Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2013

Mercedes head eventful first session at Suzuka

2013 Japanese Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2013Mercedes were comfortably quickest in the first practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton over six-tenths of a second faster than the next team.

Nico Rosberg made it a one-two for Mercedes followed by Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull.

There was little to separate the two RB9s, Vettel less than two-hundredths of a second faster than Mark Webber.

The Ferraris and Lotuses were next, Romain Grosjean having gone off at Spoon Curve earlier in the session as he struggled with rear instability.

Other drivers had more serious problems. Jules Bianchi’s first session at Suzuka lasted just half an hour.

The Marussia driver went off at Degner 2 on his ninth lap, the car flicking to oversteer at the apex. Bianchi applied opposite lock but found his arm was jammed against the side of the cockpit as he tried to straighten the car. That sent him into the barrier, damaging the front-left corner.

Later in the session Bianchi’s damaged Marussia was joined by Giedo van der Garde’s car. The Caterham driver locked his brakes at the same corner and came to a stop in the gravel trap just shy of the barrier.

At the same time Pastor Maldonado had an unusual failure at Spoon Curve. His left-rear wheel came loose which pitched him into a spin, after which it came off completely.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’34.157 19
2 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’34.487 0.330 19
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’34.768 0.611 24
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’34.787 0.630 20
5 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’35.126 0.969 14
6 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’35.154 0.997 16
7 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’35.179 1.022 15
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’35.364 1.207 17
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’35.450 1.293 27
10 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’35.635 1.478 19
11 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’35.868 1.711 22
12 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’35.900 1.743 18
13 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’36.066 1.909 20
14 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’36.165 2.008 19
15 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’36.178 2.021 12
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’36.340 2.183 23
17 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’36.399 2.242 18
18 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.760 2.603 22
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’37.595 3.438 22
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’37.629 3.472 8
21 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’38.025 3.868 15
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’38.763 4.606 18

2013 Japanese Grand Prix

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Image ?é?® Daimler/Hoch Zwei