Date:Friday March 25 2011
The wait is over!
After a prolonged winter with the cancellation of the Bahrain Grand Prix it was great to see 21 cars setting times in the first practice session of the 2011 Formula One season around the Melbourne track in the early hours of this morning.
Chandhok who managed to crash his Lotus within the opening minutes of the session and the Hispania team were the only cars to not set times, for second practice Lotus did manage to get a second car out to set a time, however Chandhok had lost his chance by then as Trulli was the man behind the wheel.
Hispania may not have set a time, but they did complete one installation lap in the last few minutes of the second practice session, giving the team hope that tomorrow could see them get more track time and hopefully see them come through qualifying.
As had been expected throughout the winter testing, Red Bull and Ferrari, particularly Fernando Alonso were the fastest cars in the first practice session.
Webber set a time of 1minute 26.831 seconds, 0.327 seconds faster than his team-mate and 2010 World champion Vettel, Alonso was 0.918 behind in third.
The best of the rest were Mercedes, Williams and McLaren with Rosberg, Barrichello, Button, Hamilton and Schumacher all within half a second of one another.
The session saw all drivers testing the new driver enabled moveable rear wing, where there were no regulations for its use during the first practice session and this saw a number of drivers falling off the track as they tested their breaking zones to the limit and how to use the wing under breaking at race pace.
One driver who appeared to be struggling a lot during the session was Massa and he finished the first practice session a second slower than team-mate Alonso and two seconds behind the Red Bulls.
The second practice session had a restriction on the use of the rear wing for the final half an hour of the session, during this period, drivers were only allowed to use the wing under race conditions ie down the start finish straight, if they were within a second of the car in front.
This period of testing was affected by light rain (and when it is raining, another regulation which we had missed until this session means this wing is not allowed to be used).
While some teams might have missed on some testing time under race regulations, Red Bull and Vettel ran much of the session under these conditions as they completed race simulation on Pirelli’s hard and soft compound tyres.
For a lot of the session Vettel was well off the pace as the other drivers continued their different set-ups for qualifying.
Vettel went on to complete 35 laps and was fourth fastest.
But the fastest man on the track was McLaren’s Jenson Button, the new exhaust and flooring modifications that the team brought to the track certainly appearing to do the trick, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton second fastest.
Button’s time of 1minute 25.854 seconds will come as a great relief to all McLaren’s fans that had feared the team would be left well behind the pace of Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes this weekend.
The gap between the top drivers also suggests a very close race with Button, Hamilton, third placed Alonso and fourth placed Vettel all within two tenths of a second when the chequered flag fell.
The session also didn’t bring a clear indication into how many pit stops we can expect on Sunday, with some teams predicting three or four stops and others predicting two or three stops.
Date:Friday March 25 2011
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Williams positive ahead of new season (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Ecclestone targets Azerbaijan (Tuesday March 11 2014)
No change for Schumacher (Tuesday March 11 2014)
Qualifying tweaks confirmed (Monday March 10 2014)
F1 Prediction Competition - Round One (Saturday March 8 2014)
Lotus will recover (Saturday March 8 2014)
Ferrari behind Mercedes & Williams (Friday March 7 2014)
Pirelli announce tyre compounds for opening races (Friday March 7 2014)
Vettel concerned with lack of pace (Thursday March 6 2014)
More to come for Mercedes (Wednesday March 5 2014)
Where do McLaren stand? (Tuesday March 4 2014)
Red Bull will overcome problems, but when? (Monday March 3 2014)
FOTA folds with a whimper (Saturday March 1 2014)
Williams looking solid (Friday February 28 2014)
London Grand Prix takes step closer to reality? (Thursday February 27 2014)
2014 Formula One Prediction Competition (Thursday February 27 2014)
Smedley's Williams move confirmed (Wednesday February 26 2014)
New Pirelli tyres more consistent & durable (Tuesday February 25 2014)
Wolff to drive two practice sessions (Tuesday February 25 2014)
Mercedes dominate in Bahrain testing (Monday February 24 2014)
Double points cheapens F1 says Newey (Saturday February 22 2014)
