Australian GP: Sebastian Vettel begins 2013 on top in practice one

Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel assumed his habitual position at the top of the timing screens right from opening practice for Australian Grand Prix as the new season got underway in Melbourne on Friday morning

Australian GP: Sebastian Vettel begins 2013 on top in practice one

Ferrari was the Red Bull driver's nearest rival, with Felipe Massa just 0.078 seconds away in second place and Fernando Alonso third.

Lewis Hamilton took an encouraging fourth for Mercedes.

Local boy Daniel Ricciardo had the honour of being the first man on track in an official F1 2013 session, and also set the year's first flying lap with a 1m36.089s. Nearly 40 minutes elapsed between those achievements, as teams waited in the pits after their installation laps in the hope that others would clear the dust from the circuit.

Ricciardo battled for the top spot with Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne for a while before the leading teams began setting the pace.

Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen was the first of the big guns to show his hand, eventually working down to a 1m27.877s. Alonso beat that mark by 0.3s five minutes later.

Vettel did not start chasing lap times until the final half an hour, ultimately deposing Alonso with a 1m27.320s.

Ferrari fought back as Massa edged ahead by 0.031s, but the Brazilian's time in first place was fleeting, as Vettel immediately improved to 1m27.211s.

That kept him on top to the end. The Ferraris remained in second and third ahead of Hamilton.

Mark Webber and Raikkonen rounded out the top six, with Nico Rosberg seventh in the second Mercedes.

Adrian Sutil's F1 comeback began well in eighth. Jenson Button, in ninth, was split from McLaren team-mate Sergio Perez by Romain Grosjean's Lotus.

Several drivers, particularly those in the tail-end cars, skittered across the grass and run-off areas.

The only incident of significance came in the final moments, when Paul di Resta brushed the grass on the approach to Turn 6 and spun his Force India sideways into the gravel trap, from which he was surprisingly able to haul himself out.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m27.211s 16 2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m27.289s + 0.078s 17 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m27.547s + 0.336s 16 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.552s + 0.341s 18 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m27.668s + 0.457s 18 6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m27.877s + 0.666s 17 7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m28.013s + 0.802s 17 8. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m28.426s + 1.215s 19 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.440s + 1.229s 19 10. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m28.520s + 1.309s 15 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m28.597s + 1.386s 19 12. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.786s + 1.575s 19 13. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m28.910s + 1.699s 18 14. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m29.443s + 2.232s 20 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m29.928s + 2.717s 19 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m30.203s + 2.992s 17 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m30.729s + 3.518s 17 18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m30.969s + 3.758s 19 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m31.263s + 4.052s 24 20. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m32.176s + 4.965s 23 21. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m32.274s + 5.063s 21 22. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m32.388s + 5.177s 18 All timing unofficial 
shares
comments
Red Bull not writing McLaren off despite its tough winter

Previous article

Red Bull not writing McLaren off despite its tough winter

Next article

Tyres the headache for F1 teams, not times - AUTOSPORT analysis

Tyres the headache for F1 teams, not times - AUTOSPORT analysis
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Matt Beer
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021