India: Free Practice 1 & 2

Free Practice 1

The session was red flagged due to a stray dog getting onto the track while Karun Chandhok is running. The track is also quite dusty from a combination of smog and construction matter.

  • Ferrari: The team have drenched the front wing of Massa. Alonso has a tribute to both Simoncelli and Wheldon on his helmet. Massa takes a trip across the grass at turn 5. Alonso stops on an escape road with a loss of power, team explain issue on twitter “An engine problem caused Fernando’s stoppage.” It was an engine with a couple of races on it and was probably going to be retires after practice. Massa wrecks his front wing and it is left oscillating in the wind.
  • Force India: Sutil takes the honour of being first on the track. Sutil gets it all wrong around turns 5 and 6 and leaves the track but manages to get it back.
  • Hispania: Karthikeyan starts his replacement and the drivers have also switched cars, Ricciardo moves to car 23, and Karthikeyan is in car 22. A black ribbon features on their cars this weekend.
  • Lotus: Chandhok is in for Kovalainen, and sets the first time. Chandhok confirms to BBC’s Ted Kravitz that he’s looking for a full driving seat next year, so is happy to look outside the team. Trulli has a tribute to Simoncelli on his helmet.

  • McLaren: Hamilton had his front wing from Korea fitted, with the piece of rubber still wedged to check out the level of downforce lost. Hamilton was seen with a Bob Marley design on the top of his helmet, but it mysteriously disappeared about half an hour later, but reappears (it was a radio issue). Both Button and Hamilton are wearing a black armband in remembrance of Simoncelli and Wheldon.
  • Mercedes: Schumacher looks very handy around the track and stays near the top for most of the morning. Rosberg is not far behind.
  • Red Bull: Vettel is seen taking it easy with a wing adjust drill in hand. Vettel gets it wrong at turn 5 and goes across the grass due to carrying too much speed, damage to the underfloor is likely. However the pair get it together to share the top spots, Webber almost grabs the top spot (with an almighty middle sector) but overtaking a Virgin hinders that.
  • Renault: Flo-vis paint on Petrov’s rear wing to check downforce levels. Senna has a little moment but keeps it together around turn 5.
  • Sauber: Perez has his trip across the grass at turn 5.
  • Toro Rosso: The team have the number 58 on their cars in memory of Simoncelli, his team share the Faenza locale as a base of operations. Alguersuari has a great start to his day with a brief time at the top, regaining his top spot off of Rosberg. But he ends his session with 10 minutes to go when his car gets away from him at the exit of turn 9, he does catch it but the tyres take him into the barriers.
  • Williams: Maldonado has an engine failure with 5 minutes to go.
  • Virgin: A brief moment of glory for the team as d’Ambrosio finishes ahead of Alonso, Glock gets ahead of both Hispanias.

Top FP1 times:

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:26.836
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1.27.416
3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1.27.428

Read: Full FP1 Results

Free Practice 2:

The session was red flagged with 40 minutes to go when Jerome d’Ambrosio collides with a barrier.

  • Ferrari: With an hour to go Massa starts winding up and begins pushing down the sector times. Alonso tells the team he feels  a lot of vibrations in his car in the last hour, but in the final 20 minutes he takes a cheeky tow off of Schumacher. Massa’s wing is seen ‘fluttering’ but takes the top spot off of longstanding Vettel with 18 minutes left.
  • Force India: Di Resta hasn’t been overflowing with praise of the track as others have been.
  • Hispania: Karthikeyan suffered a mild lock up on the final corner.
  • Lotus: Kovalainen has a moment around turn 5 early on in the session as he takes to the track for the first time. And later on, he cuts across the grass at 6/7.
  • McLaren: 3 place grid penalty for Hamilton for ignoring waved yellow flags after Maldonado incident. But he’s intent on showing his hand and consistently puts in faster laps. In the dying minutes Hamilton radioed a worried call to his pit wall about Webber speeding off into the distance once passing him. Pitwall reply was reassuring, saying that they know Red Bull run lighter at this point, although Webber was close in time to Button.
  • Mercedes: Schumacher had a spin at turn 3 early on.
  • Red Bull: Vettel tests the use of the slingshot behind a Force India car. The front end of Webber’s car is being looked at with 45 minutes to go of the session. Webber keeps his hold over the middle sector, where Red Bull were predicted to be quickest.
  • Renault: A frustrated Petrov is held up by his team mate Senna in the opening minutes of the session in the first sector. Senna is held up by Karthikeyan, but as he tries to pass he gets on the dust and goes wide. Petrov slides off the track with 6 minutes left but collects himself and rejoins the running.
  • Sauber: 3 place grid drop penalty for Perez for ignoring waved yellow flags while a car was being recovered. Kobayashi takes some air out of a chicane as he hits the kerb.
  • Toro Rosso: Alguersuari is all fixed up and ready to go. Buemi shows good early pace. Alguersuari tells his engineers that there is a lack of ‘feel’ on track, saying even without turning the wheel the car’s moving about.
  • Williams: Maldonado had an engine change during the break. Maldonado beeches himself in the gravel at turn 8/9 and is forced to leave his car after the marshalls can’t push him back onto the track.
  • Virgin: D’Ambrosio is the first to set a time in this afternoon session. The Belgian rookie runs wide at the exit of turn 10 and collides with the barrier near turn 12, he straightened up the car but couldn’t turn to make the corner. D’Ambrosio damages his left right area.

Top FP2 times:

Position Driver Team Time
1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:25.706
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:25.794
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.930

Read: Full FP2 Results

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