Rain greeted the start of the first free practice here at Melbourne as the Formula 1 calender finally kicks off. It was a session where the pecking order were on the expected lines, although one has to understand that its too early to predict anything. The Talking point has been F-Duct activated DRS wing from the Mercedes stable and other teams are trying there best to figure it out while most of the Teams claim there version of the same has been in development. But nevertheless Mercedes tops the speed chart.
Jenson Button seem to have kicked off the campaign with the momentum he had in 2011 while his teammate who had a late boost in 2011 seem to have carried it over as well as the Mclaren pair stood at top. Micheal Schumacher was third with the 'Mysterious' Ferrari of Alonso at fourth. Alonso's teammate Massa had all sorts of trouble in the FP1 as he seemed cautious of his chances at Ferrari. The under pressure driver was in the gravel with an driver error that costed him few laps and put him at miserable 18th on the Time sheets.
Red Bull had a silent start to their season as Mark Webber was fifth a bit off the pace of the pacesetters. Kimi Raikkonen who was uncomfortable at the final test seem to have his problems in the new chassis as well. The Finn was complaining of few issues which were similar to the ones he had at Barcelona.He finished the FP1 at 9th with just 8 laps to his name. Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado were in the midst of Top 10 as well.
Sebastian Vettel was outside the Top 10 at 11th in a rather quiet session. The duo of Force India's were also a bit surprise entry outside the Top 10.
HRT who had a scare earlier in the day with them passing their scrutineering just few hours before the start of the session as Pedro's car wasn't prepared enough. The Team missed the session as Engine issues prevented the running of Narain Karthikeyan while the under prepared car of Pedro de la Rosa meant both the HRT drivers will have a tall ask in the upcoming sessions. Marussia seem to had a better start with both their drivers although way off the pace, had atleast few laps into their account and are looking much better then HRT
1. Jenson Button McLaren 1m27.560s 11
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m27.805s + 0.245 14
3. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m28.235s + 0.675 17
4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m28.360s + 0.800 21
5. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m28.467s + 0.907 21
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m28.683s + 1.123 22
7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m28.908s + 1.348 23
8. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1m29.415s + 1.855 16
9. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m29.565s + 2.005 8
10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m29.722s + 2.162 26
11. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m29.790s + 2.230 21
12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m29.865s + 2.305 17
13. Paul di Resta Force India 1m29.881s + 2.321 18
14. Bruno Senna Williams 1m29.953s + 2.393 21
15. Sergio Perez Sauber 1m30.124s + 2.564 22
16. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m30.515s + 2.955 16
17. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1m30.586s + 3.026 16
18. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m30.743s + 3.183 11
19. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m31.178s + 3.618 17
20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1m31.983s + 4.423 8
21. Timo Glock Marussia 1m34.730s + 7.170 8
22. Charles Pic Marussia 1m40.256s + 12.696 11