Vettel fastest in damp first session

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel headed the times at the end of the first practice session in Abu Dhabi.

Team mate and title rival Mark Webber was fourth, sandwiching the two McLarens of Lewis Hamilton ahead of Jenson Button.

Practice began on a damp circuit which dried throughout the session. After doing their installation laps, the drivers stayed in their garages for the rest of the first half of the 90 minute session.

Over 50 minutes had passed when Vitaly Petrov finally set the first of the day’s times, followed swiftly by Nico Hulkenberg and then the rest of the drivers.

Although Fernando Alonso briefly topped the times sheets the Red Bulls were fastest almost from their first lap of the Yas Marina circuit.

Webber was fastest to begin with after trading times with Vettel, but it was the German driver who ended the session on top.

McLaren waited longer than most to send their drivers out. When Hamilton finally went out he set the second fastest time despite running very wide in the final two corners on one lap.

Button again complained about his front wheels locking under braking, a recurring problem for him in recent races.

Alonso ended the session sixth fastest while team mate Felipe Massa was 11th in his first session at Yas Marina. He was instructed to abort an early run due a problem with the car’s telemetry.

Fairuz Fauzy drove the second Lotus in place of Heikki Kovalainen. He had a spin early on in the session but didn’t hit anything, but later experienced overheating problems with his Lotus.

The other driver to hit trouble was Rubens Barrichello, whose Williams came to a halt as practice ended.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’42.76018
22Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’43.3690.60916
31Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’43.7851.02519
46Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’43.8401.08019
511Robert KubicaRenault1’44.0801.32019
68Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’44.1211.36117
73Michael SchumacherMercedes1’44.1991.43919
823Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’44.6041.84418
94Nico RosbergMercedes1’44.7181.95819
1022Nick HeidfeldSauber-Ferrari1’44.7371.97719
117Felipe MassaFerrari1’45.1602.40018
1212Vitaly PetrovRenault1’45.4452.68521
139Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’45.4742.71415
1414Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’45.5522.79220
1515Vitantonio LiuzziForce India-Mercedes1’45.5852.82514
1617Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’46.0033.24320
1710Nico HulkenbergWilliams-Cosworth1’46.6643.90419
1816Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’47.1054.34522
1924Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’48.4505.69019
2018Jarno TrulliLotus-Cosworth1’48.4725.71217
2125Lucas di GrassiVirgin-Cosworth1’49.3756.61513
2221Bruno SennaHRT-Cosworth1’49.5906.83018
2320Christian KlienHRT-Cosworth1’50.2747.51417
2419Fairuz FauzyLotus-Cosworth1’51.7058.94518

2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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    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...

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    29 comments on “Vettel fastest in damp first session”

    1. I would sell my soul for the race to finish like that.

      1. You can expect Ferrari to be competitive in the second session. Most of the teams prefer to run one driver light and one heavy between the first two sessions. Normally this isn’t a problem for the top teams, becuse theyre fast across the board. Ferrari, on the other hand, like to run both heavy in the first session and both light in the second. I’m guessing it’s because they like to see where everyone else is before showing their hand. The F10 is a very good car when light, but not so great when heavy.

        If Ferrari are on the pace all weekend, then I hope that the McLarens are’t going to get in the way of Webber’s championship bid.

        1. PS: Soul-selling can be arranged.

          1. lol, you’ve got Lucifer’s email address?

            Could see the pressure mounting on Webber if Ferrari and McLaren are closer to Red Bull. But I don’t get all the ‘what ifs’ in favour of Webber’s cause. They’ve got the fastest car, he just needs to prove he’s the best and stick the car on pole, then win the race. Then hope Vettel delivers second. If he can’t do at least the first, Alonso or Vettel or even Hamilton would be more deserving of the championship surely.

            Or put it another way: I hope whoever wins the race also wins the championship, whatever the combinations needed.

        2. Besides, Alonso is severely hampered on friday engines, so he will suffer there.

          1. I think you’ll find he’s hampered by engines full stop.

            1. Not really, his race engines has done zero racing miles

            2. If they’ve done zero miles, why doesn’t he have any fresh ones? Keith had a graph shortly before Singapore: all of Alonso’s engines have done at least one race and some have done two. His early engine troubles like Malaysia threw the balance of the whole thing out.

            3. Alonso’s race engine isn’t as much of a factor as some have made it out to be. It’s on it’s third race which is pretty much the standard. However the two races it’s served before now were Monza and Brazil but while it’s been hardworked, again thats all within what it’s built to cope with. The chances of a faliure are very small, especially considering the rock solid reliability of the Ferrari’s since Spain.

        3. I hope that the McLarens are’t going to get in the way of Webber’s championship bid.

          Lewis was quoted that he wouldn’t mind Webber winning the WDC.

          1. But if he thinks there’s a chance he can get it? What if the running order is Vettel-Hamilton-Webber-Alonso going into the final laps? If the gap is close enough, Alonso could slip through.

