Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Yas Marina, 2013

Alonso fastest in heavily disrupted session

2013 United States Grand Prix first practice

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Fernando Alonso headed first practice at the Circuit of the Americas but the session was delayed twice due to poor visibility and problems with the medical helicopter.

Thick fog hung across the circuit at nine o’clock, the designated start time for the session, and the start was put back a total of 40 minutes while the skies cleared.

That meant the session could finally begin but only temporarily as another problem with the medical helicopter meant running was red-flagged once more. When it finally resumed the session was two minutes shy of its original designated finishing time, but running was extended by a further half an hour.

A final half-hour of running on a rapidly-evolving track with drivers running different programmes made for an unusual timing sheet. Alonso was quickest with less than five hundredths of a second covering him, Jenson Button and Valtteri Bottas in the Williams.

Esteban Gutierrez was fourth-fastest ahead of the two Mercedes drivers. Lewis Hamilton, sixth, was told his “fuel-corrected” pace compared favourably with Alonso’s.

Daniil Kvyat had his first run for Toro Rosso and ended up 17th, just in front of Sebastian Vettel who plainly wasn’t doing performance runs in this session. American Alexander Rossi was next as he made a home appearance for Caterham.

Rodolfo Gonzalez returned once more for Marussia and propped up the times table, coming to a stop in the dying minutes with an apparent car problem.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’38.343 16
2 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’38.371 0.028 25
3 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’38.388 0.045 17
4 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.532 0.189 18
5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’38.657 0.314 21
6 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’38.979 0.636 21
7 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’39.005 0.662 17
8 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’39.083 0.740 17
9 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.158 0.815 17
10 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’39.200 0.857 15
11 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’39.238 0.895 13
12 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’39.256 0.913 17
13 7 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’39.487 1.144 18
14 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’39.699 1.356 15
15 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’39.836 1.493 15
16 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.863 1.520 19
17 18 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.065 1.722 20
18 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’40.662 2.319 21
19 21 Alexander Rossi Caterham-Renault 1’41.399 3.056 21
20 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’41.605 3.262 19
21 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’42.054 3.711 19
22 22 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1’43.716 5.373 17

2013 United States Grand Prix

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Image ?? Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Alonso fastest in heavily disrupted session”

  1. Wow, that Daniil kid is faster than Vettel!! Just, wow!! ;)

    1. So young. Such speed. Much future. Wow.

    2. above all he is just 0.2 seconds behind RIC. I don’t know if their programs were different but its encouraging!

      1. Go, Dani, kick some stiffened rear ends!
        Pretty much impressive for the first ever outing anyway.

  2. So basically Rossi is already faster than Pic and VDG. Rossi/Kovy Catherham 2014?

    1. Jeez, man, hold your horses.

      Did you take a moment to read the article?

      It was clearly a bit of a topsy turvy session. I don’t think any conclusions can be drawn from this whatsoever.

      1. @ecwdanselby @strifeforce It only takes one lap to go faster than someone else.

        1. And what about different set-ups, fuel loads, race simulations, tyres?

        2. maarten.f1 (@)
          15th November 2013, 19:16

          Teams not necessarily use the same time keeping (i.e. start/finish line) as we do.

          1. oh my. the logic!

            lol…

    2. Yes, Rossi was faster than a driver that didn’t drive this session…

      1. Let me rephrase what i meant. I think that Rossi’s session today showed that he has talent, and may be more talented than Pic and VDG. VDG was about a second faster in FP2 than Rossi was in FP1, which could be trickeration on the part of the team’s setup, or just that Rossi isn’t far off from what the normal #1 and #2 drivers are who race every GP. That’s all i was saying, that mabye the kid has potential lol. No need to drag me to the Gallows :p

  3. Come on silver Arrows.

  4. I feel extremely sorry for Heikki Kovalainen

    1. Why? Without knowing any better he was just 2 tenths away from grosjean…

      1. I guess because he could use the seat time more than anyone.

        1. Well, he was first outta the garage for FP2, did a practice start and roared away onto the track! making up for lost time!

      2. @socksolid I believe @xjr15jaaag meant that it’s a shame Kovalainen didn’t get more practice time. Only 2 tenths away from Grosjean is a good result, but we can hardly conclude anything from these time, since there was so little running time.

        1. @ho tbottoms
          You are correct

  5. Yes, it was topsy turvy but at the same time all of the backmarkers are exactly where we thought they were. Pic / Chilton ran their usual 3-4 secs. off the pace. Rossi in his first FP1 was faster than both of them, which shows me that he has skills, especially when we saw GON 4-5 secs. off the pace and struggling heavily.

    I’m not implying that Rossi is the next Vettel, but that Rossi is showing potential to be better than what Caterham have now.

    1. @strifeforce I think it’s possible that Caterham put less fuel on Rossi’s car, to allow him to be impressive in his home GP.

      1. Now that is a possibility, i wish i was able to actually watch FP1 here in the states because now i feel dumb :p

        1. Oh you know, right now even here in Europe, getting to watch Fp1 and 2 implies having pay TV in most countries.. You should whatsoever be able to find it via streamings.

  6. The whole issue with the helicopter was extremely embarassing.

    1. Correct. Classic “Mickey Mouse” moment… Sheesh.

  7. Did anyone actually see the practice? If you’d viewed the coverage you’d be surprised if anyone started pushing at all…

  8. Glad Alonso is really race fit.
    Perez wasn’t after his Monaco crash so I feared a bit.

    1. You can’t quite compare Perez’s crash in Monaco to Fernando’s off-roading in Abu Dhabi.

  9. I´m reading the comments and I understand nothing can be made out of the FP1 but… why does everybody tend to discredit the performances?? I mean, it is surprising to see a Ferrari up front but come on… give the guys some credit.
    Sure we know nothing about fuel loads but come on guys, why is it so hard to believe Alonso is that fast or Rossi for that matter… Cut em some slack!

  10. Did the session actually start without a helicopter on site?

    1. Yes, it did.
      @keithcollante, do you know what that was all about?
      It just seemed like the helicopter was never there at the start, somehow they decide to start, and then they remembered “oh yeah, that helicopter we were waiting for never showed up”.

      1. I saw the coverage from a bit into the red flag, and they seemed to gloss over that apparently the cars had been running on the track when they shouldn’t have. I assumed for a while that there had been a crash and somebody had been airlifted to hospital, because I couldn’t see why else the helicopter was missing.

      2. Stewards got message that chopper heading towards the track so it should have arrived soon and started the session. Then, after 10 min, they realized that it havent come and no one knew how far away its still. Actually, the first messages were a bit scary when situation was that chopper had been on the air and no one knew where its now.

  11. Imagine if the grid was like this. It would be an interesting shake up.

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