• Singapore Grand Prix - FP1

Hamilton quickest in delayed session

ESPNF1 Staff
September 23, 2011
Lewis Hamilton was quickest in the stop-start session © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of a slightly farcical first practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix.

After the start of the session was delayed by half an hour because of loose kerbing at turns three and fourteen, Hamilton set a time of 1:48.599 to beat Sebastian Vettel in to second place by 0.406s. Mark Webber was third quickest, despite a collision with Timo Glock, while Fernando Alonso was fourth.

The loose kerbs were removed at the start of FP1, but regulations state that there must be at least two hours between sessions so teams were left with just an hours running. Webber set the early pace but after he found himself stuck behind Glock for more than a lap he tried a silly move in to the penultimate corner and damaged his front wing against the left rear of the Virgin.

Glock was left to limp back to the pits with a puncture and took no further part, but Webber was helped by a red flag caused by another fire for Heikki Kovalainen; this time his brakes alight following his engine fire last year.

When running resumed, Vettel soon set the pace and proceeded to lower the mark as the grip level on the dusty track improved. Hamilton then went quicker still as the pair traded times that were over a second faster than the rest of the field. Alonso lost some time with a telemetery issue which forced him to abort a flying lap, but still managed to complete 10 laps.

Late in the session there was another red flag caused by a loose kerb on the exit of turn seven, and after the offending kerb was removed there was only time for one flying lap. A McLaren tyre mix-up prevented Hamilton from rejoining, and although Vettel couldn't improve in the heavy traffic as the chequered flag fell, he still set the quickest final sector to show the pace in the RB7.

The stop-start nature of the session means the teams will be busy in the afternoon as they attempt to make up for lost time and evaluate any updates more thoroughly.