A Review of the Year: F1 – September & October

Part four of a review of the year (2013) in Formula One, following part one (January & February), part two (March, April & May), and part three (June, July & August).

September 2013 

At the start of September, McLaren celebrated their official 50th anniversary. The H Duct posted 50 posts over 50 days, celebrating the team and its achievements and personnel. The team held celebrations at the McLaren Technology Centre and commemorated the occasion at the Italian Grand Prix.

In driver news, Red Bull confirmed the identity of Mark Webber’s replacement. Daniel Ricciardo will make the move from Toro Rosso to Red Bull for 2014. Elsewhere, Force India confirmed that they had signed GP2 driver James Calado as their third driver.

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso topped the Italian Grand Prix practice sessions. Vettel took pole and another race win.

Felipe Massa took to Twitter to announce that he would be leaving Ferrari at the end of the season. “For next year, I want to find a team that can give me a competitive car to win many more races and challenge for the championship which remains my greatest objective,” he said.

Ferrari followed up Massa’s announcement with the news that Kimi Raikkonen would be returning. The Finn, who returned to Formula One in 2012 after two seasons away, won his world championship with the team in 2007.

The Marina Bay Circuit in Singapore was altered before the race, removing the infamous ‘Singapore Sling’ at Turn 10. The changes lowered the overall lap-times.

Lewis Hamilton topped the first practice session in Singapore but it was Sebastian Vettel who dominated the weekend – topping the remainder of practice, qualifying and winning the race.

Caterham announced a three year contract extension to their Renault deal.

A draft 2014 calendar was posted by the FIA. It included races in Russia, Mexico and New Jersey; including an unprecedented triple header between Monaco, New Jersey and Canada.

Russian driver Sergey Sirotkin made his Formula One debut at a display in Sochi, home of the new Russian Grand Prix.

October 2013

Marussia confirmed that they would be retaining Jules Bianchi for the 2014 season. The rookie driver improved on his debut, regularly out-qualifying and out-racing his team-mate and the Caterham drivers.

Lewis Hamilton topped the first two practice sessions in Korea but Sebastian Vettel took over in Free Practice Three. He then went on to qualify in pole position and win yet another race.

Sauber extended their deal with Ferrari into 2014 and beyond.

Sauber also announced that for practice in Japan, they would have Kimiya Sato as their reserve driver.

Codemasters launched the latest version of their Formula One game – F1 2013. The game features classic content from the 80s and 90s, including the FW207b, Alan Jones and Brands Hatch.

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel topped the first two practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix. Mark Webber topped FP3 and took pole position but it was his team-mate, Vettel, who won the race.

Maria de Villota, a former Marussia reserve driver, sadly passed away aged 33. She sustained serious injuries after a testing crash in 2012, and died as a result of them.

Toro Rosso confirmed that Jean-Eric Vergne would remain with the team for 2014 and be partnered by Daniil Kvyat.

1,571 – the number of career points that saw Fernando Alonso become the highest scoring Formula One driver ever.

Sebastian Vettel topped every session in India and stormed to his fourth championship in style.

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Sahara Force India: 100 GP and the Magic Formula

This weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix will mark Force India’s 100th race. The team, which evolved from the Jordan GP team, made its debut in 2008. Now in their sixth season, the team currently lie fifth in the Constructors’ Championship. Team driver Paul di Resta is inside the top ten in the Drivers’ Championship, while Adrian Sutil is just outside it. Here we look at the numbers that make up their ‘magic formula’ – the 100 GP.

Five full seasons

The Force India team made their debut on the Formula One grid in 2008, with the deal being put in place late 2007 when Spyker F1 was sold to Vijay Mallya. The team retained the services of driver Adrian Sutil and he was paired with Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella who had left Renault. The team used Ferrari engines and Bridgestone tyres. In their debut season the team scored 0 points and finished in tenth place, ahead of only Super Aguri. However, it was only onwards and upwards from there as they scored 13 points in the following year, 68 in 2010, 69 in 2011, and 109 in 2012.

