Schumacher fastest as Melbourne dries out

Schumacher fastest as Melbourne dries out

16 March 2012 – Michael Schumacher was quickest after a dramatic pair of practice sessions to launch the 2012 F1 season in Australia on Friday. Following heavy rain, Melbourne’s Albert Park dried as the seven-time World Champion led the way, while Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi narrowly avoided an accident at the final corner.

Because of the weather - which forced drivers to use Wet and Intermediate tyres on the run up to Slicks - lap numbers were kept to a premium, although the conditions did allow the teams to experiment with all four Pirelli compounds on offer this weekend. For Slicks, the white-marked Medium and yellow-marked Soft types are on offer.

The day began with a McLaren one-two, as Jenson Button led Lewis Hamilton at one o’clock. The heavens opened before the second session and, with less sunshine in the late afternoon, a number of puddles remained. During the session, Formula 1 governing body the FIA proposed 30 minutes of DRS race simulation, meaning the system would only be available in the two zones allocated for Sunday’s race; this plan was abandoned when several of the teams complained.

The expected off-track moments came, with Daniel Ricciardo suffering a lurid spin in the middle of the Turn 11-12 chicane and Heikki Kovalainen shooting across the gravel at Turn 1. Fastest man Schumacher didn’t escape trouble either, heading back to the pits for repairs to his front wing. He and team-mate Nico Rosberg are again enjoying a straight-line speed advantage, not least because Mercedes has developed a system allowing air to flow through the side of the car’s rear wing and stall it further when DRS is in use.

World Champions Red Bull ran with a modified exhaust configuration which resulted in a different sound to the other teams, with Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber not risking the conditions and calmly making their ways to tenth and 11th places. There were worried faces at Ferrari, whose car remains out of shape in corners; 15 minutes before the end of the opening session, Felipe Massa spun into the gravel at Turn 9 after placing two wheels on the grass.

On this occasion, McLaren were only 15th and 16th, with Button still in front of Hamilton. Fernando Alonso was again fourth for Ferrari as Kimi Räikkönen ended his first day for Lotus in 18th spot, having remained in the garage until the final ten minutes of the session. In the final moments, a flurry of quick times saw Nico Hülkenberg finish second in the consistent Force India, with Sergio Pérez – who was first to sample Wet tyres at the start of the session – ending the day third for Sauber. Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi was fortunate to escape damage after a huge moment and spin at the last corner, just avoiding the wall.

HRT managed to get Pedro de la Rosa on-track at the end of the first half hour, although the Spaniard completed just a single tour; for the second consecutive session, team-mate Narain Karthikeyan was forced to park up at the side of the circuit. Toro Rosso racked up the most mileage, with no other driver managing more laps than the sums of either rookie Jean-Éric Vergne (29) or Ricciardo (31).


Third and final practice starts at 2pm local time (BST +11) on Saturday and can also be tracked through the GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 29 May 2015

  2. Power takes race 1 pole at Detroit 22:04

    Power takes race 1 pole at Detroit

    Will Power broke another track record en route to taking pole for the first of two races in Detroit this weekend.  The Aussie…

    Indy
  3. García returns for Moscow ePrix 19:21

    García returns for Moscow ePrix

    Spanish driver Antonio García will return to the Formula E Championship for next weekend's round in Moscow. García will…

    FE
  4. 16:32

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  5. Video: Stirling Moss at Mille Miglia 15:51

    Video: Stirling Moss at Mille Miglia

    Sir Stirling Moss and his Mille Miglia-winning Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR reunite, 60 years on from victory.

    F1
  6. Grosjean annoyed by brake test claims 14:34

    Grosjean annoyed by brake test claims

    Romain Grosjean says he was left annoyed by accusations that he brake tested Max Verstappen before their clash at the Monaco…

    F1
  7. 14:16

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Mugello

    MotoGP
  8. Dovizioso stays on top in second practice 14:12

    Dovizioso stays on top in second practice

    Andrea Dovizioso kept Ducati on top during Friday afternoon's second free practice session for the Italian Grand Prix at…

    MotoGP
  9. Ecclestone sets Indian GP deadline 11:30

    Ecclestone sets Indian GP deadline

    Bernie Ecclestone has set a two month deadline for Indian Grand Prix organisers to get the event back on the calendar for the…

    F1
  10. Video: Force India drivers quizzed 10:23

    Video: Force India drivers quizzed

    Force India drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez are quizzed on how well they know each other.

    F1
  11. Dovizioso tops first Mugello practice 09:58

    Dovizioso tops first Mugello practice

    Andrea Dovizioso and Ducati topped the times as their home Grand Prix weekend at Mugello got underway on Friday…

    MotoGP
  12. Bottas sure Monaco showing a one-off 08:02

    Bottas sure Monaco showing a one-off

    Valtteri Bottas is sure that his Williams team will return to form at the Canadian Grand Prix, after a highly challenging…

    F1
  13. Video of the Day: McLaren in Monaco 05:26

    Video of the Day: McLaren in Monaco

    McLaren celebrated the 10th year of its Johnnie Walker partnership with a special night out in Monaco.

    F1
  14. Thursday 28 May 2015

  15. FIA opens selection process for new team 21:04

    FIA opens selection process for new team

    Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, has officially opened up a new selection process to identify a candidate team to join the…

    F1
  16. Video: Drivers preview 'Dual in Detroit' 14:44

    Video: Drivers preview 'Dual in Detroit'

    Hélio Castroneves, Scott Dixon and Simon Pagenaud preview the 2015 'Dual in Detroit'.

