2011 Australian GP – Friday Practice 1 Results

The first free practice session of the 2011 F1 season got off to an eventful start, with Lotus reserve driver Karun Chandhok slamming into the wall without completing a single lap. Eventually the RB7 of local boy Mark Webber prevailed, with a 1:26.831 lap set at the end of the session. His team mate, the current world champion Sebastian Vettel was second quickest with 1:27.158. Considering that Red Bull doesn’t usually show its hand until Saturday practice, the RB7 looks like it will be the quickest car in Australia, by some margin as well. However, the race will have enough unknown factors coming into play to render qualifying positions almost useless.

Ferrari look very strong, with Fernando third fastest, while Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes was right behind the Spaniard. Barrichello put up an encouraging performance with fifth fastest. While the McLarens were only sixth and seventh quickest, it must be said they did little running in the latter half of the session, preferring to conserve their tyres. The revised MP4-26 was surprisingly on the pace this morning, but it remains to be seen where it stands in relation to the RB7, the W02 and the 150 Italia. Renault were 10th and 12th, with Petrov ahead, but expect atleast one of them to make it through to Q3.

As far as the new teams were concerned, Chandhok took out one Lotus from the session, but HRT didn’t even take part. Thanks to their Penske dampers being held in customs earlier this month, the team, embarrassingly, hasn’t been able to get their cars ready to run. The mechanics are now in a race against time to see if they can get atleast one car ready for FP2.

Here are the session results :


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