Five drivers

Over the course of six seasons, including 2013, Force India have had five drivers race for them. Sutil and Fisichella were retained for the 2009 season but, when Fisichella was given the chance to drive for Ferrari, Vitantonio Liuzzi was promoted from test driver to race driver from the Italian Grand Prix. Sutil and Liuzzi continued for 2010 but at the end of the season, test driver Paul di Resta was promoted to a race seat for the 2011 season. He partnered Sutil for a year before he was joined by Nico Hulkenberg for 2012. In 2013, the team returned to the 2011 line-up as Sutil made his return after a year long absence from Formula One.

Two engine suppliers

Having used Ferrari engines for their debut season, Force India switched to Mercedes from 2009 and have used their engines since. Their original five year deal, which also saw them sign a technical agreement with McLaren-Mercedes, was recently extended to include 2014, when Formula One will switch to 1.6 litre V6 turbocharged hybrid power units. As part of their deal with McLaren, Force India were supplied with gearboxes, hydraulics systems and KERS.

One pole position

It was Giancarlo Fischella who delivered the team their first pole position. He took it at the Belgium Grand Prix but was unable to convert it into a win, although finished the race just a second down on Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who is somewhat of a Spa master. Also worthy of being noted was that Force India were without KERS, a system which Raikkonen had at his disposal – as at that time the system was optional and only a handful of teams used it.

One podium position

On the weekend of their first pole position, the Force India team also took their first podium position. But that’s not all, it was also the team’s first points paying finish in Formula One – what a way to do it! To date it is their only podium but Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg, and Paul di Resta have all come close with fourth place finishes.

Two fastest laps

Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg have set fastest race laps while racing for Force India. Sutil’s was at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix, on his way to fourth place, while Hulkenberg set the fastest lap at the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix, where he finished 14th.

61 points finishes

They may not have lots of podiums, but the team have finished in the points with at least one car in 61 races – a conversion rate of 61%. The most points the team has accumulated in one season is 109 (2012) and have a grand total of 323 over six seasons. This includes 2008 and 2009 converted into the current points system (25, 18, 15, 12…) and their total so far in 2013.

13 double points finishes

Of the 61 points finishes, 13 of these were double – meaning that both cars were in the points. The first of these was at the 2010 Monaco GP and has since occurred at the Belgian GP that same year, 2011 Australian,  Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Brazilian GP, 2012 Malaysian, Monaco, European and Belgian GP. In 2013 there have been two instances: in Australia and Monaco. There biggest haul at one race was 13 at the 2012 Belgian GP.

6th place

To date, current season not considered, Force India’s best position in the Constructors’ Championship has been sixth place, where they finished in 2011 with 69 points. They were just four points of Renault’s total for fifth place. There were 17 points finishes for Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta that season – nine for Adrian and eight for di Resta.

Three previous incarnations

Before Force India came into being, Jordan GP, Midland F1 and Spyker F1 were in its place. Jordan had a prolonged period in the sport – from 1991 to 2005 – and in that time won four races and had a third place in the Constructors’ Championship. When the team ran into financial difficulties it was sold to Midland F1 before being sold onto Spyker for 2007. Current Force India driver Adrian Sutil was a test driver for Midland before becoming a Spyker race driver and continuing with Force India.

One from a Billion

In 2011, Force India kicked off a search to find India’s young driving talents. Phase one saw open karting trials in seven cities leading to the national finals in Goa. Phase two saw a successful shortlist of ten drivers flown to Silverstone for a week of hands-on training and evaluation both on and off track. Three finalists – Arjun Maini, Tarun Reddy and Jehan Daruvala – competed in the British Super One Karting Championship.

