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