New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Sakhir practice: Lewis on top

2012-04-20 11:32


'WHOOPS, i DID IT AGAIN... McLaren's Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice at Sakhir on Friday.

MANAMA, Bahrain - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton set the pace on Friday in the first free practice session here ahead of the 2012 Bahrain Formula 1 GP.

Last year's race at the Sakhir circuit was cancelled after a bloody crackdown on an anti-government uprising and human rights activists have called on the glamour sport to cancel the event again this year.

With tight security beyond the metal fences of the paddock, and few spectators in the stands, drivers got down to business on a circuit whose layout has been shortened since 2010 when fans watched a boring race with little overtaking.


Hamilton, the 2008 champion who is again leading the Drivers' standings after three consecutive third places, put in a best lap of 1min33.572 with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel second and 0.305sec slower. Third was Force India's Scottish driver Paul Di Resta.

Neither Hamilton, who started the previous two races on pole, nor Vettel has won a race this season; indeed, there has been a different winners from each.

Germany's Nico Rosberg, who took his first win at the 111th attempt in China the previous weekend, was fourth fastest for Mercedes with McLaren's Jenson Button fifth.

The Ferraris of Spaniard Fernando Alonso and Brazilian Felipe Massa were 13th and 15th respectively. Oh dear.

First free practice times from the 2012 Bahrain F1 GP on Friday
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1 min33.572
2 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1 min33.877
3 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1 min34.150
4 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1 min34.249
5 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1 min34.277
6 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1 min34.344
7 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1 min34.483
8 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1 min34.552
9 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1 min34.609
10 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1 min34.847
11 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1 min35.024
12 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1 min35.268
13 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1 min35.436
14 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1 min35.497
15 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1 min35.719
16 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1 min35.929
17 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1 min36.195
18 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1 min36.330
19 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham 1 min36.484
20 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1 min36.591
21 Charles Pic (France) Marussia 1 min37.467
22 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 1 min38.006
23 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 1 min38.877
24 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1 min39.996

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