Australia 2010: Free Practice One

Australia 2010: Free Practice One

Renault’s Robert Kubica topped the tables after the first free practice this morning. The pre-lunch running wasn’t without incident and the circuit saw two red flags during the 90-minute test. However, while Kubica has managed to go fastest the fuel levels of each car is unknown and the true pace of the drivers won’t be known until qualifying on Saturday evening.

The bumps around the Albert Park lake circuit caught a few drivers out, as did the raising of a kerb which caused a few machines to become unstable and send the drivers hack-sawing the steering wheel off to the outer edge of the track. Of the incidents that happened in the morning, the two most notable should go to Kamui Kobayashi. The Japanese pilot caused both red flags, and both were related to the Sauber pilot’s front wing. First, Kobayashi clipped a cone on the inside of a corner which damaged the wing and sent carbon fibre across the circuit. The incident sent Kamui bouncing over the gravel although he did manage to recover and return to the pits. The track was red-flagged to allow marshals to safely clear the carbon fibre from the tarmac.

Twenty minutes later Kobayashi was back on track with a new wing fitted, but as the former-Toyota driver braked into turn three, the wing dropped down, lodged under the car and sent Kamui off the tarmac and into the gravel. Because of the way the wing appeared to simply fall from the nose at a point where there are no fixings, the FIA sent their technical delegate, Jo Bauer, down to the Sauber garage to inspect the sister C29 piloted by Pedro De La Rosa.

Pedro De La Rosa was given the all-clear to continue although the team weren’t entirely sure why the wing failed in the way that it did. Front wing failures like as seen in Melbourne can prove to be very dangerous, as the wing can get trapped under the front wheels, removing any steering and braking effect and essentially converting the driver into a passenger. And Sauber’s woes continued as their Spanish driver pulled off the track in the final ten minutes with clutch failure.

On happier tones, Force India decided to run test and reserve driver Paul Di Resta in the first practice session, the team saying that it is good to allow their reserve some time in the car just in case he should be needed to step up. Di Resta proved to be more than capable and set a lap time only 0.345s shy of team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi. Virgin Racing continued their problematic debut season in Formula One with further lack of running. Timo Glock was confined to the garage for most of the morning with an oil leak while it became public knowledge that the fuel tank of the VR-01 isn’t large enough to get to the end of races.

Australian Flag

Australia 2010
Free Practice One

Lap Time
Fastest Time Set

Laps Set
Number Laps Completed

1. Polish FlagRobert Kubica Renault 1m26.927s 22 Laps
2. Germany FlagNico Rosberg Mercedes 1m27.126s 18 Laps
3. British FlagJenson Button McLaren 1m27.482s 22 Laps
4. Brazilian FlagFelipe Massa Ferrari 1m27.511s 18 Laps
5. German FlagSebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1m27.686s 23 Laps
6. Spanish FlagFernando Alonso Ferrari 1m27.747s 21 Laps
7. British FlagLewis Hamilton McLaren 1m27.793s 22 Laps
8. Swiss FlagSebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m28.014s 21 Laps
9. Russian FlagVitaly Petrov Renault 1m28.114s 25 Laps
10. Italian FlagVitantonio Liuzzi Force India 1m28.192s 18 Laps
11. British FlagPaul Di Resta Force India 1m28.537s 25 Laps
12. German FlagMichael Schumacher Mercedes 1m28.550s 19 Laps
13. Spanish FlagJaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso 1m28.572s 21 Laps
14. Australian FlagMark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m28.683s 22 Laps
15. Spanish FlagPedro De La Rosa Sauber 1m29.465s 13 Laps
16. Brazilian FlagRubens Barrichello Williams 1m29.712s 18 Laps
17. German FlagNico Hulkenberg Williams 1m30.249s 26 Laps
18. Japanese FlagKamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m31.588s 5 Laps
19. Italian FlagJarno Trulli Lotus 1m31.652s 13 Laps
20. Finnish FlagHeikki Kovalainen Lotus 1m31.654s 26 Laps
21. Brazilian FlagLucas Di Grassi Virgin Racing 1m32.831s 25 Laps
22. Indian FlagKarun Chandhok Hispania Racing 1m33.401s 24 Laps
23. Brazilian FlagBruno Senna Hispania Racing 1m34.251s 19 Laps
24. German FlagTimo Glock Virgin Racing 1m34.924s 8 Laps
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