Sutil tops first practice in Bahrain

Adrian Sutil struck the first blow of the 2010 Formula 1 season, by setting the fastest time in the first free practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix for Force India

Sutil tops first practice in Bahrain

The German slightly upset the form-book by edging double world champion and pre-season favourite Fernando Alonso to the top spot with a 1m56.583s lap. The Ferrari driver's last ditch attempt was just 0.183s shy of Sutil.

Robert Kubica provided another surprise by going third fastest for Renault - the Pole having proved competitive whenever he was on track. His yellow machine was 0.458s back from Sutil, and less than three tenths faster than Felipe Massa's second Ferrari.

The McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were next up, having enjoyed a battle for the top spot in the early stages of the session.

Vitantonio Liuzzi proved the pace of the Force India in seventh ahead of Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and the returning Michael Schumacher - who was more than 0.4s slower than his Mercedes team-mate.

A fascinating first free practice was opened by Jarno Trulli, who brought the Lotus name back on track in an official session for the first time since the Australian Grand Prix in 1994.

The Italian was also quickly out on track after the obligatory break that follows the flurry of installation laps at the start of practice. Trulli was joined by team-mate Heikki Kovalainen - who also opened the serious times with a 2m04.225s.

Just prior to the 30-minute mark, Hamilton joined the fray in the controversial new McLaren and lowered that target to a more realistic 1m57.759s

He didn't keep the top spot for long, however, as his team-mate Button went faster with a 1m57.068s lap.

The world champion wasn't the only man on track as the session reached the hour mark and new Ferrari-man Alonso moved to the front with a 1m56.909s.

Just to ensure things didn't get too familiar, Sutil then thumped in a super-fast 1m56.583s lap with 25 minutes to go. That time would stand to the end.

Sutil ended the session 7.3s faster than Trulli who was slowest of the timed runners in 21st. It was Timo Glock that was fastest of the new runners, pedalling his Virgin around Sakhir in 2m03.680s, 0.2s quicker than the Lotus cars.

HRT also made it out having completed scrutineering this morning, Bruno Senna giving the Dallara-built machine a shakedown 70 minutes into the session.

 Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:56.583 18 2. Alonso Ferrari 1:56.766 + 0.183 18 3. Kubica Renault 1:57.041 + 0.458 19 4. Massa Ferrari 1:57.055 + 0.472 19 5. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:57.068 + 0.485 19 6. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:57.163 + 0.580 19 7. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:57.194 + 0.611 19 8. Rosberg Mercedes 1:57.199 + 0.616 15 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:57.255 + 0.672 17 10. Schumacher Mercedes 1:57.662 + 1.079 16 11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:57.722 + 1.139 18 12. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:57.894 + 1.311 20 13. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:57.943 + 1.360 17 14. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:58.399 + 1.816 13 15. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:58.782 + 2.199 11 16. Petrov Renault 1:58.880 + 2.297 13 17. de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 2:00.250 + 3.667 18 18. Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 2:01.388 + 4.805 11 19. Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2:03.680 + 7.097 8 20. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 2:03.848 + 7.265 21 21. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 2:03.970 + 7.387 15 22. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 2 23. Senna HRT-Cosworth 3 24. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth All Timing Unofficial 
shares
comments
Renault criticises FIA's McLaren decision

Previous article

Renault criticises FIA's McLaren decision

Next article

Q & A with Sebastien Buemi

Q & A with Sebastien Buemi
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021