            1. No need, with that order Alonso wins!

            2. Not if Webber gets through. If Vettel wins and Alonso is fifth, Alonso wins. But if Vettel and Hamilton were to let Webber through and block Alonso, Webber wins. My concern is that if the front-runners are strung out and everyoe has to slow down to let Webber through, Alonso will be able to sneak up on everyone and get through to second.

            3. But that running order would give Alonso the WDC anyway by 2 points from Vettel…and even if Hamilton and Webber switched positions, all that would do is put Webber and Vettel equal on points unless the 2 RBR drivers then switched positions.

              …Hamilton can only win it if Alonso doesn’t score, Webber finishes 6th or lower and Vettel finishes 3rd or lowest.

              Personally if I can’t have Hamilton win it then I want Webber to win it with the top 4 drivers finishing in the following order:

              Hamilton: 1st
              Vettel: 2nd
              Webber: 4th
              Alonso: 9th

              Which would give a final points tally of:

              Webber: 250
              Vettel: 249
              Alonso: 248
              Hamilton: 247

              Now that would be a pretty close finish!!

            4. But that running order would give Alonso the WDC anyway by 2 points from Vettel…and even if Hamilton and Webber switched positions, all that would do is put Webber and Vettel equal on points unless the 2 RBR drivers then switched positions.

              No, what I mean is everyone moving aside for Webber to win. If the order is Vettel-Hamilton-Webber-Alonso and both Vettel and Hamilton move over to let Webber through, there’s a chance that Alonso can sneak through, especially if it’s done very late in the race and the top four are spread out a bit. I suppose the best way for it to happen would be for Hamilton to let Webber through, and then run some interference against Alonso to give Webber the opportunity to catch Vettel, who would let him through a lap or two later. Hamilton would block Alonso as much as possible, but if Alonso got through, then hopefully the Red Bulls would be far enough ahead to prevent Alonso from catching them, or if he does catch them, then Vettel can let Webber through and hold Alonso off for the rest of the race.

        4. The F10 is a very good car when light, but not so great when heavy.

          I thought its the other way around.. Their qualifying performance is not that great, but they do perform well in races.

          1. I don’t think thats true at all, the F10 is an excellent all rounder, it’s proven it can it can qualify well, stay with the Redbulls on race pace, and look after it’s tyres better than any other car. Which would seem to point to it being a damn fine car when heavy.

      2. Flanders can sort you out there!

        1. Too many variables for me to comprehend! I’m getting dizzy just reading this post!

    2. Wow, damp track in Abu Dhabi!

      1. Wonder what’ll happen when it rains in Bahrain.

      2. Maybe the local sheikh decided he wanted some wet racing, so they arranged for some sprinklers around the track? ;)

    3. If Vettel is mathematically out and Webber can still win it, he’ll let Webber pass. But there is no way *Hamilton* (or anyone else) is going to “let Webber through and block Alonso”! Can you imagine the uproar if Hamilton refuses to race Webber because he’d prefer Webber as champion over Alonso??

      1. I can’t see Hamilton moving over either, why would he?

        But in theory, if he did move over, I don’t see why there would be an uproar? maybe from the Alonso quarters, but as long as no one has ordered him to move over, I don’t see any problem with it.

    4. It remains a complete mystery to me why Lotus persist in running Fairuz Fauzy. It was a bit of a novelty, a bit of nationalism and patriotism when he ran at Sepang, but now it’s beyond funny. From what I hear, he was out of his depth in Formula 3, and it shows in his practice times. It’s bad enough when one Hispania is a second and a half slower than the other Hispania; that it is a Lotus that is nearly two seconds slower than the Hispanias is just unbearable. At elast when Virgin put Jerome d’Ambrosio in di Grassi’s car or Force India have Paul di Resta do a little bit of running, they can keep up. Lotus waste an hour and half putting Fauzy in the seat, ninety minutes of running that could be better spent with Kovalainen/Trulli (whoever he is replacing) getting data for the team. I doubt this will cost them tenth place in the World Constructors’ Championship (as that will most likely happen from a race of attrition), but at the same time, it’s poor form. Fauzy is making Alex Yoong look good.

      It’s a dark harbinger for Renault next season if Group Lotus have indeed bought into them. I’ve heard that Fairuz Fauzy is a prodigy of Danny Bahar, who controls Group Lotus, and is driving for Lotus Racing as a part of Lotus’ deal to use the name. But if Bahar have bought into Renault, there’s a chance that he’ll push to get Fauzy into a race seat. Now, as much as I back Vitaly Petrov, even I’ll admit that the Russian is erratic at best, crash-happy at worst. But if Renault (under a Lotus name) replace him with Fauzy, they won’t so much be shooting themselves in the foot so much as they are shooting themselves in the head.

      1. Top-notch post, there, PM!


        move faces on top row to the bottom row,to which ever position, found this very handy.

    5. Surprise to see that Mclaren is up there in the top 3, I think that may be some of the other team is running on heavy fuel.

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