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FP1: A familiar look with Vettel on top in India

  • Published on 25 Oct 2013 09:00
  • comments 0
  • By: Rob Veenstra
The timesheets in India had a familiar look to them after first practice on Friday as Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel - the only man to have ever won at the New Delhi venue - set the quickest time.

The German, who can wrap up his fourth title this weekend, set a best time of 1m 26.683s to edge team mate Mark Webber who ended with 1m 26.871s. Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, who fought Vettel throughout once the dusty track had improved, lapped his F1 W04 in 1m 26.899s, with Lotus's Romain Grosjean coming in fourth on 1m 28.990s.

The other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton completed the top five as the Briton battled with his car's handling to record 1m 27.227s.

A heavily revised set-up seemed to benefit McLaren as Jenson Button took sixth on 1m 27.335s from team mate Sergio Perez on 1m 27.416s. Felipe Massa was Ferrari's lead runner with 1m 27.692s, as Fernando Alonso was restricted to just six laps after a gearbox issue. His early time of 1m 28.214s was good enough for 12th place.

Between the red cars, Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg lapped in 1m 27.770s for ninth, just ahead of Valtteri Bottas who gave Williams some encouragement by taking 10th with 1m 27.800s.

Jean-Eric Vergne was Toro Rosso's lead runner in 11th on 1m 28.035s ahead of Alonso, then came Daniel Ricciardo in the sister STR8 on 1m 28.336s, Pastor Maldonado on 1m 28.342s in the second Williams, Adrian Sutil on 1m 28.468s in the lead Force India, Esteban Gutierrez on 1m 28.538s in the second Sauber and a subdued Kimi Raikkonen on 1m 28.730s in the second Lotus.

Paul di Resta sat out FP1 having felt under the weather yesterday, so Force India gave James Calado another outing. The rookie was 18th on 1m 29.197s after a lap that could have been closer to Sutil ended in a half spin at Turn 15.

Giedo van der Garde pushed his Caterham back up to 19th on 1m 29.413s after Jules Bianchi had for a while been ahead of both of the green cars in his Marussia. The Frenchman was still close with 1m 29.560s, however, as the second Caterham of Charles Pic on 1m 30.026s and the other Marussia of Max Chilton on 1m 30.471s brought up the rear. (Formula1.com)

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