Kubica quickest in disrupted first practice

Posted on

| Written by

Paul di Resta made his first appearance in an F1 practice session
Paul di Resta made his first appearance in an F1 practice session

Robert Kubica put Renault at the top of the times sheets at the end of free practice one for the Australian Grand Prix.

But Sauber suffered a difficult session. Kamui Kobayashi suffered two broken front wings which caused a pair session stoppages and Pedro de la Rosa’s car rolled to a halt with ten minutes left on the clock.

Kobayashi’s first problem was self-inflicted as he clouted the cone on the inside of turn 12, breaking his front wing. This brought the red flags out around 40 minutes into the session while the debris was retrieved.

But when Kobayashi returned to the track after the session restarted his front wing collapsed on the approach to turn three and he was lucky to stop without hitting anything. This caused the second stoppage of the session.

In between the disruptions the McLaren duo made the early running, trading fastest times.

Jenson Button eventually set the third-fastest time behind Kubica and Nico Rosberg, who was the quicker of the Mercedes drivers once again.

Traffic seemed to be more of a problem at the Albert Park circuit and could play a significant role during qualifying.

Some drivers also struggled with the new combination kerb at turn nine, where Heikki Kovalainen and Vitaly Petrov both spun.

Paul di Resta was 11th in his first official F1 practice session appearance for Force India, 0.3s slower than team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Timo Glock was the slowest of the runners after suffering more problems in his Virgin. There have been fresh reports that the team need to modify the rear of their car because their fuel tank isn’t large enough.

PositionCarDriverCarBest lapLaps
111Robert KubicaRenault1’26.92722
24Nico RosbergMercedes1’27.1260.19918
31Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’27.4820.55522
47Felipe MassaFerrari1’27.5110.58418
55Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’27.6860.75923
68Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’27.7470.8221
72Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’27.7930.86622
816Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.0141.08721
912Vitaly PetrovRenault1’28.1141.18718
1015Vitantonio LiuzziForce India-Mercedes1’28.1921.26518
1114Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’28.5371.6125
123Michael SchumacherMercedes1’28.5501.62319
1317Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.5721.64521
146Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’28.6831.75622
1522Pedro de la RosaSauber-Ferrari1’29.4652.53813
169Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’29.7122.78518
1710Nico H???lkenbergWilliams-Cosworth1’30.2493.32226
1823Kamui KobyashiSauber-Ferrari1’31.5884.6615
1918Jarno TrulliLotus-Cosworth1’31.6524.72513
2019Heikki KovalainenLotus-Cosworth1’31.6544.72726
2125Lucas di GrassiVirgin-Cosworth1’32.8315.90425
2221Bruno SennaHRT-Cosworth1’33.4016.47424
2320Karun ChandhokHRT-Cosworth1’34.2517.32419
2424Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’34.9257.9988

Image (C) Force India F1 Team

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

22 comments on “Kubica quickest in disrupted first practice”

  1. Jarred Walmsley
    26th March 2010, 3:35

    Good to see that the HRT’s have improved significantly over their Bahrain running somewhere in the range of 3seconds over their Qualifying pace if I have calculated that right. So hopefully by Malaysia we will see them well on the tail of Lotus and Virgin.

    1. Jarred Walmsley
      26th March 2010, 3:37

      Also I have just figured out the 107% and found that both HRT’s would make it below the 107% time of 1.34.82. The only car that wouldn’t make it would be Glock’s Virgin

    2. Yes, the HRT’s have certainly improved. But I don’t think there would be much progress in the teams by Malaysia which is just one week later. Hopefully some changes will be seen by China where the teams would get a two week break to work on their cars.

      1. Jarred Walmsley
        26th March 2010, 3:44

        Yes, you’re right, I forgot Australia – Malyasia was a double header. Yep, I think China will be a good indicator of the HRT’s actual pace

        1. I doubt significant improvement until Europe, until then improvement will be from reliability and actually getting some practice in, Barcelona should see them gain something really tangible.

