Formula 1 News

Massa sets the early pace in Bahrain

First practice in Sakhir was headed by a Ferrari one-two
Friday, April 19, 2013

April 19th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Felipe Massa has continued his strong start to 2013 by setting the fastest time in first practice for this Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso set a time just 7 hundredths of a second slower than Massa and was followed in third by the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel in fourth.

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Conditions for FP1 were typical of Bahrain - air temperature of 33 degrees Celcius and track temperature of 44 degrees. The track in Sakhir is normally quite dusty early in the weekend, but the organisers seem to have done quite a good job of cleaning the track surface before the action started. The cars could be seen kicking up dust only when running over the kerbs or off onto the run-off areas.

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First Practice saw the return of Heikki Kovalainen to the Caterham team as a development driver. Kovalainen left the team at the end of 2012 but has returned to assist the team and drivers in their attempts to better understand the performance of the 2013 car. He took over Giedo van der Garde's car for this weekend's FP1 session and set the 20th fastest time, six tenths behind Charles Pic in the other Caterham.

The other driver to get a run in FP1 was Rodolfo Gonzalez, who took over Jules Bianchi's Marussia for the session. He finished the session 22nd and last, eight tenths slower than Max Chilton in the other Marussia.

Full results from the session:

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:34.487 11
2 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:34.564 0.077 19
3 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:34.621 0.134 22
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:34.790 0.303 20
5 14 Paul di Resta Force India 1:34.949 0.462 17
6 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1:35.069 0.582 22
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:35.101 0.614 19
8 15 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:35.119 0.632 19
9 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1:35.345 0.858 17
10 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:35.611 1.124 14
11 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1:35.640 1.153 23
12 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:35.783 1.296 16
13 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:35.792 1.305 16
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR 1:36.014 1.527 19
15 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR 1:36.485 1.998 20
16 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:36.498 2.011 17
17 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1:36.755 2.268 20
18 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:37.214 2.727 21
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham 1:37.850 3.363 20
20 21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:38.401 3.914 20
21 23 Max Chilton Marussia 1:39.445 4.958 12
22 22 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia 1:40.215 5.728 7

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