Vettel ends Turkish practice on top
At the end of an eventful morning session
Practice for the Turkish GP resumed this morning under cloudy skies.
As is the norm, most of the drivers did an installation lap at the start of the session before making their way back into their garages and waiting for their engineers to give them the all-clear for a first proper run.
There were early problems for Heikki Kovalainen – a sensor problem in the gearbox – and Adrian Sutil – loss of hydraulic pressure. The Lotus team managed to quickly fix Kovalainen’s problem but it took longer for the Force India team and the German was unable to take further part in the session.
Lucas di Grassi and Karun Chandhok were the first to post a time on the board. The Brazilian briefly established his Virgin at the top of the timesheets, before Jaime Alguersuari put his Toro Rosso on top.
The frontrunners left the pits shortly afterwards. Mark Webber immediately found himself in trouble with his engineer telling him there was no throttle response. The Australian was instructed to return to the pits at ‘idle’. As he diligently did so, his teammate Sebastian Vettel traded fastest times with Robert Kubica and Fernando Alonso.
Halfway through the session, the German was leading the field from Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher. As he was looking to improve his time, Lewis Hamilton spun at Turn 8 and got stuck in the gravel trap, although he eventually managed to get out of it and slowly made his way back to the pits.
The problem on his RB6 having been fixed, Webber got back on track with twenty minutes left. He was already up in 7th place after his second timed lap and further improved his pace to join Vettel at the front.
The soft tyres were fitted in the last ten minutes of the session and brought more improvements. Hamilton reclaimed top spot. Both Red Bulls pushed hard to beat the Briton’s fastest time and Vettel eventually did it despite a trip in the run-off area at Turn 8. The German set a fastest 1’27’’086 lap time to conclude practice on top.
Nico Rosberg’s last lap demoted Hamilton down to third. Despite a couple of moments and a spin, Webber ended the session in fourth place, ahead of Kubica, Alonso and Schumacher. Button, Massa and Petrov completed the top ten.
|01||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Renault||1.27.086||18|
|02||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1.27.359||+0.273||16|
|03||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||1.27.396||+0.310||14|
|04||Mark Webber||Red Bull Renault||1.27.553||+0.467||15|
|07||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1.27.879||+0.793||16|
|08||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes||1.27.963||+0.877||17|
|11||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1.28.610||+1.524||22|
|12||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber Ferrari||1.28.652||+1.566||21|
|13||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1.28.734||+1.648||21|
|14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||1.29.036||+1.950||20|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Williams Cosworth||1.29.044||+1.958||18|
|16||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India Mercedes||1.29.211||+2.125||15|
|17||Rubens Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||1.29.305||+2.219||14|
|18||Jarno Trulli||Lotus Cosworth||1.30.618||+3.532||19|
|19||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus Cosworth||1.30.884||+3.798||22|
|20||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing Cosworth||1.31.341||+4.255||21|
|21||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin Racing Cosworth||1.32.180||+5.094||16|
|22||Bruno Senna||HRT F1 Cosworth||1.32.230||+5.144||22|
|23||Karun Chandhok||HRT F1 Cosworth||1.32.762||+5.676||19|
|24||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes||-.—.---||+-.---||1|