Off the back of the successful two-year cycle, Force India have set up the Sahara Force India Formula One Team Academy. The academy aims to nurture and develop young drivers from India, preparing them for a drive with Force India. So far there have been two Indian drivers in Formula One – Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok – so the academy is important as it develops a path for more to follow in their footsteps.

So, there we have it. As Force India celebrate a milestone, remember how 5 drivers + 5 full seasons + 2 engine suppliers + 1 pole position + 1 podium + 2 fastest laps + 61 points finishes + 13 double points finishes + 6th place + 3 previous incarnations + 1 from a billion = 100 GP. Of course there are also many other contributing factors, but those above make up the ‘magic formula’. Here’s to the next 100!

PS. Force India driver Adrian Sutil is also approaching his 100th race (Hungarian GP).

2012: Indian GP: Preview

In years gone by the Formula One championship would be well wrapped up and the season would have drawn to a close by now, but in 2012 we still have four races remaining including the Indian GP this weekend. 2010 and 2011 world champion Sebastian Vettel leads Fernando Alonso by just six points with the momentum very much with the Red Bull driver having won the last three races. With 100 points still up for grabs, Mr Consistent Kimi Räikkönen is still in with a chance, lying 48 points behind. Both Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber are over sixty points back so while they are not completely out of the running, it is increasingly unlikely they can overhaul the gap, as it would require misfortune for both Vettel and Alonso. This is the Buddh International Circuit’s second appearance on the calendar after it made its debut in 2011.

Indian GP Stats

Circuit Name: Buddh International Circuit
Number of Laps: 60
Circuit Length: 5.125km
Lap Record: 1:27.249 S Vettel (2011)
2011 Results: 1. Sebastian Vettel 2. Lewis Hamilton 3. Mark Webber

Sebastian Vettel was the inaugural Indian GP winner

Last Time Out

The Korean GP proved to be pivotal in the championship as Vettel won the race, leading home a Red Bull 1-2 ahead of Alonso. That makes it three in a row for Vettel and he is now six points clear in the championship battle. Felipe Massa finished in a strong fourth place and, with McLaren leaving the event with only one point after Jenson Button was taken out of the race in a first lap accident and Hamilton had a rear suspension failure which left him languishing in tenth place. Räikkönen continued his 100% finishing record for 2012 with a fifth place while his team-mate overcame his latest troubles to finish in seventh. Both Toro Rosso drivers were solidly in the top ten, with Daniel Ricciardo starting 21st on the grid and finishing ninth, giving them a much needed boost towards the end of the season. Both Sauber drivers got themselves caught up in incidents, which lead to Kamui Kobayashi’s retirement during the race after he had impressed so much at the Japanese GP.

The Buddh International Circuit certainly seemed to impress on its debut in 2011, with plenty of overtaking opportunities including the longest straight on the calendar. Sector one features two straights – the pit straight and the longest straight of the year – with sectors two and three featuring fast flowing corners and the double-apexed right hander at turns ten and eleven. Pirelli will once again bring the hard and soft pairing of compounds to the race, the same as what was used in Japan. In the gap between Korea and India, Ferrari announced that they will be retaining Massa for the 2013 season. The Brazilian driver has had a number of strong finishes in the second half of the season and last time out he even appeared faster than his team-mate. This form is helping Ferrari as they chase Red Bull for the Constructors Championship, allowing them to pass McLaren who have been suffering reliability issues and cases of being in the wrong place at the wrong time in recent races. In the midfield Force India are 27 points behind Sauber who are in turn 20 points behind Mercedes so for them every little point counts. The Buddh International Circuit is wide at parts, which is to encourage drivers to take different lines and overtake, however, last year with the track being so dusty it was not so straightforward. Massa broke his suspension twice at the same part of the circuit, leading to them renaming the particular kerb after him. Also in 2011, only seven drivers finished the race on the lead lap with Vettel dominating the whole weekend with  pole position, race win and fastest lap – can anyone stop him this time?