Lotus sign Pic (Friday February 21 2014)
Red Bull get their wings (Friday February 21 2014)
Lotus commit to long-term engine deal with Renault (Thursday February 20 2014)
Ecclestone wins court battle (Thursday February 20 2014)
Mercedes happy with mileage gained (Thursday February 20 2014)
No panic for Red Bull (Thursday February 20 2014)
Important test for Pirelli (Wednesday February 19 2014)
Challenging time for Red Bull (Tuesday February 18 2014)
Video: Sochi is ready (Tuesday February 18 2014)
Renault admit to playing catch-up (Monday February 17 2014)
Video: Mercedes mock new F1 rules (Monday February 17 2014)
Schumacher's healing process progresses (Friday February 14 2014)
Kimi & Fernando the right choice for Ferrari (Thursday February 13 2014)
Hill backing for double points (Wednesday February 12 2014)
Renault make breakthrough with Lotus (Tuesday February 11 2014)
Mercedes play down early advantage (Monday February 10 2014)
F1 wants qualifying changes (Friday February 7 2014)
F1 Points in discussion (Friday February 7 2014)
Will Formula One be too slow in 2014? (Thursday February 6 2014)
GP2's Russian Time team principal dies (Thursday February 6 2014)
Ferrari announce testing trio (Wednesday February 5 2014)
F1 team principals are a thing of the past (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2014 Formula One Drivers (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2013 F1 Driver Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2013 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
Brawn retires from Formula One (Monday February 3 2014)
Schumacher 'in the process' of coming out of coma (Friday January 31 2014)
Boullier named McLaren Racing Director (Thursday January 30 2014)
McLaren duo killed (Thursday January 30 2014)
Video: Red Bull stutter in Jerez (Wednesday January 29 2014)
Video: F1 teams reveal 2014 challengers (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Video: 'Year of change' for Mclaren (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Alonso and Kimi target the title (Monday January 27 2014)
Final chance for Caterham (Saturday January 25 2014)
Boullier to leave Lotus for McLaren? (Friday January 24 2014)
Paul Di Resta makes Mercedes switch (Friday January 24 2014)
Pic & van der Garde in the cold (Thursday January 23 2014)
Caterham announce Kobayashi & Ericsson (Wednesday January 22 2014)
NASCAR boss makes F1 move (Tuesday January 21 2014)
Schumacher remains in coma (Monday January 20 2014)
Ron Dennis back in control at McLaren (Friday January 17 2014)
Pirelli confirmed until 2016 (Friday January 17 2014)
Ecclestone steps down (Thursday January 16 2014)
Lotus deal with Quantum dead (Thursday January 16 2014)
Ecclestone in the news in Germany (Thursday January 16 2014)
A unique situation for Formula One (Wednesday January 15 2014)
Changes afoot at Williams (Tuesday January 14 2014)
John Button dies (Monday January 13 2014)
Video: Tribute to Ayrton Senna (Monday January 13 2014)
Chilton holds on to Marussia seat (Monday January 13 2014)
The numbers game (Monday January 13 2014)
Kobayashi to return to F1? (Friday January 10 2014)
Schumacher travelling speed of 'good skier' (Thursday January 9 2014)
Sutil looking forward to Sauber challenge (Wednesday January 8 2014)
Lotus to miss first F1 test (Tuesday January 7 2014)
Fans hold vigil for Schumacher (Monday January 6 2014)
Schumacher remains critical but stable (Thursday January 2 2014)
Schumacher's condition shows 'slight improvement' (Tuesday December 31 2013)
Schumacher remains in coma overnight (Monday December 30 2013)
Schumacher in critical condition (Sunday December 29 2013)
Ferrari calls for F1 team summit (Friday December 27 2013)
Alonso makes his number selection (Thursday December 26 2013)
2014 Formula One Calendar (Wednesday December 25 2013)
Merry Christmas from Vital F1 (Wednesday December 25 2013)
Video: An F1 steering wheel - the driver's view (Tuesday December 24 2013)
Sauber confirm Gutierrez for 2014 (Tuesday December 24 2013)
Double points for three races (Monday December 23 2013)
Video: Ricciardo wows 100 thousand in Sri Lanka (Sunday December 22 2013)
Video: Teenager Kvyat looking for easy adjustment (Saturday December 21 2013)
BBC & Sky carve up 2014 season (Friday December 20 2013)
Rosberg suffers 320km/h tyre blow out (Friday December 20 2013)
Hulkenberg was offered Force India return in March (Thursday December 19 2013)
Red Bull hit by two key departures (Thursday December 19 2013)
Massa bids final farewell to Ferrari (Wednesday December 18 2013)
F1 Video: Caterham passes 2014 crash test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Button looking forward to hilarious test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Sauber switch for Sutil (Monday December 16 2013)
Perez backing for double points plan (Saturday December 14 2013)
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