Buddh Practice 1: Vettel sets early pace in the haze
26 October, 2012
Oct.26 (Apex) Fresh from a hat-trick of wins leading up to the Indian Grand Prix weekend, world championship leader Sebastian Vettel wasted little time in asserting his authority on early proceedings at the dusty Buddh International Circuit to end the first free practice session at the top of the timing sheets.
Practice got underway in hazy conditions and a very ‘green’ track. As a consequence, times dropped with just about every lap as the slippery surface was rubbered-in and grip increased during the 90 minute session.
With ten minutes to go Vettel went to the top of the timing screens and remained there, setting his best lap of the morning - 1 minute 27.619 seconds - with just a couple minutes to go in the session.
Vettel’s best was 0.310 seconds up on next best Jenson Button in the McLaren, with Fernando Alonso third quickest in the Ferrari, followed by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton – the trio covered by 0.117 seconds.
Next up was Mark Webber, who spent a fair share of time near the top of the timing screens during the session. He ended up fifth fastest.
Nico Rosberg went sixth fastest in his Mercedes, with teammate Michael Schumacher eighth best. The Silver Arrows pair were split by Felipe Massa in the Ferrari. The top seven were within a second of the top time.
Showing strong early pace was Daniel Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso, setting the ninth best time. His teammate Jean Eric Vergne, driving at Buddh for the first time, was down in 17th, nearly a second slower.
Rounding out the top ten, also racing at Buddh for the very first time, was Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus. Lotus teammate Romain Grosjean, another Buddh rookie, was 15th and just over half a second down on Raikkonen.
There were a number of reserve drivers in action during the opening session in India.
All eyes were on Esteban Gutierrez who was called in to replace Sauber regular Sergio Perez who was sidelined with serious flu and fever. The young Mexican, touted to be on course for a race seat in 2013, used the session to familiarise himself with the C31 and did 29 laps on his way to setting the 20th best time.
Valtteri Bottas continued to impress in the Williams, ending the session 11th best and faster than teammate Pastor Maldonado who was 16th.
Heikki Kovalainen sat out the first session, making way for Giedo van der Garde who was assigned FP1 duty for Caterham.
Subbed by AJN.
Indian Grand Prix Free Practice 1, Buddh – Friday, 26 October 2012
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:27.619||22|
|5||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:28.175||0.556||22|
|12||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:29.760||2.141||23|
|14||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:29.850||2.231||19|
|19||20||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:30.896||3.277||20|
|24||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:32.859||5.240||13|