  2. 8 Cosworth-powered cars in the bottom 9…
    The Renault engine seems to be very solid.. I wonder what happened to Webber, he’s a full second slower than Seb../

    1. He was most liekly on a heavier fuel loead and testing differnt seat ups.

    2. You could put a Mercedes in any of the bottom 9 and the majority of them wouldn’t budge even 1 position.

  3. You know, even as an Australian I’ll admit, it’s no Spa, and it doesn’t promote lots of passing… but…. It’s a dam good track, and It’s different, It isn’t like any other track (talking to Mr Tilke) and it looks good. It actually is pleasant to just look at the track, None of the new tracks can boast that.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys
    26th March 2010, 3:38

    Very impressed by Petrov. I think he’s got that x-factor. I’m looking forward to seeing him perform this season … and – it has to be said, because you know I’m thinking it – rubbing it in the faces of everyone who wrote him off as a paydriver. You don’t get to be two seconds quicker than the nearest rookie without something special.

    1. Well, he IS a paydriver! He just happens to be talented also…

    2. If you count di Resta as a ‘rookie’, he’s only 0.4 sec faster. That said, he’s done pretty well so far.

      I wonder if what Kubica said in testing about the Renault being much less sensitive than the BMWs has a hand in it, i.e. the car doesn’t need to have a perfect set-up to still be fairly quick?

      Perhaps Hulkenberg’s Williams is a lot less forgiving than the Renault, thereby not allowing him to get the most out of it?

    3. Petrov is over a second slower than Kubica!

      I guess that’s an improvement over the 2 seconds he was slower in Bahrain, but still. That’s a lot.

      Also, how is he 2 seconds quicker than the nearest rookie? Buemi, Liuzzi, Algersuari and Di Resta are much closer.

      Besides these FP1 times are meaningless. He could have been running on fumes while the rest was lugging 150kg of fuel around.

      I hope he proves to be a talented driver, but I’ll hold my judgement until he actually shows that he is.

      Much like my attitude towards Kobayashi …

      1. Jarred Walmsley
        26th March 2010, 4:39

        None of those bar Di Resta are actually rookies, Buemi, Liuzzi and Algersuari were all in F1 last year if not earlier.

      2. Prisoner Monkeys
        26th March 2010, 4:48

        I guess that’s an improvement over the 2 seconds he was slower in Bahrain, but still. That’s a lot.
        Yes it’s a lot. But consider this: he was two seconds slower than Kubica in his first Grand Prix. It’s his second race, and he’s only a second slower. Tell me that isn’t a massive improvement.

        Also, how is he 2 seconds quicker than the nearest rookie? Buemi, Liuzzi, Algersuari and Di Resta are much closer.

        Buemi raced for the entire 2008 season.

        Alguersuari had seven race starts to his name before Petrov got his first.

        Liuzzi has raced in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

        Paul di Resta is not racing.

        1. Jaime is a rookie, his 7 races was more like 7 pre-season testing sessions. Petrov should be a second slower than Kubica, Kubica is ranked very high by many people, anything else and I would consider Petrov a genious.

  5. I think the Cosworth engines are better than most think. They could yet surprise this season.

  6. Missed it because my sister was watching tv, and my internet was on the blink, AGAIN! Really happy that the Hispanics.. i mean Hispanias are within 107%, thats a pretty big improvement. Will watch it later – but cheers for the roundup Keith! :D

  7. I wonder where are those people who put Renault on dead end of the midfield just on the basis of pre-season testing… Kind of kills me to say a loud “I TOLD YOU SO!”.

    I think we now have to change the “big four” into “big five”. And no, this is isn’t an impression after one low-fuel FP. This a conclusion drawn from the direction took by Renault and constant, as well as visible, improvement. By the end of the season we WILL see a yellow and black car on the podium.

    1. 1 practice session isn’t quite enough for me to count them as a front runner, I think Force India is more likely to fill that position atm…

      That being said, Renault can probably develop quite quickly…

  8. i think kubica will be in the points on sunday.for sure

  9. Watched P1 from the approach to turn 3 till turn 5. The Red Bulls were visibly the fastest through turn 5, but in P2 they seemed a little more cumbersome through the chicane of 9/10.

Comments are closed.