F1: Friday Practice 1; Kubica Fastest and Kobayashi Has Wing Troubles


What Happens When the Track Action Begins Again

12:01am EST — The first on-track running in Australia ended with Robert Kubica setting the fastest time in his Renault.  Teammate Vitaly Petrov was not so lucky, posting the ninth fastest time.  As it was Friday practice, these times will generally not have a huge bearing on qualifying or final positions on Sunday.  However, it is good to note that all of the new teams managed considerably more running than they had at Bahrain, setting eight (Timo Glock, Virgin Racing) to twenty-six (Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus) laps.

The top five included a mishmash of teams, with Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, and Sebastian Vettel bringing Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari, and Red Bull near the top behind the Renault.  Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton posted the sixth and seventh fastest times, respectively, with Michael Schumacher twelfth fastest and Mark Webber fourteenth.

Kamui Kobayshi’s Sauber caused the most problems for everyone, bringing out a red flag twice, for losing the front wing after he, as Autosport put it, “clipped the cone on the inside of Turn 11 and ripped half the front wing from his car…He was back out 20 minutes later with a new wing fitted, but it came off as he braked for Turn 3 on his outlap.”  in both instances, he put enough debris and gravel across the track to require the session be stopped.  The following times are those set by the drivers in the first practice session for the 2010 Australian GP:

Driver Time Gap Laps
1. Kubica 1:26.927 22
2. Rosberg 1:27.126 +0.199 18
3. Button 1:27.482 +0.555 22
4. Massa 1:27.511 +0.584 18
5. Vettel 1:27.686 +0.759 23
6. Alonso 1:27.747 +0.820 21
7. Hamilton 1:27.793 +0.866 22
8. Buemi 1:28.014 +1.087 21
9. Petrov 1:28.114 +1.187 25
10. Liuzzi 1:28.192 +1.265 18
11. di Resta 1:28.537 +1.610 25
12. Schumacher 1:28.550 +1.623 19
13. Alguersuari 1:28.572 +1.645 21
14. Webber 1:28.683 +1.756 22
15. de la Rosa 1:29.465 +2.538 13
16. Barrichello 1:29.712 +2.785 18
17. Hulkenberg 1:30.249 +3.322 26
18. Kobayashi 1:31.588 +4.661 5
19. Trulli 1:31.652 +4.725 13
20. Kovalainen 1:31.654 +4.727 26
21. di Grassi 1:32.831 +5.904 25
22. Chandhok 1:33.401 +6.474 24
23. Senna 1:34.251 +7.324 19
24. Glock 1:34.924 +7.998 8

If the 107% rule were to be begun again, based on the times set, Karun Chandhok, Bruno Senna, and Timo Glock (anything above a 1:33.012 lap time) would not be allowed to race.  The second practice begins in less than two hours.

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