Indian GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Hamilton quickest in India

Lewis Hamilton, Indian GP 2011

Lewis Hamilton, Indian GP 2011 

 © Active Pictures

Lewis Hamilton (1:26.836) headed the first practice session on the new Buddh International Circuit in India.

The impressive new Indian track is already being hailed possibly the best of Hermann Tilke's designs but, as expected, dust affected the first session of running and times dropped steadily throughout until Hamilton set his best time right at the end.

Sebastian Vettel (1:27.416) was second quickest from Red Bull team mate Mark Webber (1:27.428), then Jenson Button (1:28.394) with the second of the McLarens.

Mercedes was next up, with Michael Schumacher (1:28.531) just a hundredth quicker than Nico Rosberg (1:28.542).

Felipe Massa (1:28.644) was seventh quickest with the first of the Ferraris, the most interesting element of the Brazilian's session being a development front wing that appeared to be flexing significantly under braking at the end of the main straight.

It did so to the extent that both wing endplates were sparking after contact with the track. Ferrari then changed the wing back to the original specification.

Team mate Fernando Alonso did not get much opportunity to learn the new circuit, rolling to a stop with a technical issue after just four laps.

Adrian Sutil (1:28.705) was eighth quickest in the first of the Force Indias, from Sebastian Buemi's Toro Rosso (1:29.219) and Kamui Kobayashi's Sauber (1:29.355).

Jaime Alguersuari lightly damaged his Toro Rosso when he spun off and Pastor Maldonado's Williams ground to a halt after an engine failure.


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