Mark Webber has kicked off his Brazilian Grand Prix weekend in positive fashion by rounding out Friday’s first practice session as the quickest driver. With the McLarens having set the pace early on, the Australian moved to the top of the timesheets by the end of the 90-minute session.
Conditions were bright and sunny as the track opened for business on the sport’s sole visit to South America, with track temperatures peaking at 42°C (108°F) under a near cloudless sky.
The session saw a host of test drivers – five, no less – enjoy outings in this session, with GP2 Champion Romain Grosjean piloting Vitaly Petrov’s Renault, Jean-Eric Vergne in Sébastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso, while Nico Hülkenberg, Luiz Razia and Jan Charouz drove for Force India, Toro Rosso, Team Lotus and HRT respectively.
The session was largely incident-free, although Charouz took a trip across the Senna ‘S’ run-off and Kamui Kobayashi had a spin in his Sauber at Bico de Pato. Romain Grosjean’s session came to a premature halt when he stalled his Renault practicing a start at the pit exit, and Fernando Alonso’s engine (admittedly, one well up on mileage) gave up with five minutes of the session to go.
Team Lotus trialled a new rear wing that it hopes will give it better straight-line speed, and Heikki Kovalainen lapped just 2.7 seconds of Webber’s quickest lap of the day.
With the McLaren drivers and Sebastian Vettel trading quickest laps earlier in the session, Webber moved to the top of the order with a 1:13.881, just 0.014 seconds quicker than provisional leader Jenson Button.
2011 Brazilian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:
|1.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Renault RB7||1:13.811||26|
|2.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||+ 0.014||25|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||+ 0.150||20|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Renault RB7||+ 0.214||28|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 0.696||34|
|6.||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 0.730||26|
|7.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP W02||+ 1.351||28|
|8.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 1.367||28|
|9.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 1.430||31|
|10.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP W02||+ 1.510||29|
|11.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 1.657||29|
|12.||Romain Grosjean||Renault R31||+ 1.736||18|
|13.||Rubens Barrichello||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 1.852||27|
|14.||Bruno Senna||Renault R31||+ 1.921||32|
|15.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 1.936||31|
|16.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 2.025||27|
|17.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 2.168||35|
|18.||Jean–Éric Vergne||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 2.241||33|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus Renault T128||+ 2.703||33|
|20.||Luiz Razia||Lotus Renault T128||+ 3.784||31|
|21.||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 4.329||29|
|22.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 4.842||29|
|23.||Daniel Ricciardo||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 5.141||33|
|24.||Jan Charouz||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 5.766||37|
[Image via Sutton Images]
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