Schedule

Local Indian time

Free Practice 1 10:00 Friday
Free Practice 2 14:00 Friday
Free Practice 3 11:00 Saturday
Qualifying 14:00 Saturday
Race 15:00 Sunday

Don’t forget to check The H Duct for Free Practice, Qualifying and Race reports with a post-race discussion over at EnterF1.

 

 

Indian GP: Race

Qualifying Recap

Expectations were high for the India’s inaugural Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit. Going into the session four drivers knew that they would be taking grid penalties: Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez three places for ignoring yellow flags in FP1; Vitaly Petrov five places for his accident with Michael Schumacher in Korea; and Daniel Ricciardo five places for a gearbox change. A number of drivers, including Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher and Pastor Maldonado, found themselves running off track and across grass – picking up dirt on their tyres and kicking up dust onto the already dusty track. Jenson Button lost out in Q1 as he struggled with grip and found himself dropping right down the order to fifteenth until he managed to put a lap together and get himself up to third. It was Kamui Kobayashi who was the big name to drop out in Q1. Vitaly Petrov topped the session with a 1:26.189. The second qualifying session was reasonably quiet. It was the usual suspects (Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari) who got through to the pole position shoot out: along with Nico Rosberg, Adrian Sutil and both Toro Rosso drivers. During the shoot out the battle at the front was close – after first runs the top four were separated by only a tenth and a half, with Sebastian Vettel taking provisional pole. Hamilton looked to be going faster on his second run but aborted it when he lost out in the second sector. Felipe Massa’s session did not end quite as he’d want when broke his front suspension by hitting a kerb. The incident brought out yellow flags which may have caught out Jenson Button as he was setting his flying lap and was going through the same section that Massa had gone off at when the yellow flags came out. He did not receive any penalty Vettel took pole with Hamilton in second, but he dropped three places for the start of the race.

Race Summary 

Sebastian Vettel has won the inaugural Indian GP ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. McLaren clinched second place in the Constructors’ Championship after out-scoring rivals Ferrari. There were 19 finishers as Kamui Kobayashi, Timo Glock, Pastor Maldonado, Sebastian Buemi and Felipe Massa retired from the race due to various incidents and failures. Lewis Hamilton, having qualified second but dropped to fifth due to a penalty, lost out to Massa at the start and the two, who have had a fraught season between the pair of them, had another coming together, this time with the Brazilian receiving a penalty. While the track had received rave reviews from the drivers after their practice, the race itself was reasonably uneventful. Sebastian Vettel broke yet another record when he surpassed Nigel Mansell’s 1992 record of most laps lead in one season. Mark Webber, Michael Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Jaime Alguersuari, Adrian Sutil and Sergio Perez also finished in the points.

The Race

Before the race there was a one minute silence in memory of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli who both passed away in the last couple of weeks in motorsport accidents. All of the drivers also had various tributes to the two drivers – whether it be a black armband or something on their helmet.

On the grid before the race Ferrari mechanics were frantically working on Fernando Alonso’s front wing but it was finished in time and he was able to start the race. He has normally been one of the better starters, making up a number of positions over the course of the season, but he lost out to Jenson Button. His team-mate, Felipe Massa, had a good start to pass Lewis Hamilton, someone who he has had a turbulent relationship with this season as the pair have had a number of coming togethers and one off-track spat. Further down the field there was chaos as Rubens Barrichello lost his front wing; Jarno Trulli was tagged by an HRT and sent into a spin; and Kamui Kobayashi ended up off track and hit Timo Glock as he rejoined. Kobayashi retired from the race while Trulli, Barrichello, Perez and Glock all took to the pits. The incidents were investigated but no further action was taken.

