Hamilton on top as faulty kerbs disrupt practice

2011 Singapore GP first practice

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Singapore, 2011

Lewis Hamilton headed the times at the end of first practice in Singapore.

However the session was suspended twice due to problems with the kerbs at Singapore.

The start of the session was delayed by half an hour as kerbs were repaired at the exit of several corners. Practice finally began and was run for one hour instead of the scheduled 90 minutes.

The lap times were initially very slow on the dusty track as the session began. Felipe Massa led the running early on ahead of Mark Webber.

But Webber hit trouble when he caught Timo Glock’s Virgin. He moved to pass at the final corner but Glock stuck to his line.

The result was a smashed front wing for Webber and a left-rear puncture – and early end to the session – for Glock.

Moments later Heikki Kovalainen had a spot of deja vu as part of his Lotus caught fire – as it had at the end of last year’s race.

This time it was his front-left brake which caught alight. The session was stopped as his car was recovered.

After the restart Vettel and Hamilton traded fastest times but the red flag was out again with less than ten minutes remaining.

Again the cause was a loose kerb with a bolt sticking out of it. Massa had hit the kerb earlier and run wide.

Both Ferraris and Red Bulls came out for a final run after the restart, but of the McLarens only Jenson Button returned to the track as Hamilton’s tyres weren’t ready. However his earlier time remained the fastest of the session.

Vettel and Webber were second and third ahead of Fernando Alonso and Button.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’48.599 10
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’49.005 0.406 15
3 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’50.066 1.467 16
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’50.596 1.997 11
5 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.952 2.353 12
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’52.043 3.444 14
7 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’52.251 3.652 13
8 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’52.416 3.817 12
9 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’52.435 3.836 13
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’52.815 4.216 13
11 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’52.991 4.392 17
12 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’53.050 4.451 17
13 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’53.399 4.800 18
14 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’53.703 5.104 19
15 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’53.749 5.150 12
16 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’53.765 5.166 17
17 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’53.785 5.186 16
18 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’54.736 6.137 8
19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’54.821 6.222 9
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’56.198 7.599 8
21 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’57.798 9.199 13
22 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’58.792 10.193 6
23 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’59.169 10.570 17
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’59.214 10.615 18

2011 Singapore 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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    46 comments on “Hamilton on top as faulty kerbs disrupt practice”

    1. Go lewis! Yes I know It’s just p1, but who knows, this might be the same all the way. Yahoooooo!

    2. It’s a very poor showing from the Singaporeans. I hope they can get the circuit to behave itself in time for the race.

      1. I agree. It’s not good enough, when they have had time to rpepare for this race.

        1. It happens every year.

          But to be fair, the cars are very different compared to what they were a year ago. It was like the time Montoya literally sucked a manhole cover out of its recess in Shanghai – between the forces of aerodynamics and the high speeds that the cars are regularly travelling at when they abuse the kerbs, it’s a small wonder we don’t get more incidents like this.

      2. Yeah, a bit of a blodge on the efficient and organized image.

      3. If this had happened at Valencia, I bet people would be calling for it to be dropped!

        1. Singapore isn;t a horrific track though…

          1. Haha that just proves my point! People wouldn’t consider it in purely objective terms (i.e. is the track prepared/safe or not?) but would bring in additional, ultimately irrelevant factors (i.e. do I like the track or not?) Because it’s Singapore and it produces eventful races, we can just conveniently forget about the problems? Reminds me a bit of Barrichello and the manhole cover in Monaco, no one really raised any questions there as far as I remember.

    3. I know it’s only 1st practice and a difficult session but over 10 seconds between 1st and the bottom 3 is a little crazy.

      1. I think a lot of that will be track evolution, it was very dusty early on in the session.

    4. Glock colliding with Webber after all the drama yesterday about him betting on rivals just goes to demonstrate the sensitive nature of this whole situation.

      1. COTD. I hadn’t even thought about that.

        1. I had. But it’s FP1 and it’s unlikely to ruin Webber’s chances.
          Hope Glock realises he was wrong in betting!

      2. Agreed. It is quite a scary coincidence really. The day after he tells us that he has betted on Vettel, he goes out and has a collision with Webber.
        Not that I think it was on purpose, and luckily enough it was only FP1 but it just goes to show why they should just stop betting on each other. Even if they are at the opposite ends of the field.

        1. He would be better smashing into Alonso!

          1. . . . could be FP2 . . .

          2. Eventually there’s a Plan B in the pipeline:

            1. In case Seb needs a hand, he pits and then Glock hits the wall a la Nelson Piquet Jr. to force a Safety Car getting in the scene…


      3. From the way I’m reading it, it was a case of Webber hitting Glock and not the other way around. Glock held his line into the corner, which he has every right to do – the onus was on Webber, the attacking driver, to get it right. And the final corner at Singapore is not a place to try passing. I think you’re reading entirely too much into the incident – even if he made that bet with every intention of interfering with the race result, there is nothing Glock could do to Webber in FP1 (short of killing him or injuring him) that Webber could not recover from in time for qualifying and the race.

