Practice 2: Massa tops as Ferrari shows pace

Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 150 Italia.

Felipe Massa ended the first day in India fastest of all

Oct.28 (Reuters & PVM) Felipe Massa was fastest for Ferrari on Friday as Formula One’s oldest team set the pace at the sport’s newest circuit in practice for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel in the pitlane

Sebastian Vettel in the pitlane

Massa’s lap was the fastest yet in the heat and dust of the barely completed $450 million Buddh International layout, near New Delhi, clocking a best time of one minute 25.706 seconds.

Massa, sporting a highly flexible front wing on his Ferrari 150 Italia, set a time of 1 minute 25.706 seconds which was a second better than Lewis Hamilton’s best time set in the morning opening session.

The fluttering front wing, which oscillated vigorously at top speed, not only caused sparks on track but also in the paddock as the flexing wing became the hot topic of the day.

Double world champion Sebastian Vettel was second in both sessions on a day of huge significance for Indian motorsport but with very little importance in a championship whose titles have already been won by the German and his Red Bull team.

Fernando Alonso reinforced Ferrari’s potential with the third fastest time in the second session after suffering a blown engine in the morning.

Adrian Sutil (GER) Sahara Force India Formula One Team VJM04.

Adrian Sutil in action driving the Force India VJM04

In keeping with the sense of history, teams hit the track for the first time with the colours of the national flag leading the way.

The first car out of the pitlane was the saffron, white and green Force India, driven by Germany’s Adrian Sutil.

It was followed closely by Team Lotus’s Indian reserve Karun Chandhok, the second Force India of Paul di Resta and then Indian racer Narain Karthikeyan in the HRT.

Chandhok, who will not race on Sunday, had the honour of setting the first timed lap.

Karthikeyan, who became the only Indian ever to score points in Formula One when he was at Jordan in 2005, ended the day last on the timing screens but comforted that his presence was what really mattered.

“It’s an emotional moment for all of us,” Force India team principal Vijay Mallya told reporters.

“There was a lot of speculation about whether the track would be ready and the event has had its fair share of controversy after what happened with the Commonwealth Games, but we’re ready. It’s a great track and the drivers love it.”

Lewis Hamilton at Indian GP

Lewis Hamilton was quickest in the morning and fourth fastest in the afternoon

In the morning a large black stray dog appeared on the main pit straight, one of the longest in the sport, shortly before the first session was due to start.

Another appeared minutes into the action, causing practice to be red-flagged for safety reasons for five minutes while the offending canine was rounded up.

Hamilton set a best lap of 1:26.836 right at the end of that session to deny Vettel and Red Bull’s Australian Mark Webber an immediate one-two on the timesheets but fell foul of the stewards who imposed his sixth penalty of the season.

They ruled the 2008 champion and Sauber’s Mexican Sergio Perez had both ignored waved double yellow flags warning that a car was being recovered by marshals working close to the track.

The penalty meant Hamilton, sporting a helmet with the image of the late reggae singer Bob Marley on top, could no longer hope to start on pole position for a second successive race.

There were no dogs to delay matters in the afternoon but the session was again red-flagged when Belgian Jerome D’Ambrosio crashed his Virgin heavily.

Many of the drivers’s cars and helmets carried the logos and numbers of British racer Dan Wheldon and Italian MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli, who both died in accidents since the previous Korean Grand Prix.

Friday, 28 October – Practice 2

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:25.706 33
2 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:25.794 0.088 34
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.930 0.224 34
4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.454 0.748 26
5 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:26.500 0.794 30
6 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.714 1.008 28
7 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:27.316 1.610 34
8 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1:27.498 1.792 36
9 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.853 2.147 35
10 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:27.868 2.162 35
11 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:27.890 2.184 37
12 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.050 2.344 34
13 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.289 2.583 36
14 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:28.552 2.846 31
15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:28.691 2.985 29
16 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:28.708 3.002 24
17 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:29.332 3.626 39
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:30.241 4.535 41
19 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:31.098 5.392 38
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:31.469 5.763 32
21 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:31.804 6.098 28
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:32.593 6.887 12
23 23 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:32.768 7.062 33
24 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:32.824 7.118 33
  • Sennauno

    just means red bull have got a second up their sleeve

  • Butterfly

    That Red Bull is not only the fastest car around any track, but it appears to have very good aero balance, I’ve never heard Vettel saying the car feels bad or anything like that.

    Amazing stuff; makes Ferrari look like a bunch of amateurs.

  • visz963

    another Alonso blow