As the race progressed Vettel once again pulled away at the front and remained untroubled. Button had an initial battle with Webber for second but he soon established himself in that position and Webber found himself fighting with Alonso for the final podium position. Jaime Alguersuari was racing closesly with Bruno Senna but was warned by his race engineer that if he continued to sit behind the Renault driver then it would compromise his race. Not long after he received that message he passed him, as did his team-mate Sebastian Buemi. Buemi’s race prematurely ended on lap 26 when he pulled off at the side of the track with smoke coming from the rear of his car. Sergio Perez, who had also received a three place grid penalty, started out of position back in 20th place but had a good race to get himself into the points. He was part of a close battle between Paul di Resta and Petrov, who had also started well down the grid due to a penalty.

Michael Schumacher, who had been out-qualified again by his team-mate and started 11th, got himself well into the points. He was already eighth place after the first few laps. He made his strategy work to finish in fifth place – ahead of Rosberg. Of the front runners Alonso, Webber and Hamilton were the first to pit, closely followed by Massa. Button and Vettel went two and three laps further respectively. After the first round of stops Vettel was still leading with Button second and Webber third. Schumacher was in fourth place, having not pitted, ahead of Alonso in fifth, his team-mate Massa not far behind him, with Hamilton in seventh place. Alonso did not spend long behind Schumacher, however, as he used DRS to pass him. The Mercedes is, however, a quicker car in a straight line and Alonso was forced to duck back into Schumacher’s slipstream before he could make the move stick.

Elsewhere in the field, Heikki Kovalainen was at one stage running as high as 11th in his Team Lotus car. His team-mate was feeling the effects of his first lap incident as he had a damaged floor which was effecting his running. Narain Karthikeyan, who had been given the opportunity to race at his home Grand Prix, spent most of the race ahead of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo. They were running in 15th and 16th at one stage, before finishing the race in 17th and 18th. Williams’ Pastor Maldonado was forced to retire from the race after what looked like a gearbox issue while his team-mate Barrichello had had his race compromised by the first lap incident when he had had to pit for a new nose – he finished in 15th. Renault had Bruno Senna running in the points but he made a very late pit stop on lap 57 for the harder compound tyres which dropped him right out of the points.

Another race, another coming together for Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa but this time it was the Ferrari driver who was deemed to be in the wrong. The pair have had a number of incidents, both on and off track, and the Indian GP was the location for the next one. Hamilton appeared to make a move up the inside of Turn 5, but with Felipe alongside him it looked like Lewis backed off slightly, but Felipe still turned in for the corner and as he did he hit Lewis. Lewis was forced to pit for a new nose which dropped him down the order to 9th but Felipe instantly re-joined the race and was in 6th place. He received a drive through penalty, pitted for a new nose and fresh tyres two laps later, and brought his own race to an end on lap 34 when he clipped another kerb (which had ended his qualifying) and broke his front left suspension.

Sebastian Vettel once again set the fastest lap on the last lap of the race, something which his team were not happy about, but completed his hat-trick of pole position, race win and fastest lap.

There were 19 finishers of which Lewis Hamilton, in seventh, was the last man on the lead lap.

McLaren clinched second in the Constructors’ Championship with Ferrari a comfortable third. The action continues in two weeks time with the penultimate race in Abu Dhabi, where Sebastian Vettel has won the previous two GPs – which also happen to be the only two there. Whether or not anyone can beat him remains to be seen, although given his current form you’d say he will probably do it again!

Indian GP: FP3 times

Free Practice 3

1. Vettel 1:24.824
2. Button 1:25.191
3. Webber 1:25.203
4. Hamilton 1:25.288
5. Alonso 1:25.784
6. Massa 1:26.058
7. di Resta 1:26.785
8. Rosberg 1:26.873
9. Sutil 1:26.958
10. Buemi 1:27.146
11. Schumacher 1:27.217
12. Senna 1:27.235
13. Kobayashi 1:27.262
14. Petrov 1:27.280
15. Alguersuari 1:27.387
16. Perez 1:27.749
17. Maldonado 1:27.793
18. Barrichello 1:27.875
19. Trulli 1:29.355
20. Kovalainen 1:29.750
21. Glock 1:30.863
22. Karthikeyan 1:30.900
23. d’Ambrosio 1:32.851
24. Ricciardo 1:33.246

Indian GP: Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton, Sergio Perez, Vitaly Petrov and Daniel Ricciardo will take grid penalties after qualifiying Hamilton and Perez three places each for ignoring yellow flags during FP1, Petrov five places for his crash with Michael Schumacher in Korea and Ricciardo for changing his gearbox.