        And Glock clearly came off second-best in the incident. If he was trying to fix a result, he’d need to disrupt Webber, Button and Alonso. Because if just one of them gets the appropriate position (assuming Vettel wins, Alonso needs a podium, while Button and Webber both need second place), Glock loses the bet.

        1. He would be better smashing into Alonso!

          Don’t say that!!!

          But I didn’t see this incident (teacher wouldn’t let me watch practice…) but even if it was Webber’s fault, it still comes back to what we were saying yesterday.

        2. So, he nails Webber in FP1, Alonso in FP2, and Button in FP3. Sounds like a plan. If he wants a pleasant visit to the bookie, and to avoid being fed to the pigs, then he better get cracking.

        3. I think you’re reading entirely too much into my comment.

          I never meant to suggest that Glock intentionally caused an incident, nor that he was at fault.

          Actually I think it was completely unintentional and coincidental but the fact that an incident did occur between Glock and a front runner highlights how chaotic and unpredictable Glock’s influence on the outcome of a race could be.

          It demonstrates that so long as he is taking part in the event, he is susceptible to being involved in incidents with other drivers.

          Glock’s own intentions are predominantly irrelevant as the inherently ambiguous nature of racing incidents – so often a source of heated debate – is in itself sufficient to put any wager he makes into jeopardy.

          He has inadvertently found himself subject to intense scrutiny but deservedly so as his decision to place a bet on the outcome of an event which he is participating in is nonsensical to the extreme.

          It baffles me that he was even able to make such a wager to be honest.

          1. Agreed. It’s okay if you bet on yourself winning (Button, 2009 title for example), but anything else is not.

            1. It’s not okay either.

          2. Even betting on yourself winning isn’t a good thing to allow.
            If you stand to win a lot of money by winning the race or championship then you can afford to bribe your rivals.

    5. Great job Lewis. It’s time McLaren turn their potential performance to a great result this weekend.

    6. I bet glock is thinking

      “one down, 3 to go”

        1. I wonder, did Liuzzi have a bet on that he’d make it to 8th at some point in the Italian grand Prix?

    7. Hey Keith,
      I thought it was the front right brake that cause the fire of Kovalainen’s Lotus

      1. They were both on fire, I don’t know which first though.

    8. Nice to see Karthikeyan propping up the rear.

      1. I was surprised to see Ricciardo go quicker only on his very last lap.

      2. But he is pretty close to Ricciardo, not too bad a job then, I guess.

      3. Barely half a tenth between them… does raise questions on whether Ricciardo is as good as he’s hyped up to be…

        1. Given that Ricciardo has been directly competing with Liuzzi, Something Narian was never able to do, I’d say yes, he is that good.

          1. “that good” – as good as Liuzzi? Unless you’re Joe Saward, I’m not sure that quite corresponds to people’s expectations of Ricciardo, and more importantly, Red Bull’s.

        2. Not really. You’re talking a practise session on which neither of them have ever raced. It’s a learning curve.

      4. On the contrary the much vaunted Ricciardo not able to better the much abused Karthikeyan for entire session and only able to sneak past in the dying seconds of the practice session….

    9. i have a feeling vettel would have ended the session p1 had he not been held up by the hrt on his final lap.

      he lost time in sectors 1/2 but was fastest in sector 3 having got by the hrt.

    10. This year Singapore is suddenly looking to vicious for fragile F1 cars. I can see problems with cars getting launched over the kerbs and having head on accidents with the wall.

      1. Well, so far it’s the cars being too vicious for the track! :D

      2. the amount of times I hear people say that there isn’t enough of a cost for mistakes, now we’re at a track where there is a huge cost everyone blames the track not the drivers for making the mistakes in the first place. It is noticeable that there are drivers near the top of the time sheet that we haven’t seen any mistakes or at least if they do make them avoid damage to their cars, they know when they can push/take a risk and when to be careful.

    11. We went for a walk on the track on Thursday night between the bay grandstand and Anderson bridge & at that stage some of the kerbs particularly around the exit of turn 14 were loose if you stood on one of the individual pieces of kerbing it rocked backwards & forwards to the extent it felt like it was bolted down but not very firmly.

      Does anyone know much about the re-alignment of turn 13? The corner (and kerbs until they were removed) has been moved about 1m towards the bridge abutment from where it was in previous years

    12. Was really sad to see that the KERS problem,the organizer had no trouble in the first three GP.It was Webber’s fault yes he was on a fast lap but he didn’t needed to be that aggressive.

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