    Indy
  17. Todt: No ban on alcohol sponsorship 12:36

    Todt: No ban on alcohol sponsorship

    FIA President Jean Todt has made clear that there will be no ban on alcohol sponsorship in Formula 1, describing such a move as…

    F1
  18. Jos Verstappen to join Max in F1 demo 11:24

    Jos Verstappen to join Max in F1 demo

    Max Verstappen will be joined on track by father Jos during next month's 'Italia a Zandvoort' event. While Max demonstrates a…

    F1
  19. Räikkönen given qualifying 'homework' 10:33

    Räikkönen given qualifying 'homework'

    Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has urged Kimi Räikkönen to improve his qualifying performances at future Grands Prix…

    F1
  20. González, Vautier get Detroit seats 09:51

    González, Vautier get Detroit seats

    Rodolfo González and Tristan Vautier will reclaim seats at the Dale Coyne Racing squad for this weekend's IndyCar double-header…

    Indy
  21. Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Monaco 09:48

    Mark Sutton: Story Behind the Shot - Monaco

    Especially for lovers of motorsport photography, GPUpdate.net's race-by-race series, Story Behind the Shot, continues throughout…

    F1
  22. Magnussen: Vandoorne deserves F1 seat 09:07

    Magnussen: Vandoorne deserves F1 seat

    McLaren reserve Kevin Magnussen says there would be "something wrong" if GP2 championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne does not…

    F1
  23. Video of the Day: Brundle's Force India drive 05:00

    Video of the Day: Brundle's Force India drive

    Ex-F1 driver turned TV pundit Martin Brundle tests – and crashes – the Force India VJM08 at Silverstone.

    F1
  24. Wednesday 27 May 2015

  25. Hinchcliffe released from hospital 16:48

    Hinchcliffe released from hospital

    James Hinchcliffe was released from hospital on Tuesday, following surgery for the injuries he sustained during practice for the…

    Indy
  26. Wilson to make FE debut in Moscow 15:33

    Wilson to make FE debut in Moscow

    Justin Wilson will make his Formula E debut with Andretti Autosport at next month's Moscow round. Wilson competed in last…

    FE
  27. Grosjean 'didn't brake test' Verstappen 14:39

    Grosjean 'didn't brake test' Verstappen

    Lotus says it has data to prove that Romain Grosjean did not brake test Toro Rosso rival Max Verstappen prior to their collision…

    F1
  28. Video: Nico Rosberg's Monaco blog 14:16

    Video: Nico Rosberg's Monaco blog

    Nico Rosberg reflects on a dramatic Monaco Grand Prix that yielded his third straight win in the principality.

    F1
  29. Mallya targets constant points with new car 12:28

    Mallya targets constant points with new car

    Force India team boss Vijay Mallya has set his sights on recording constant points finishes when the outfit's full 2015…

    F1
  30. Verstappen vows to come back stronger 10:51

    Verstappen vows to come back stronger

    Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen says he will emerge a stronger driver from his dramatic accident at last weekend's Monaco Grand…

    F1
  31. Rossi in 'perfect' place for Mugello 10:35

    Rossi in 'perfect' place for Mugello

    MotoGP championship leader Valentino Rossi says he arrives at Mugello in a "perfect" frame of mind after his strong start to the…

    MotoGP
  32. 10:15

    Gallery: Best photos from the Monaco GP

    F1
  33. Häkkinen: Verstappen penalty unfair 10:12

    Häkkinen: Verstappen penalty unfair

    Mika Häkkinen believes that it was wrong of the stewards to hand Max Verstappen a grid penalty for his clash with Romain…

    F1
  34. Ecclestone: Rosberg, Vettel 'bad for business' 09:43

    Ecclestone: Rosberg, Vettel 'bad for business'

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that German drivers Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel are "not so good" for the…

    F1
  35. Feature: Monaco GP's key questions 09:27

    Feature: Monaco GP's key questions

    In the build up to last weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, GPUpdate.net posed five key questions and contemplated the potential…

    F1
  36. Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix highlights 05:00

    Video of the Day: Berlin ePrix highlights

    Watch highlights from the eighth round of the Formula E championship at Berlin's Tempelhof Airport.

    FE
  37. Tuesday 26 May 2015

  38. Scan reveals further Iannone injury 19:11

    Scan reveals further Iannone injury

    Ducati's Andrea Iannone has had another set back ahead of his home race in Italy this weekend after a scan revealed a further…

    MotoGP
  39. Daly to replace Hinchcliffe for Detroit 14:18

    Daly to replace Hinchcliffe for Detroit

    Conor Daly will remain in IndyCar after Schmidt Peterson Motorsports confirmed that he will replace the injured James…

    Indy
  40. Briatore: Alonso better off at McLaren 13:31

    Briatore: Alonso better off at McLaren

    Flavio Briatore says Fernando Alonso is better placed at McLaren compared to Ferrari, despite the Spaniard having failed to…

    F1
  41. No further action in de Villota accident 11:29

    No further action in de Villota accident

    Manor Grand Prix Racing will face no further action over the testing crash involving Maria de Villota following the conclusion…

    F1
  42. Williams cannot repeat Monaco - Smedley 11:08

    Williams cannot repeat Monaco - Smedley

    Williams Head of Performance Engineering Rob Smedley says the squad must examine where it went wrong at the Monaco Grand Prix in…

    F1
  43. Arrivabene: Ferrari outsmarted Mercedes 09:49

    Arrivabene: Ferrari outsmarted Mercedes

    Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene says the squad outsmarted Mercedes strategically in order to collect second position…

    F1
  44. Monaco Grand Prix: Winners and Losers 08:56

    Monaco Grand Prix: Winners and Losers

    Nico Rosberg took a third straight Monaco win as dominant Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was skewered by an incorrect pit…

    F1
more news