Alain (@paganbasque) said on 28th October 2011, 7:50

    The track is full of dust(quite logic) but what has impressed me more is the…fog or smog? I am not sure about that. But the contamination is very present in that area.

    It seems that this race will offer us a great battle between Mclaren and Rb, with Mercedes having a good pace, the first and second sectors of Michael have been very fast so the german car will be a very difficult car to overtake, be careful Lewis. :)

  11. Kremer (@kremer) said on 28th October 2011, 7:59

    I don’t think one can blame the track design based solely on environmental mess (pollution/dust) for this specific weekend.

    I think it’s a great track, maybe the best new track since Turkey.

    If fans want it live up to its true potential, how about demanding the Indian gov’t crack down on environmental pollution more than it’s already trying to do.
    (And also demand China cease the overwhelming pollution within 100km of its F1 track for 3 or 4 weeks before the race weekend.)

  12. Harvs (@harvs) said on 28th October 2011, 8:02

    A question for the fanatics obsessed with the details, When was the last time a car other than Red Bull was fastest in 7 consecutive practice sessions?

  13. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 28th October 2011, 8:22

    Well, at least Chandhok managed to get one milestone out of this weekend!

  14. it looks like cars are running too slow(not F1-fast).. is it me?
    the track seems to play tricks with my eyes..

    is it the elevation, or just the dust?

    • Dphect (@dphect) said on 28th October 2011, 8:43

      I think it’s most probably a mixture of the dust and the drivers still learning where they can and can’t push it hard on the track.

      Although, Rubens did say on his simulator he was estimating the lap times will be around the 1:26 – 27 range, which they are for the top few.

  15. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th October 2011, 8:40

    Interesting remarks from Pirelli on twitter – @Paul Hembery

    #F1 No tyre issues after F1, track very dirty, lap times already in line with pre race sim. Hard tyre could last 3 races …Tad conservative

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