Sebastian Vettel set the pace in this morning's practice session

Sebastian Vettel has led a Red Bull Racing 1-2 in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Indian Grand Prix. The German, who can wrap up a fourth successive World Championship title on Sunday, finished 0.188 seconds quicker than teammate Mark Webber. Nico Rosberg was third-quickest for Mercedes.

Heavy pollution made conditions hazy when the Buddh International Circuit pit lane opened at 11:00am local time. With the little-used track’s conditions proving particularly dusty, few drivers were inclined to complete much running in the hope that others would clean the track surface on their behalf.

The few fans in attendance eventually saw some more earnest running get underway about half an hour into the 90-minute session, and it was Vettel and Rosberg who set the initial pace.

Ultimately Vettel best time of 1:26.683 – almost a second quicker than the same session in 2012, albeit down to softer tyres being used this year – proved good enough, with Webber displacing Rosberg for second place in the final minutes to make it a Red Bull 1-2 on the timing screens.

Romain Grosjean was fourth-fastest in his Lotus – teammate Räikkönen was well down after struggling with handling complaints – while Lewis Hamilton finished fifth-quickest, despite a trip through the turn 1 gravel trap after he overshot his braking.

The McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Sergio Pérez were sixth- and seventh-quickest, while Felipe Massa led the Ferrari charge in eighth – teammate Fernando Alonso lost vital track time with a gearbox issue.

It was a session featuring few incidents, with Force India reserve driver James Calado providing one of the few moments when he had a late spin.


2013 Indian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:26.683   24
2. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:26.871 + 0.188 17
3. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:26.899 + 0.216 23
4. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:26.990 + 0.307 20
5. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:27.227 + 0.544 21
6. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:27.335 + 0.652 23
7. Sergio Pérez MEX McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:27.416 + 0.733 23
8. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:27.692 + 1.009 21
9. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Sauber Ferrari C32 1:27.770 + 1.087 19
10. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW35 1:27.800 + 1.117 23
11. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:28.035 + 1.352 25
12. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:28.214 + 1.531 6
13. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:28.336 + 1.653 18
14. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW35 1:28.342 + 1.659 21
15. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:28.468 + 1.785 20
16. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C32 1:28.538 + 1.855 18
17. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:28.730 + 2.047 18
18. James Calado GBR Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:29.197 + 2.514 22
19. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT03 1:29.413 + 2.730 24
20. Jules Bianchi FRA Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:29.560 + 2.877 20
21. Charles Pic FRA Caterham Renault CT03 1:30.026 + 3.343 23
22. Max Chilton GBR Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:30.471 + 3.788 17

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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