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Bahrain Grand Prix – Friday Practice

by F1Fan on March 12, 2010

The Bahrain Grand Prix weekend kicked off today with the first pre race practice sessions of the 2010 Formula One season.

The conditions at the Bahrain Circuit were completely different from those experienced during winter testing. High ambient and track temperatures caused the teams to spend a lot of time testing tire degradation under different fuel loads, with many of the drivers complaining that the super-soft compound tires were going off after only four laps.

This seasons new no refueling rule means that the large fuel loads the cars will be carrying at the beginning of the race will make tire wear a crucial factor in a teams race strategy, the driver that can best manage his tires will have a definite advantage, something that may give Jenson Button a race advantage as he is credited with a very smooth driving style.

Several of the teams had significant problems today, Red Bull Racing had gearbox problems on Mark Webbers car and Brake problems on Sebastian Vettels car which limited track time during the second practice session of the day.

Bahrain Second Practice Session Times

PositionTeamDriverBest LapTime
1Mercedes GPNico Rosberg1:55.409-
2McLarenLewis Hamilton1:55.854+0.445
3Mercedes GPMichael Schumacher1:55.903+0.494
4McLarenJenson Button1:56.076+0.667
5Red Bull RacingSebastian Vettel1:56.459+1.050
6WilliamsNico Huulkenberg1:56.501+1.092
7FerrariFelipe Massa1:56.555+1.146
8Renault F1Vitaly Petrov1:56.750+1.341
9FerrariFernando Alonso1:57.140+1.731
10BMW Sauber F1Pedro De La Rosa1:57.255+1.846
11BMW Sauber F1Kamui Kobayashi1:57.352+1.943
12Force IndiaAdrian Sutil1:57.361+1.952
13Williams F1Rubens Barrichello1:57.452+2.043
14Force IndiaTonio Liuzzi1:57.833+2.424
15Renault F1Robert Kubica1:58.1552.746
16Toro RossoJamie Alguersuari1:59.799+4.390
17Red Bull RacingMark Weber1:60.444+5.035
18Lotus RacingHeikki Kovalainen1:60.873+5.464
19Lotus RacingJarno Trulli1:60.990+5.581
20Virgin RacingTimo Glock1:62.037+6.628
21Virgin RacingLucas Di Grassi1:62.188+6.779
22HRT F1 RacingBruno Senna1:66.968+11.559
23Toro RossoSebastien BuemiNo Time--
24HRT F1 RacingKarun ChandhokNo Time--
March 12, 2010

The second Red Bull team Toro Rosso also had problems on Sebastian Buemi’s car during the first practice which prevented him from getting any track time in the second session. Virgin Racing continued to have problems although they seem to have solved the hydraulic issue that plagued them throughout most of winter testing, today a gearbox issue on Timo Glocks car along with a host of other issues prevented him from getting any significant time in the car during the second session. Even worse was new team HRT F1 racing running for the first time in F1 the team had problems with the second car and only managed to get Bruno Senna on track, stranding Karun Chandhok who got no closer to the circuit than pit wall. Not surprisingly Senna was very slow basically performing shakedown testing on the car until his right rear wheel nut came of the car right at the end of the second session leaving his car stranded out on track.

At the top of the time charts Mercedes Gp and MaClaren set the four fastest times with Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes GP coming out on top.

At the back of the pack not surprisingly is where the new teams end up today, Lotus Racing did best of the new teams even with parts flying off their cars they managed to complete 73 laps over the two session and trying out an aero upgrade during the afternoon Practice session.

Can’t wait for qualifying tomorrow.

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