Spanish GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Spanish Ham

Lewis Hamilton, Spanish GP 2014

Lewis Hamilton, Spanish GP 2014 

 © The Cahier Archive

 

Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest lap time in Free Practice 1for the Spanish Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver went a full 0.782 of a second quicker than Jenson Button who wound up second in his McLaren Mercedes. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Renault) and Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) rounded out the top four.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Centigrade.)

Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat set the first time of the session – 1:36.471 – around the 2.892–mile (4.655-km) 16–turn track.

18 minutes into the session, Pastor Maldonado clocked a 1:34.069 in his Lotus, but Jenson Button immediately beat that by turning a 1:30.717 in his McLaren.

Up until now most drivers had only done install laps and had not set any times, but then they began turning timed laps. Hometown hero Fernando Alonso rocked to the top of the charts by setting a 1:29.874 in his Ferrari. But he was soon demoted to fourth by Nico Rosberg, who set a 1:29.623 in his Mercedes, Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) and Felipe Massa (Williams.)

Sergio Perez, meanwhile, had to drive back to the pits holding the left side review mirror that came loose on his Force India.

23 minutes into the session, Alonso was back on top with a 1:28.770.

Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg weren't going to stand for that, however, and responded with times of 1:28.028 and 1:28.168 respectively

25 minutes into the session, Daniel Ricciardo slotted his Red Bull into third with a 1:28.755. Things were not going so well for his teammate Sebastian Vettel who had to park his car at Turn 6.

32 minutes into the session, the only car not in the garages was Vettel's Red Bull which was being lifted onto a tow truck. And Vettel was getting a ride back to the pits on the back of a scooter.

The top six were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Alonso, Button and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari.)

38 minutes into the session, Romain Grosjean broke the silence as he headed out in his Lotus. Teammate Maldonado joined him. The rest of the drivers remained in their garages. Grosjean slid off the track at Turn 10 and continued. Maldonado, meanwhile, moved up to third.

Midway through FP1 the top six were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Maldonado, Ricciardo, Alonso and Button. Raikkonen, Felipe Nasr, who was driving Valtteri Bottas' Williams in FP1, Hulkenberg and Massa rounded out the top 10. Everybody was on Pirelli's hard compound slick with the orange sidewalls.

With 42 minutes remaining in the session, Jean-Eric Vergne moved his Toro Rosso into ninth place. Vettel's car had now been delivered to the pits and was getting repaired.

With 39 minutes remaining in the session, Button moved into second with a time of 1:28.042.

With 37 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo moved into first with a 1:27.973. Button countered with a 1:27.891.

With just over 30 minutes remaining in the session, the top six were: Button, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg and Maldonado. Moments later, the TV monitors in the pressroom all went black, thus preventing the world's media from being able to keep track of what was going on out on the track.

With 22 minutes remaining in the session, the TV screens came back to life to reveal that the top five positions remained unchanged but Raikkonen had moved up to sixth.

With 16 minutes remaining in the session, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo was spotted in the Ferrari garage talking to the new Team Principal Marco Mattiacci.

McLaren has had its ups and downs performance-wise this season. The team had an "up" in FP1 with Button setting the quickest lap time. But it was not to last because with 5 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton took over the top spot with a time of 1:27.109.

As the session wound down almost all the drivers were out on the track.

The top 10 at the end of FP1 were: Hamilton, Button, Ricciardo, Alonso, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Kevin Magnussen (McLaren), Maldonado, Perez and Massa.


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