GP Singapore, prove venerdì–19/09/2014
Singapore GP: Lewis Hamilton ends Friday on top for Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day of practice for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix on top of the timesheets in his Mercedes.
The 2014 F1 title contender was only fourth fastest in the early stages of the session, when the field ran on the slower soft-compound Pirelli tyres.
But after leaving his qualifying simulation run on super-softs later than most, Hamilton was able to take to the track when it reopened after a mid-session red flag.
This was caused by Pastor Maldonado, who lost the rear of his Lotus exiting the Turn 10 left-hander and, in correcting, ran out of road and slid heavily into the exit barrier.
Hamilton, who complained about a vibration in his brakes at the start of the run, then set a lap good enough to relegate Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo to second place by three tenths of a second.
While the vast majority of drivers had completed their qualifying simulations before the red flag, of the frontrunners only Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg had yet to do so.
Alonso got to within 0.133s of Hamilton on his performance run, ending the session second ahead of Ricciardo.
But Rosberg, who had already started his qualifying simulation when the red flag came out, then went straight into a long-run after the restart.
This meant that his fastest lap on the soft Pirellis stood as his best, the significant performance difference between the two compounds leaving him down in 13th, just over a second-and-a-half off Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen completed a promising day for Ferrari in fourth, four tenths slower than his team-mate.
Remarkably, Sebastian Vettel ended the session fifth having only taken to the track with seven minutes remaining.
He had suffered an engine problem at the end of the day’s first session, with Red Bull doing a superb job to get his car ready for a run on super-softs in the closing minutes.
This relegated McLaren pairing Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button to sixth and seventh.
The Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, who had held first and second on the timesheets after being among the earliest to bolt on super-softs, ended up eighth and ninth ahead of the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne.
Romain Grosjean coaxed a good lap out of a Lotus that looked very difficult to drive to end up 12th, ahead of Rosberg, with Maldonado also setting a good pace on his qualifying simulation prior to his shunt.
With the Saubers of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez 15th and 16th, it was a difficult day for the Williams team.
Although it had expected to struggle here, Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas ended up right down in 17th and 18th.
The Marussia drivers won the battle at the back, with Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton, the latter of which suffered with a turbo problem late on, outpacing Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m47.790s||0.300s||28|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m48.041s||0.551s||5|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.653s||1.163s||30|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m48.751s||1.261s||30|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m48.770s||1.280s||31|
|11||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m48.800s||1.310s||33|
Singapore GP: Fernando Alonso leads practice one for Ferrari
Fernando Alonso scored a coup for Ferrari in the first practice session of the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, edging out Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Alonso’s flying lap of 1m49.056s beat Hamilton by 0.122 seconds, with Nico Rosberg 0.027s further back in third.
The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who had been expected to go well here on account of the RB9’s prodigious downforce, were fourth and fifth fastest, but were much more active than Alonso on track, completing 27 and 21 laps to the Spaniard’s 16.
Rosberg led much of the early running in spite of reporting gear selection problems, and having to remove a loose mirror.
Kimi Raikkonen was the first of the Ferrari drivers to dial in to the circuit, lapping more neatly than Alonso and even briefly topping the timesheets before Rosberg ended his tenure there.
Alonso soon restored the normal Ferrari order, though, and Raikkonen would close out the session seventh fastest with his front brakes on fire in the pits.
At the end of the first half hour, when the teams have to give back their extra set of soft-compound Pirelli tyres, it was Vettel and Alonso who were fastest by a half-second margin from Rosberg.
But with the tyre exchange completed, Rosberg was among the first drivers to head back out on track, once again on the soft-compound tyres, setting a new benchmark nearly two seconds faster then his previous best.
Hamilton responded with a lap 0.027s quicker to ‘win’ this run, and that was how the Mercedes order remained until the chequered flag.
As Hamilton and Rosberg moved on to race simulation runs with 30 minutes of the session remaining, Alonso found space on track to nail a flying lap 0.122s faster than Hamilton’s best.
Vettel made productive use of his new Red Bull chassis to set a time faster than team-mate Ricciardo, though he had a close encounter with the wall at the exit of Turn 21.
Ricciardo moved on to a full-tank race simulation run in the final half hour, undercutting his previous best but also touching the wall while doing so.
It was not all good news for Vettel, though; he suffered a suspected engine failure at the end of the session and stopped in the pitlane.
Toro Rosso showed well on headline times, with Jean-Eric Vergne sixth fastest and Daniil Kvyat ninth, but this was an eventful 90 minutes for the Faenza team.
Vergne required a battery change that put him out of action during the first hour; then, having set his flying lap, he had an ERS failure that ended his session.
Kvyat, for his part, claimed to be being blocked by several other drivers on-track.
McLaren had a new front wing but neither Jenson Button nor Kevin Magnussen were able to make an impression up front, closing the session eighth and 11th.
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m49.874s||0.818s||27|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m50.122s||1.066s||21|
|6||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m50.539s||1.483s||11|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m50.990s||1.934s||26|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m51.131s||2.075s||23|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m51.604s||2.548s||23|