Singapore GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Sunset

Lewis Hamilton, Singapore GP 2013

Lewis Hamilton, Singapore GP 2013 

 © The Cahier Archive

Lewis Hamilton held the fastest lap time as the sun set over the Marina Bay circuit. Thirty minutes later, with the lights blazing and keeping the circuit in electric daylight, Hamilton was still at the top of the charts in his Mercedes as Free Practice 1 came to an end.

Red Bull’s Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were second and third, while Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg rounded out the top four.

Marussia teammates Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi were the first two drivers out onto the 23-turn 3.147-mile (5.065-km) street circuit as FP1 began.

The ambient air temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 31 degrees Fahrenheit (88 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was also 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 degrees Celsius).

Everybody did an installation lap or two (Daniel Ricciardo did three in the Toro Rosso) and then sat in the pits waiting for somebody else to go out and clean off the dusty streets.

25 minutes into the session, and nobody had set a flying lap. And then Sergio Perez gunned his McLaren down pitlane and headed out. The team radioed him to use lots of brake warm-up and the KERS as well.

Caterham teammates Charles Pic and Guido van der Garde joined the party.

30 minutes into the session, Perez clocked the first lap time: 1:53.245. Pic was the next to do a time with a 1:59.152. And then van der Garde turned a 1:57.090. Perez improved to a 1:51.644.

33 minutes into the session, Perez set a 1:50.863. The trio remained the only ones to have clocked times at this stage. Perez then improved to a 1:50.103 only to have Pastor Maldonado beat that with a 1:49.827 in his Williams.

44 minutes into the session, Valtteri Bottas topped the times with a 1:49.510 in his Williams.

Halfway through the session the top six were: Bottas, Jenson Button (McLaren), Maldonado, Perez, Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes.)

Things were getting serious now, and Rosberg turned a 1:48.684 only to have Red Bull’s Mark Webber top that with a 1:48.365. Next, Lewis Hamilton went to the top of the timing screens after posting a 1:47.872 in his Mercedes.

50 minutes into the session, the drivers had been behaving themselves, but Fernando Alonso has a wild moment in his Ferrari and nearly slapped the wall.

55 minutes into the session, Webber was back on top with a 1:47.699. Hamilton responded with a 1:47.055 as Webber improved his own time to a 1:47.420.

At the one hour mark, the top six were: Hamilton, Webber, Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Rosberg, Raikkonen and Alonso as the sun set. Romain Grosjean, who had completed just one lap in his Lotus, had yet to set a time.

With 27 minutes remaining in the session, Perez slid off the track at Turn 7, spun his McLaren 180 degrees, and rejoined the action.

With 25 minutes remaining in the session, Grosjean finally made it out to do another lap.

With 20 minutes remaining in the session, the top six remained unchanged.

With 18 minutes remaining in the session, Grosjean moved up to eighth place. Perez was eighth while Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso), Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) rounded the top 10.

With 12 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen slid off at Turn 13, smoked the tires as he spun the Lotus around, and headed back on track. Meanwhile, Grosjean deposed Alonso from sixth place.

With 6 minutes remaining in the session 17 cars were on track.

With 2 minutes remaining in the session 19 cars were on track. The drivers were pounding out the laps but their lap times were not improving.

At the end of FP1 the top 10 were: Hamilton, Webber, Vettel, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Alonso, Perez Vergne and Gutierrez.


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