Marco Wittmann leads wet first practice for Macau Grand Prix
|By Jonathan Noble
||Thursday, November 17th 2011, 04:29 GMT
Marco Wittmann led the way during a wet opening practice session for the Macau Grand Prix, which had to be red-flagged twice because of incidents.
With the track soaked, drivers adopted a cautious approach in early running - but that did not stop Hironobu Yasuda running wide at the Melco hairpin twice. The second incident brought out the first red flag after 18 minutes.
The second red flag came just six minutes after a restart when Felix Rosenqvist ran into the barriers as he tried to avoid hitting a line of stationary cars that were waiting at the Melco hairpin.
With the rain having eased off, the lap times tumbled in the final six minutes of the session as drivers began to push a little harder.
Wittmann first moved to the top of the timesheets with one minute remaining, before a host of drivers - including Felipe Nasr, Roberto Merhi and Daniel Juncadella beat his time.
However, on the final lap, Wittmann was able to improve again and the Signature driver set a best lap that was 1.808 seconds quicker than nearest challenge Juncadella.
Japanese Formula 3 champion Yuhi Sekiguchi, who was only drafted in to the event after local driver Michael Ho injured himself training, was third quickest ahead of Merhi and Lucas Foresti.
Valtteri Bottas was unable to take part in the session because he is still in transit from his Formula 1 testing duties in Abu Dhabi earlier this week, but he is expected to make it at the track for the afternoon's first qualifying session.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Marco Wittmann Signature Dallara-VW 2m31.984s
2. Daniel Juncadella Prema Dallara-Merc 2m33.792s + 1.808s
3. Yuhi Sekiguchi Mucke Dallara-Merc 2m34.035s + 2.051s
4. Roberto Merhi Prema Dallara-Merc 2m34.191s + 2.207s
5. Lucas Foresti Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m34.656s + 2.672s
6. Kevin Magnussen Carlin Dallara-VW 2m34.877s + 2.893s
7. Felipe Nasr Carlin Dallara-VW 2m35.372s + 3.388s
8. Carlos Huertas Carlin Dallara-VW 2m35.605s + 3.621s
9. Richie Stanaway Van Amersfoort Dallara-VW 2m36.798s + 4.814s
10. Hannes van Asseldonk Hitech Dallara-VW 2m36.947s + 4.963s
11. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW 2m36.955s + 4.971s
12. Kimiya Sato Motopark Dallara-VW 2m38.889s + 6.905s
13. Daniel Abt Signature Dallara-VW 2m39.111s + 7.127s
14. Pietro Fantin Hitech Dallara-VW 2m39.490s + 7.506s
15. Adderly Fong Sino Vision Dallara-Merc 2m39.562s + 7.578s
16. Antonio Felix da Costa Hitech Dallara-VW 2m40.845s + 8.861s
17. Carlos Sainz Jr Signature Dallara-VW 2m40.948s + 8.964s
18. Carlos Munoz Signature Dallara-VW 2m41.247s + 9.263s
19. William Buller Fortec Dallara-Merc 2m43.291s + 11.307s
20. Hywel Lloyd Sino Vision Dallara-Merc 2m44.074s + 12.090s
21. Laurens Vanthoor Signature Dallara-VW 2m45.202s + 13.218s
22. Hideki Yamauchi Toda Dallara-Honda 2m48.501s + 16.517s
23. Jimmy Eriksson Motopark Dallara-VW 2m51.888s + 19.904s
24. Mitch Evans Double R Dallara-Merc 2m51.989s + 20.005s
25. Richard Bradley TOM'S Dallara-Toyota 2m52.636s + 20.652s
26. Alexander Sims TOM'S Dallara-Toyota 2m54.185s + 22.201s
27. Marko Asmer Double R Dallara-Merc 2m55.702s + 23.718s
28. Hironobu Yasuda Three Bond Dallara-Nissan 3m48.936s + 1m16.952s
29. Felix Rosenqvist Mucke Dallara-Merc 3m49.955s + 1m17.971s