Ferrari pair on top in first practice

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Bahrain, 2013The two Ferrari drivers headed the times in the first practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso was the first of the pair to set a time but Felipe Massa produced a quicker lap with his second effort. The two F138s were separated by less than a tenth of a second.

Behind them came Nico Rosberg, who overcame an earlier problem with his downshift to set the third fastest time. Sebastian Vettel was fourth-fastest for Red Bull.

The Force India pair appeared to have good pace with Paul di Resta fifth and Adrian Sutil two-tenths off him time in eighth.

Jenson Button was just over half a second off the pace in his McLaren with Mark Webber behind him.

The two Lotus drivers completed the top ten, but Romain Grosjean had a KERS problem during the session and complained of a lack of grip “everywhere” shortly before the chequered flag came out.

Heikki Kovalainen was just over half a second slower than Charles Pic on his return to the Caterham cockpit, and gave the team some information on how their current car compared to the old ole.

Rodolfo Gonzalez made his first appearance in a timed practice session but only managed seven laps before suffering a gearbox problem.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’34.487 11
2 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’34.564 0.077 19
3 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’34.621 0.134 22
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’34.790 0.303 20
5 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’34.949 0.462 17
6 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’35.069 0.582 22
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’35.101 0.614 19
8 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’35.119 0.632 19
9 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’35.345 0.858 17
10 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’35.611 1.124 14
11 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’35.640 1.153 23
12 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’35.783 1.296 16
13 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’35.792 1.305 16
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’36.014 1.527 19
15 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’36.485 1.998 20
16 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’36.498 2.011 17
17 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.755 2.268 20
18 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.214 2.727 21
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’37.850 3.363 20
20 21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’38.401 3.914 20
21 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’39.445 4.958 12
22 22 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1’40.215 5.728 7

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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

34 comments on “Ferrari pair on top in first practice”

  1. What happened to Hamilton?

    1. He finished 13th overall, over a second slower than Rosberg. But there hasn’t apparently been any issue with the car, so he and Rosberg were probably just on very different test programmes.

    2. They mentioned Hamilton wasn’t happy with the setup, and looking at the sector times he seemed to struggle in the middle sector. He also didn’t put a lap together, though, aborting a lap with the first two sectors green (though not shockingly quick ones). I’m a tiny bit worried at the moment, but there are still two practice sessions to get the car sorted.

      1. Remember that balance changes a lot too with the track rubbering in @adrianmorse, so it could well be that he will be a lot more satisfied in the afternoon

        1. hamilton was focusing on race pace, they were running race simulations trying to control the mercedes tyre problems..

          1. One would think that this should be OBVIOUS. Come on guys…..

  2. Wonder how fernando rate his car after the FPs….still slower than redbull?? ROFL

    1. He will change from “we don’t have the fastest car” to “I don’t have the fastest car”.

      Always nice to see Massa do well :)

      1. He will change from “we don’t have the fastest car” to “I don’t have the fastest car”.

        @mnmracer Have we forgotten what happened fairly a week ago? Though Massa set the fastest lap of all three practice sessions combined, he could not beat Alonso in qualifying as well as in the race.

        1. Well said.

    2. IMHO, though F138 is way ahead than F2012 when compared with its competitors, it is not quite clear who holds the fastest car at the moment. We would obviously need a couple of more races to determine that. In his opinion RBR seemed the fastest. By the way from when have we decided which car is the fastest on the basis of FP1 times?

      1. The races though. You might’ve missed them I take it.

        1. Wonder how fernando rate his car after the FPs….still slower than redbull?? ROFL

          I suspect I was eating ice cream when I read the comment of Candice. Obviously I missed the race here.

    3. I wonder how long the duality of Alonso saying he doesn’t have the fastest car and the people who dislike him calling him out on it will go on. Both are getting tiring.

  3. That’s certainly not the result I expected from Kovalainen. Was he running a completely different spec or something like that?

    1. Van der Garde’s car, which he was driving, does not have the update they brought to Bahrain.

    2. the idea is that he compares 2012 to this years 2013 car base spec (as AdrianMorse said) and then in Barcelona he will test their upgrade package… not sure from 20 laps he can get the best feel through.

    3. He wasn’t running the new upgrades as pic did

  4. I think Vettel looks pretty good again. He set his lap time much earlier than the Ferraris, and even then I’m not sure his time is what he could have done, because at some point he aborted a lap with the first two sectors purple after making a mistake in the final sector.

    Ferrari setting their times late is not too significant, I feel, as the times McLaren set right at the beginning of the running still stood up pretty well later on, so track evolution was certainly not the 2-3 seconds they mentioned on Sky.

  5. I wonder if Sauber already regret firing Kamui.

    1. Why? Are you suggesting that Kamui is a better driver than Hülkenberg?

    2. Probably not. Hulkenberg is more talented than Kobayashi, whilst Gutierrez has more sponsorship to keep the team running.

      Besides, we already know the C32 is a disappointing car. If Kobayashi were driving it, he probably wouldn’t be faring much better than Hulkenberg and Gutierrez have been.

    3. I feel the situation where Sauber find themselves in has to do more with their current car actually.

    4. @starbuck

      Are you seriously making your assesment of how good the Sauber drivers are by FP1 times in Bahrain?

      Hulkenberg is definitely a better driver than Kamui..

    5. Kobayashi wouldn’t have done anything more or less than these two guys. Remember Kobayashi managed some very poor performances last year in a car that was right about where Force India is in 2013. There’s nothing to suggest he would have dragged the C32 higher than Hulk does, at least.

      I bet Sauber regret losing Key though. That’s the real root of their problems.

  6. I think both Redbull and Lotus are stronger than what their FP1 times suggest. The Ferrari’s were quite late to set their fastest laps, and by then the track had probably already improved by a few tents. Also interesting to say that even the top teams and drivers struggeled a bit, going off track at times.

  7. So good to see Massa and Alonso are genuinely one of the closer pairings this year!

    1. But sadly Massa has not been able to convert his good starts into a good race though. Hope this is not the case anymore.

      1. His team has been the biggest contributor to that outcome.
        Well he is, the no.2 driver over there.

        1. @jason12

          I am not sure on what basis the comment is made…other than obvious dislike towards Alonso and Ferrari… Some people make it sound as if Massa is given a car with 3 wheels to drive… and he has 5 minutes pit stops every race so that he finishes behind Alonso..

        2. @jason12

          I completely agree with @puneethvb Look at the Malaysian GP for example. With Alonso being eliminated at the end of lap 1, there is no possibility Ferrari could have favored Alonso over Massa. In China though it was more to do with the fact that Massa was close to Alonso and making them pit on the same lap would have obviously backfired for Massa. Had Massa been able to defend his position and get rid of the crowd during his middle stint, he would definitely have not lost his position let alone gaining position. But in Australia, Massa could not have done much, but be clear that Ferrari didn’t hamper his race.

  8. Pedo Massa, creepy.

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