2011 Spanish GP – Friday Practice 1 Results

Red Bull Racing made a perfect start to their Spanish GP weekend with their cars putting in the fastest lap times in the first free practice session here at the Circuit de Catalunya. Surprisingly, it was the RB7 of Mark Webber which topped the timesheets, rather than his team mate who has been unbeatable this season so far. This is the track in which Webber finally turned the tables on Sebastian last season, and maybe he’s found his ‘zone’ again. But the reigning world champion was over a second adrift, which really is impossible on pure pace.

Red Bull haven’t brought a mountain of updated parts to Spain as McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes have, but Barcelona always rewards the car with maximum downforce, and hence they ought to maintain their advantage here. Vettel seemed to be on a different program to Webber, and as first practice is all about finding the right baseline setup for the car, the lap times hardly matter. Even so, Webber’s pace in the middle sector was ominous. They will be hard to catch in qualifying trim.

Rosberg continued his usual impressive practice form, with the third fastest lap, while Schumacher did a lot of running and was seventh quickest. Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest, while Massa was way down the order at 16th. This isn’t a reason for the Scuderia’s fans to get worried, but it would be nice to see the second Ferrari give Alonso a run for his money. Sergio Perez made a late run presumably on low fuel and put in the fifth fastest time, ahead of Hamilton.

Heidfeld and Button lined up behind them and the midfield teams occupied the rest of the positions. The new teams, as is the norm, were the bottom six, but encouragingly, Kovalainen’s Lotus was just 2 tenths behind Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso, although the latter barely did any running in this morning session. In what is increasingly becoming a bad habit, Williams’ Pastor Maldonado went off the track and stopped in the gravel, this being the only incident in the morning session. Although he didn’t make contact with the barriers or damage the car in any way, it is frustrating for the team no doubt, because of the track time lost.

Here are the results :


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