Practice One - Vettel sets strong early pace 12 Nov 2010
For a while the gap between Sebastian Vettels Red Bull and Lewis Hamiltons McLaren was a tantalizing 0.192s. But then with two minutes of this mornings hour and a half session left the German slammed in a lap fully 0.609s faster than the 2008 champion. It was a serious message, even at this early stage of proceedings.
Vettels penultimate best was 1m 43.177s to Hamiltons 1m 43.369s, but then he cut down to 1m 42.760s to leave rivals open-jawed.
McLarens Jenson Button was third fastest in the other MP4-25 on 1m 43.785s, which pipped Mark Webbers 1m 43.840s in the second Red Bull. They were the only four drivers below 1m 44s, though Renaults Robert Kubica and Ferraris Fernando Alonso got close with 1m 44.080s and 1m 44.121s respectively.
Michael Schumachers improved form continued as he lapped his Mercedes seventh fastest in 1m 44.199s, then there was a bit of a jump to Kamui Kobayashis 1m 44.604s for BMW Sauber which left the Japanese driver eighth ahead of Mercedes GPs Nico Rosberg on 1m 44.718s and BMW Saubers Nick Heidfeld on 1m 44.737s.
Felipe Massa was 11th in the second Ferrari on 1m 45.160s, chased by Renaults Vitaly Petrov on 1m 45.445s, Williams Rubens Barrichello, who stopped out on track at the end of the session, on 1m 45.474s, and the two Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi on 1m 45.552s and 1m 45.585s respectively.
Jaime Alguersuari was again Toro Rossos faster runner, on 1m 46.003s, ahead of Brazil hero Nico Hulkenberg on 1m 46.644s in the Williams and Toro Rossos Sebastien Buemi on 1m 47.105s.
Timo Glock was the fastest new team runner for Virgin with 1m 48.450s ahead of Jarno Trullis Lotus (1m 48.472s) and his own team mate Lucas di Grassi on 1m 49.375s. Bruno Sennas was the faster HRT on 1m 49.590s, ahead of Christian Klien on 1m 50.274s. At the back came Fairuz Fauzy (deputising for the session for Heikki Kovalainen in the second Lotus), on 1m 51.705s.
Practice began on a damp and slippery track after a shower in the previous Porsche practice session, and several drivers went off then, and later when it had dried fully. These included Fauzy, Hamilton, Glock, Schumacher, Rosberg, Alguersuari, Petrov, Klien, Vettel and Massa, though going off the road here really just means exploring the huge run-off areas.
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