Lewis Hamilton was fastest in an interruption-hit session at Singapore

Lewis Hamilton has set the fastest time in a delayed and shortened opening practice session of the Singapore Grand Prix. The McLaren driver’s best time was some four-tenths of a second faster than second-placed Sebastian Vettel, who was himself a full second faster than Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber.

The start of the session was delayed by some thirty minutes when officials deemed that several kerbs would be removed, and the session was then red-flagged with less than ten minutes to go when a bolt holding down another kerb popped up.

Little of this served to throw up any great surprises when it came to the overall lap times of the competitors, with the top three teams – Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari – occupying the top six positions, with Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button and Felipe Massa completing the running order.

Next up was a Mercedes-powered quartet of Force India and factory cars, with Adrian Sutil in seventh, followed by Michael Schumacher, Paul di Resta and Nico Rosberg.

They were followed by the two Williams’ of Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado, with the pair split by Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari, while the Saubers of Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi were next up.

Renault trialled new bodywork for the opening practice session, but this seemed to yield few dividends, with Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov only 16th and 18th on the timesheets.

The bottom of the timesheets again saw the Team Lotus duo of Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen round out 19th and 20th on the timesheets, comfortably clear of the chasing Virgin and HRT entrants, but not near enough to the outright race of the lower midfield.

Aside from the kerbing issues, the session saw two other incidents of note: Kovalainen caused a red flag when his front brakes caught fire, while Webber tagged the back of Timo Glock at the penultimate corner, which caused a slightly damaged front wing to the former and a rear puncture for the latter.

Kovalainen had his second fire at Singapore! A dislodged bolt brought the session to a premature halt



2011 Singapore Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 1:48.599 10
2. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.406 15
3. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault RB7 + 1.467 16
4. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari F150° Italia + 1.997 11
5. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 + 2.353 12
6. Felipe Massa BRZ Ferrari F150° Italia + 3.444 14
7. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 3.652 13
8. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 3.817 12
9. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 3.836 13
10. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 4.216 13
11. Rubens Barrichello BRZ Williams Cosworth FW33 + 4.392 17
12. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 4.451 17
13. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Cosworth FW33 + 4.800 18
14. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C30 + 5.104 19
15. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C30 + 5.150 12
16. Bruno Senna BRZ Renault R31 + 5.166 17
17. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 5.186 16
18. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault R31 + 6.137 8
19. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Renault T128 + 6.222 9
20. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Renault T128 + 7.599 8
21. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 9.199 13
22. Jérôme d’Ambrosio BEL Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 10.193 6
23. Daniel Ricciardo AUS HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 10.570 17
24. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 10.615 18

[Image via FOM and Sutton Images]

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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.