Felipe Massa has led a Ferrari 1-2 in the opening practice session at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, as the Italian team continues to show the strong form that helped it claim victory at last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
With the entire field concerned over high tyre wear in the very hot conditions, many of the frontrunners left it until late in the 90-minute session before venturing out to set some lap times.
In fact, it took almost an hour before Massa and teammate Fernando Alonso attempted some timed laps, and they immediately moved to the top of the timesheets, remaining there for the rest of the session.
Nico Rosberg was next up in third-fastest, just 0.134 seconds off Massa’s pace in the Mercedes, while reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel was fourth-fastest.
Force India continued to show its solid early-season pace, with Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil both running comfortably inside the top-ten, placing fifth- and eighth-fastest respectively.
Jenson Button was sixth-fastest in his McLaren, five spots and half a second quicker than teammate Sergio Pérez, while Mark Webber (seventh) and the Lotus duo of Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top-ten.
Chinese Grand Prix polesitter Lewis Hamilton was only thirteenth-fastest in his McLaren, although the performance difference to teammate Rosberg could have been down to each driver running considerably different evaluation and set-up programs in this session.
Two drivers made their inaugural appearance of the 2013 season at this session. Recently re-signed Caterham reserve driver Heikki Kovalainen drove in the team’s CT03 and finished nineteenth-fastest, and commented after the session that the car was very unstable at the rear end.
Marussia reserve driver Rodolfo González also had his first outing in the team’s MR02 in place of Giedo van der Garde. The Venezuelan’s running was curtailed after just seven laps when he suffered a gearbox problem.
2013 Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:
|1.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:34.487||11|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:34.564||+ 0.077||19|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:34.621||+ 0.134||22|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:34.790||+ 0.303||20|
|5.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:34.949||+ 0.462||17|
|6.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:35.069||+ 0.582||22|
|7.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:35.101||+ 0.614||19|
|8.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:35.119||+ 0.632||19|
|9.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:35.345||+ 0.858||17|
|10.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:35.611||+ 1.124||14|
|11.||Sergio Pérez||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:35.640||+ 1.153||23|
|12.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW35||1:35.783||+ 1.296||16|
|13.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:35.792||+ 1.305||16|
|14.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:36.014||+ 1.527||19|
|15.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:36.485||+ 1.998||20|
|16.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW35||1:36.498||+ 2.011||17|
|17.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:36.755||+ 2.268||20|
|18.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:37.214||+ 2.727||21|
|19.||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault CT03||1:37.850||+ 3.363||20|
|20.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham Renault CT03||1:38.401||+ 3.914||20|
|21.||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:39.445||+ 4.958||12|
|22.||Rodolfo González||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:40.215||+ 5.728||7|
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