Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver in the opening practice session of the Indian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has kicked off the first-ever practice session for the Indian Grand Prix in impressive style on Friday morning. The McLaren driver posted the quickest time in the day’s first 90-minute session, although he could be sanctioned for posting his fastest lap time during a yellow-flag period.

With the sport enjoying a warm welcome on its first visit to the subcontinent, much of the session was spent with drivers trying to lean a brand-new track, as well as giving it the opportunity to ‘rubber in’.

Almost immediately after the session began, the red flags were unfurled when a stray dog ran onto the circuit. Fortunately the animal was not hit by anyone, but it was a serious matter that will need further investigation.

Barely minutes later after running had resumed, Fernando Alonso parked his Ferrari, which was later confirmed to have suffered an engine problem. Towards the end of the session, Pastor Maldonado’s Williams ground to a halt with a smoky engine failure.

Despite there being double-waved yellow flags in the vicinity of Maldonado’s stricken Williams, Hamilton still registered his (and the session’s) fastest lap-time, clocking a 1:26.836 to move to the top of the order by almost six-tenths of a second.

Before that, Red Bull Racing led a seemingly-assured 1-2 in the session, with Sebastian Vettel out-pacing team-mate Mark Webber to the tune of just 0.012 seconds.

Fourth-fastest and almost a second slower than the Red Bulls was Jenson Button, with the McLaren driver just edging out Mercedes GP duo Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.

As the only Ferrari driver to clock up any sort of mileage, Felipe Massa finished seventh-fastest, while Adrian Sutil, Sébastien Buemi and Kamui Kobayashi completed the top-ten.



2011 Indian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 1:26.836 22
2. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.580 23
3. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.592 27
4. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 + 1.558 23
5. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 1.692 23
6. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 1.706 29
7. Felipe Massa BRZ Ferrari F150° Italia + 1.808 22
8. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 1.869 23
9. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 2.383 24
10. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C30 + 2.519 29
11. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 2.864 24
12. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault R31 + 2.869 22
13. Bruno Senna BRZ Renault R31 + 2.963 20
14. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C30 + 3.296 25
15. Rubens Barrichello BRZ Williams Cosworth FW33 + 3.531 21
16. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 3.730 19
17. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Cosworth FW33 + 3.833 22
18. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Renault T128 + 3.982 22
19. Karun Chandhok IND Lotus Renault T128 + 5.651 24
20. Daniel Ricciardo AUS HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 5.935 24
21. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 7.092 27
22. Jérôme d’Ambrosio BEL Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 7.277 30
23. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 8.960 19
24. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari F150° Italia + 9.063 4

[Image via LAT]

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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.