Alonso leads Mercedes pair in first practice

2014 Singapore Grand Prix first practice

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Fernando Alonso edged the Mercedes drivers by a tenth of a second in the first practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver set the quickest time of the first 90 minute session using the soft tyres – the same compound used by all 22 drivers.

Behind the Mercedes pair were the two Red Bulls, led by Sebastian Vettel. However the world champion came to a stop moments before the end of the session, suspecting a failure in his car’s Renault engine.

He was far from the only driver to hit trouble on one of the most punishing venues on the calendar. Jean-Eric Vergne, who was sixth-fastest, also hit trouble in his Toro Rosso. The team detected a battery problem on his car early in the session, and shortly before the end he stalled at the pit lane exit as a result of the fault.

Kimi Raikkonen came into the pits with a burning front-right brake disc. He ended the session seventh ahead of Jenson Button.

Daniil Kvyat made it two Toro Rossos in the top ten, but was frustrated by his car’s handling as well as being held up by Nico Hulkenberg. The frustrated driver referred to his rival’s driving as “stupid”.

The revised restrictions on team radio communications had little consequences during the session, though both Lewis Hamilton and Vergne found that enquiries about their performance relative to other cars went unanswered as their engineers are no longer allowed to supply that information.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
114Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’49.05616
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’49.1780.12223
36Nico RosbergMercedes1’49.2050.14924
41Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’49.8740.81827
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’50.1221.06621
625Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’50.5391.48311
77Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’50.7831.72719
822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’50.9221.86621
926Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’50.9901.93426
1011Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’51.1312.07523
1120Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’51.2172.16124
1227Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’51.6042.54823
1319Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’51.9532.89720
1413Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’52.1253.06925
1577Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’52.1463.09019
1621Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’52.1713.11515
1799Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’52.2373.18122
188Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’52.9063.85026
1917Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari1’54.1135.05715
209Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault1’54.4755.41926
2110Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’54.6075.55121
224Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari1’55.1706.11417

Image © Singapore GP/Sutton

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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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25 comments on “Alonso leads Mercedes pair in first practice”

  1. As an Alonso/Ferrari fan I love 2014’s first practise sessions. The rest of the weekend is irrelevant.

    1. @brum55 +1 .. right on target

      I never understood the first practice Magic of Ferrari !!!!

  2. Formula Indonesia (@)
    19th September 2014, 12:46

    Toro Rosso is really quick, I hoepe they can maintain the advantage throughout Saturday and Sunday, and lets hope JEV and Kvyat can fight the Bulls (unlikely though, but just hoping)

  3. Flow-vis on a rear wing at this stage in the season? That’s quite interesting. I wonder if it’s a wing relevant to this year or it’s a case of trying out a few theories for next year?

    1. They did say they would be trying new stuff for next season in practice. But we tend to see a lot of upgrades at Singapore anyway after two races at low-downforce tracks.

  4. I am a fan of Alonso, and I am not drawing any conclusion from this untill I see the qualifying

    However, it is amazing how consistent Ferrari has been in all the races, one of the fastest in FP1/2, leading the midfield in quali and then finally in the race settling for points in the lower half :)

  5. Max Chillton’s pace is once again pathetic…. It’s only FP1 but it’s not like he isnt almost always behind Bianchi. His dad should just stop paying for this public humiliation of his son imho.

  6. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe it’s just in my head,but there seemed to be a lot more interesting stuff on the radios in that session. I’m sure I posted a lot more of it than usual.

    1. Yeah I thought so too @keithcollantine. Bernie has succeeded in conjuring up an extra level of entertainment, again :)

    2. Hamilton: “How are my sector times?”
      Bonnington: “Keep the revs up.” #F1

      Mercedes is obviously using a secret code for sector time comparisons, right?. When will the FIA stop Mercedes from cheating? The FIA needs to closely scrutinize every apparently non-sequitur exchange heard on the radio.

    3. Yeah, it certainly seemed more interesting, and it felt like there was much more of it. For example, it seemed like we heard more from Kimi than we have heard all season long.

  7. That old chestnut, Alonso looking very quick in practice then nowhere when it comes to crunch time.

    Maybe that’s just their program that they prefer, Crofty still falling for it as per usual.

    1. I do fall for this one here a bit myself as well.

      Usually, he’s third quickest and then falls back from there. Now he’s quickest overall, surely he’ll still be stuck in the top 4 by the end of the quali.

    2. 4th in the championship is hardly ‘nowhere’. Especially when you consider he’s sat ahead of Vettel and Massa who are both in faster cars.

  8. Can you expand on JEV’s batter problem?

    1. @marcusbreese I believe he was suffering from a soggy bottom…

      1. I LOL’ed…

    2. Too thick, @marcusbreese. Won’t stick to anything, doesn’t run, too heavy.

      This comment is actually applicable. :D

  9. Hamilton 262
    Rosberg 250
    Alonso 223

    Based on the FP1 results so far…, Hamilton 6 wins vs 4 a piece by Rosberg and Alonso :)

      1. Points calculated on FP1 results :)

        1. Don’t give Bernie any ideas.

  10. I don’t get this strategy from Ferrari. Surely if a fan likes F1 enough to watch the first and invariably most uneventful session of the weekend, they are surely not likely to fall for the blatant showboating Ferrari is prone to. They are especially not likely to fall for it in the knowledge that Singapore demands excellent traction, and correlatively how poorly Ferrari performed at Bahrain and Monza…

    1. Its all about the headlines – not everyone watches F1 but having them in the headlines grabs more press focus for the brand

  11. “The team detected a batter problem on his car early in the session”

    Was it unsalted ?? @keithcollantine

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