Adrian Sutil can lay claim to being first at something, and for once not the first man to crash out.
He actually topped the timesheets for the opening free practice session in the first round of the 2010 season at Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit.
Sutil defied conventional thinking by heading the more fancied Ferraris of Fernando Alonso (2nd) and Felipe Massa (4th), with Robert Kubica surprising a few people by being the third-quickest driver in the session.
Both McLarens and Michael Schumacher managed to achieve top-ten times at the end of the 90-minute session, which also saw the Hispania team log its first laps.
It would appear that Adrian’s pace-setting laps weren’t a flash in the pan, as team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi finished the session seventh-quickest.
The hugely anticipated practice session was greeted with clear skies, and Jarno Trulli was the first driver to scurry out of pit lane in his Lotus. Both he and team-mate Heikki Kovalainen notched up 36 laps between them, but the T127s languished at the bottom of the timesheets behind Timo Glock’s Virgin Racing VR-01. His team-mate Lucas di Grassi did not post a flying lap.
Neither did the crew at Hispania Racing, who started the session with no seats on their pit lane gantry and a half-built car for Bruno Senna. A few of the other teams wrote on their official Twitter feeds that the team has chosen not to install seats because its cars wouldn’t last long enough on the circuit!
Eventually the young Brazilian’s car was completed, and it was an emotional moment as the Senna name returned to the F1 track for a series of untimed installation laps.
Karun Chandhok remained the garage the entire session while his car was being completed.
2010 Bahrain GP Practice 1 Session Times:
|1.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes||1:56.583||18|
|5.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes||1:57.068||19|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||1:57.163||19|
|7.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||1:57.194||19|
|8.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:57.199||15|
|9.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing||1:57.255||17|
|10.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1:57.662||16|
|11.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:57.722||18|
|12.||Nico Hülkenberg||Williams Cosworth||1:57.894||20|
|13.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing||1:57.943||17|
|14.||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1:58.399||13|
|15.||Rubens Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||1:58.782||11|
|17.||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||2:00.250||18|
|18.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||2:01.388||11|
|19.||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing Cosworth||2:03.680||8|
|20.||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||2:03.848||21|
|21.||Jarno Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||2:03.970||15|
|22.||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin Racing Cosworth||no time||2|
|23.||Bruno Senna||HRT Cosworth||no time||3|
|24.||Karun Chandhok||HRT Cosworth||no time||0|
[Image via ITV-F1]