Track temperature: 38°C
Humidity: 26%

Q1

Heikki Kovalainen was the first out on track for Q1. Everyone went out on the harder compound tyres at the start of qualifying. During qualifying it is possible to use DRS for up to 62% of the lap. Lewis Hamilton ran wide during his first lap losing time and kicking up a lot of dust. Felipe Massa, Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher also had off moments. The Sauber duo didn’t go out for initial runs as they waited for the track to clear. Timo Glock was out of his car with eight minutes of the session remaining – obviously with a problem with his car. Times continued to fall as the track evolved and the tyres got to the ideal condition. Jenson Button reported that he was struggling for grip and found himself dropping down the order. Teams were putting the softer tyres on and going faster. Button got over the line with around 20 seconds to spare, sitting in 16th place. Michael Schumacher was in the drop zone when he started his last lap and he appeared to get held up by Narain Karthikeyan – but still made it through.

1. Petrov 1:26.189
2. Vettel 1:26.218
3. Button 1:26.225
4. Sutil 1:26.271
5. Rosberg 1:26.364
6. Webber 1:26.473
7. Alguersuari 1:26.557
8. Hamilton 1:26.563
9. Buemi 1:26.608
10. Senna 1:26.766
11. Alonso 1:26.774
12. Schumacher 1:26.790
13. Maldonado 1:26.829
14. di Resta 1:26.864
15. Massa 1:27.012
16. Perez 1:27.249
17. Barrichello 1:27.479
18. Kobayashi 1:27.876
19. Kovalainen 1:28.565
20. Trulli 1:28.752
21. Ricciardo 1:30.216*
22. Karthikeyan 1:30.238
23. d’Ambrosio 1:30.886
24. Glock 1:34.46

* Will take five place grid penalty

107% lap time 1:32.222
Q2

Both of the Renaults were the first cars on track for Q2. All of the front runners went out on soft tyres. Bruno Senna had an off moment, picking up dirt and dust on his tyres. Felipe Massa had another run off the track. Paul di Resta waited in the garage for most of the session before going out for a three lap run with about four minutes remaining. P12 changed hands a number of times with Michael Schumacher finishing the session there. Vitaly Petrov was unlucky as he set an identical lap time to tenth placed Jaime Alguersuari, but missed out on a spot in the pole position shoot out.

1. Vettel 1:24.657
2. Hamilton 1:25.019
3. Alonso 1:25.158
4. Webber 1:25.282
5. Button 1:25.299
6. Massa 1:25.522
7. Rosberg 1:25.555
8. Sutil 1:26.140
9. Buemi 1:26.161
10. Alguersuari 1:26.319
11. Petrov 1:26.319*
12. Schumacher 1:26.337
13. di Resta 1:26.503
14. Maldonado 1:26.537
15. Senna 1:26.651
16. Barrichello 1:27.247
17. Perez 1:27.562**

* Will take five place grid penalty
** Will take three place grid penalty

Q3

Lewis Hamilton was first out on track for Q3. His first effort was a 1:26.340 but this was quickly eclipsed by Felipe Massa with a 1:25.122 and then Fernando Alonso with a 1:24.586. Jenson Button was compromised after Q1, when he had had to use a set of soft tyres to get through, meaning he had one less set than everyone else. After Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and Webber had set their first lap times they were only separated by a tenth and a half, with Vettel on provisional pole. Felipe Massa ended the session in the wall after he hit a kerb which broke his front suspension.

