German GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Alonso sets Nurburgring pace

Fernando Alonso, German GP 2011

Fernando Alonso, German GP 2011 

 © The Cahier Archive

Ferrari and Fernando Alonso (1:31.894) continued where they left off at Silverstone when the Spaniard topped the first session of free practice for Sunday's German GP at Nurburgring.

Alonso and team mate Felipe Massa (1:32.681), who has finished on the podium at the last three Nurburgring races, conducted a front wing comparison during the session, with the Brazilian finishing up fourth quickest as the Ferrari drivers sandwiched the Red Bull men.

Mark Webber (1:32.217), who won his first Grand Prix at the corresponding race just two years ago, was second fastest, in front of world champion Sebastian Vettel (1:32.268) who is still chasing his first home GP win.

The McLarens were next up, Lewis Hamilton lapping in 1:32.996 and Jenson Button in 1:33.628. Button's car went out with the special Flowviz aero paint visible on the diffuser section and new revised rear wing of the McLaren. The rear wing is a more aggressive approach to the DRS but the overall downforce level is understood to be lower as the team conducted back-to-back tests with Hamilton in the earlier trim.

Nico Rosberg (1:33.787) set seventh quickest lap, as the rest of the German contingent minus Nick Heidfeld, completed the top 10. Adrian Sutil lapped in 1:33.832, marginally quicker than Nico Hulkenberg (1:33.858) in the sister Force India, with Michael Schumacher 10th (1:33.863).

Heidfeld ran with a new rear-facing exhaust on the Renault, with team mate Vitaly Petrov retaining the original layout for comparison purposes.

Karun Chandhok had his first session as a full Lotus driver, with the statisticians working out that the Indian driver has completed just seven timed laps over and above pure installation laps during the course of his four Friday sessions with the team thus far. Regular driver Heikki Kovalainen lapped in 1:36.392, with Chandhok turning a 1:38.765 in eight fewer laps that included his left wing mirror glass popping out.

The HRTs proved quicker than the Marussia Virgins in the opening session, with Narain Karthikeyan (in for Tonio Liuzzi for first practice) lapping in 1:38.504 and Daniel Ricciardo in 1:39.279).


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