Free Practice 1 of Australian GP led by Mark Webber as Lotus’ T128 crashes - Formula 1

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Free Practice 1 of Australian GP led by Mark Webber as Lotus’ T128 crashes - Formula 1
The 2011 Formula 1 season started in Melbourne with the Free Practice 1 (FP1) on Friday. Mark Webber of Red Bull owned the windy and cloudy practice session with the fastest time of 1 minute and 26.831 seconds while managing 20 laps. Karun Chandhok of Team Lotus made his debut memorable as he crashed his T128 on the fourth turn of the second lap after which his run was over.
The Red Bull’s duo took the car out in alternate periods to get familiar with the tracks and with the new rules. Sebastian Vettel was the second fastest with 1 minute and 27.158 seconds while managing 19 laps. Third was Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari 150° Italia. Alonso managed 20 laps before handing the car over to his team-mate Felipe Massa who finished in 11th place with 20 laps.
Fourth was Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in his upgraded MGP-W02. Michael Schumacher took the car in the afternoon session and finished eighth. The Mercedes duo collectively managed 30 trouble free laps. Surprisingly, fifth place was taken up by Williams’ Rubens Barrichello who managed 24 laps in his Cosworth powered machine.
McLaren’s duo, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, managed to be in the top ten as Button was sixth and Hamilton was seventh. Button showed some competitiveness in the opening period where he went faster than his previous performance but ended up finishing sixth. Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez managed the ninth and 17th spot. Renault’s duo, Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld, finished 10th and 12th respectively while managing 29 laps collectively.
Force India drivers, Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg, completed 39 laps together while securing 13th and 18th position. Toro Rosso’s car, STR6, which promised a lot of competitiveness, finished behind the top ten with Sebastien Buemi finished 14th and Daniel Ricardo 16th.
19th was Lotus’ Heikki Kovalainen who took the car after it was repaired from Chandhok’s crash earlier. The Virgin duo, Jerome D'Ambrosio and Timo Glock, secured 20th and 21st spot. The HRT drivers didn’t show up on the grid as their car was still in the development phase. The HRT team hopes to be on the grid for the second practice session which starts later on Friday.



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