F1 2011 Indian Grand Prix: Hamilton fastest in first practice

PUBLISHED: 07:24 28 October 2011 | UPDATED: 18:01 28 October 2011

Lewis Hamilton [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]

Lewis Hamilton [Picture: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes]


FORMULA 1 racer Lewis Hamilton went quickest in first practice for the 2011 Indian Grand Prix.

The Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire was fastest around the new Buddh International Circuit at Greater Noida, near New Delhi, this morning (Friday).

His flying last-gasp fastest lap – a 1m 26.836s – placed him ahead of both Red Bulls in India.

Double F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel clocked the second best time with a 1m 27.416s ahead of Red Bull colleague Mark Webber on a 1m 27.428s.

Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Jenson Button was fourth with a lap of 1m 28.394s.

Mercedes GP duo Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished fifth and sixth respectively, with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa seventh.

An extremely committed Hamilton, 26, had earlier in the session topped the timesheets with a lap of 1m 27.515s around F1’s newest track.

He improved to a 1m 27.446s – placing him third overall at that stage behind both Red Bulls drivers – before ducking under 1m 27s in the final seconds of the session.

Earlier in the day, lots of cars were sliding onto the grass as the drivers learned the circuit, with it being dusty on the racing line – and even dustier off it!

However, Button said: “The circuit feels good. It’s pretty smooth.”

The British 2009 F1 world champion particularly enjoyed sectors two and three, adding over the team radio: “Circuit’s nice – it’s unbelievably dusty out there.”

Hamilton, meanwhile, had to swap helmets early on today because of a slight radio issue with his original helmet.

This morning’s P1 session was also red-flagged after just five minutes because a dog was running on the track.

Circuit officials had to track down the errant canine before practice could resume.

Qualifying for the inaugural Indian Grand Prix starts at 9.30am BST on Saturday.

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