Last year’s Spanish Grand Prix winner Mark Webber has kicked off the defence of his race win by going quickest in the opening practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya. His fastest time of 1:25.142 was set early on in the 90-minute practice session, and he was never really threatened for the remainder of its duration.
The Australian eventually wound up over one second faster than Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso completing the top four places on the timesheets.
A small crowd headed to the Barcelona circuit for the race’s opening session, with the running held under sunny skies and ambient temperatures of 19°C (66°F).
With quite a few drivers electing to get some laps in early on, Felipe Massa posted the first timed lap after eight minutes. The Brazilian finished up well down the order in 16th place, but his time was spent evaluating a raft of new components in his Ferrari.
Some drivers had problems in this session, with Timo Glock losing plenty of time in the pits when his Virgin entry suffered an unspecified technical glitch before the end of the first half hour of running. Jarno Trulli was another driver to complete few miles, managing just over 10 laps before he pitted to have a change made to his power steering.
Pastor Maldonado ended his morning’s activity with a broken front wing on his Williams after a trip through the Turn 12 gravel and into the tyres, in what seems to be emerging as a pattern for the Venezuelan rookie.
At the sharper end of the timesheets, Sauber rookie Sergio Pérez finished the session fifth-fastest, ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren and Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes GP, which completed a mammoth 32 laps. Nick Heidfeld, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello completed the top-ten.
2011 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:
|1.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Renault RB7||1:25.142||27|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Renault RB7||+ 1.007||20|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP W02||+ 1.237||29|
|4.||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 1.338||27|
|5.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 1.596||26|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||+ 1.846||19|
|7.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP W02||+ 1.874||32|
|8.||Nick Heidfeld||Renault R31||+ 1.990||21|
|9.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||+ 1.996||22|
|10.||Rubens Barrichello||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 2.070||20|
|11.||Vitaly Petrov||Renault R31||+ 2.099||22|
|12.||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 2.329||23|
|13.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 2.863||11|
|14.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 2.885||26|
|15.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 3.021||22|
|16.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 3.512||28|
|17.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 3.677||23|
|18.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 3.853||9|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus Renault T128||+ 4.089||21|
|20.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 5.754||18|
|21.||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 6.093||24|
|22.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 6.126||23|
|23.||Jarno Trulli||Lotus Renault T128||+ 6.279||12|
|24.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 6.964||25|
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