1. Vettel 1:24.178
2. Hamilton 1:24.474*
3. Webber 1:24.508
4. Alonso 1:24.519
5. Button 1:24.950
6. Massa 1:25.122
7. Rosberg 1:25.451
8. Sutil No Time Set
9. Buemi No Time Set
10. Alguersuari No Time Set

* Will take three place grid drop

Updated Grid

1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Mark Webber
3. Fernando Alonso
4. Jenson Button
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Felipe Massa
7. Nico Rosberg
8. Adrian Sutil
9. Sebastian Buemi
10. Jaime Alguersuari
11. Michael Schumacher
12. Paul di Resta
13. Pastor Maldonado
14. Bruno Senna
15. Rubens Barrichello
16. Vitaly Petrov
17. Kamui Kobayashi
18. Heikki Kovalainen
19. Jarno Trulli
20. Sergio Perez
21. Jerome D’Ambrosio
22. Timo Glock
23. Daniel Ricciardo
24. Narain Karthikeyan

Indian GP: FP1 + FP2

Free Practice 1

Force India’s Adrian Sutil was the first driver out onto the new track but it was Lotus’ Indian test driver who set the first timed lap. The session was red flagged due to a stray dog on the circuit. A number of drivers had ‘moments’ due to the slippery green track surface including Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Jaime Alguersuari and Karun Chandhok (in the pit-lane). Fernando Alonso had to abort his session early due to a problem with his Ferrari. Pastor Maldonado had an engine failure and stopped on track, bringing out double yellow flags. Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez were caught out by this, as Hamilton set the fastest time of the session. Both he and Perez were handed a three place grid drop for Sunday’s race.

1. Hamilton 1:26.836
2. Vettel 1:27.416
3. Webber 1:27.428
4. Button 1:28.394
5. Schumacher 1:28.531
6. Rosberg 1:28.542
7. Massa 1:28.644
8. Sutil 1:28.705
9. Buemi 1:29.219
10. Kobayashi 1:29.355
11. di Resta 1:29.700
12. Petrov 1:29.705
13. Senna 1:29.799
14. Perez 1:30.132
15. Barrichello 1:30.367
16. Alguersuari 1:30.566
17. Maldonado 1:30.669
18. Trulli 1:30.818
19. Chandhok 1:32.487
20. Glock 1:32.771
21. Ricciardo 1:34.113
22. Karthikeyan 1:33.928
23. d’Ambrosio 1:35.796
24. Alonso 1:35.899

Narain Karthikeyan is racing this weekend in place of Vitanontio Liuzzi and Karun Chandhok was in for Heikki Kovalainen for FP1 only.

Free Practice 2

Pastor Maldonado’s day went from bad to worse when he had a spin which left him beached in the gravel near the start of the session. The track surface was still slippery with Sebastian Buemi, Adrian Sutil and Kamui Kobayashi off the track. Jerome d’Ambrosio had a crash in his Virgin which left his rear wing and right rear tyre hanging off. Vitaly Petrov was another driver to have a spin. Felipe Massa went fastest overall to end the session on top. His team-mate, Fernando Alonso, had a better second session to go third fastest while Sebastian Vettel was once again in second.

1. Massa 1:25.706
2. Vettel 1:25.794
3. Alonso 1:25.930
4. Hamilton 1:26.454
5. Webber 1:26.500
6. Button 1:26.714
7. Sutil 1:27.316
8. Senna 1:27.498
9. di Resta 1:27.853
10. Buemi 1:27.868
11. Petrov 1:27.890
12. Kobayashi 1:28.289
13. Perez 1:28.289
14. Alguersuari 1:28.552
15. Barrichello 1:28.691
16. Maldonado 1:28.708
17. Trulli 1:29.332
18. Kovalainen 1:30.241
19. Rosberg 1:31.098
20. Glock 1:31.469
21. Schumacher 1:31.804
22. d’Ambrosio 1:32.593
23. Ricciardo 1:32.768
24. Karthikeyan 1:32.824