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Turkish GP practice as it happened


By Mark Orlovac

1341: So that's a wrap. Thank you very much for your company this morning/afternoon. Make sure you are back with us tomorrow from 0830 BST for final practice and qualifying. Don't miss out. Meanwhile, I'm just going to find out what happened to the poor marshal that was on the receiving end of Webber's tirade. I wonder what happened to that extinguisher? Until tomorrow then... adios.

Virgin Racing on Twitter: "Great job by the engineers, mechanics and drivers there! A lot of work to do overnight, but we thrive on that ;-)"

1336: The two Hispanias of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok occupy the bottom two slots. Chandhok had a spin at Turn Eight very late on by the way. Kovalainen is the top bod of the new boys - finishing in 19th place, 3.330 seconds off Button.

1332: Here's the top 10: Button (1:28.280), Webber (1:28.378), Vettel (1:28.590), Hamilton (1:28.672), Alonso (1:28.725), Rosberg (1:28.914), Schumacher (1:28.974), Kubica (1:29.225), Petrov (1:29.501) and Massa (1:29.620).

1330: Second practice is over.

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "The team think Mark Webber had an engine failure, although it has not been confirmed."

1326: As Webber rolls backwards, he expertly steers it into a gap in the barriers. Webber then goes completely bonkers as he tries to gesture to a marshal that a fire extinguisher should be placed behind the tyre so that the car doesn't move any more. He really is angry. Smoke came out of the back of the car by the way, looks like more engine trouble.

1324: Drama. Webber's car stops and then free wheels back down to Turn Two. Team boss Christian Horner looks concerned on the pit wall.

1321: The teams are on longer runs at the moment, so the fastest times are not being threatened.

1319: The heat haze is really shimmering now. Rosberg - with his rather fetching yellow driving gloves - is out and about but can't improve on his sixth place.

1315: It's still Button at the top, with Webber, Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Schumacher, Kubica, Petrov and Massa following in behind. Further down, Heikki Kovalainen - who qualified on the front row here in 2008 - posts a 1:31.610 in his Lotus. That puts him in 19th place, around 0.7 seconds behind the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari. There's just 15 minutes to go.

BBC 5 live analyst Anthony Davidson: "The neck muscle is always first to go at a circuit like this. No driver can hold their head up after 50 laps here."

1308: Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi complains that his rear tyres, as well as his neck, have gone. The loads at this track are pretty severe, in Turn Eight the drivers have to cope with up to 5G cornering force for around seven seconds.

BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Felipe Massa's front right and rear left tyres have holes. He can't use those tyres again."

1304: Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg has only done seven laps this afternoon and BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos knows why. "The team have discovered a hydraulics problem," she says. "They are working on it and they hope to have him out before the end of the session."

1303: Red Bull's Mark Webber, the championship leader, goes second fastest with a 1:28.378. Softs for him too.

Ferrari on Twitter: "Felipe went off in Turn Eight, he rejoined the track but the tyres are destroyed to get them work properly."

1259: Oh dear Felipe. Massa spins at Turn Eight and wrecks his soft tyres. He comes back on the track right in front of Schumacher - getting one back for his team-mate from a bit earlier, perhaps?

1257: Button, also on the softs, goes quickest with a 1:28.280. Then it is Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso, Schumacher, Webber, Rosberg, Kubica, Petrov and Kobayashi.

Zagott on Twitter: "The prancing horse is resting and checking his horseshoe before the fast gallop on Saturday and Sunday. Watch this space."

1253: Alonso is also on the soft 'option' tyre and he goes third with a 1:28.725. The Spaniard throws his arms into the air in frustration as he was impeded by a slowing Michael Schumacher at the final corner.

1250: Rosberg goes sixth fastest with a 1:29.154 before Vettel and Hamilton - both on the soft tyres - start to trade fastest times. Hamilton sets a 1:28.672 before Vettel trumps it with a 1:28.590.

1245: I've had a few messages in about why Ferrari have a "800 grand prix" sticker on their car. That's because this weekend the team are celebrating their 800th F1 world championship race.

1241: Lotus driver Jarno Trulli stops with what technical chief Gascoyne says is a "damaged third gear". On the track, Vettel is now third with a 1:28.976 and he is followed by team-mate Webber, who posts a 1:29.058. The rest of the top 10 is Schumacher, Kubica, Petrov, Kobayashi, De la Rosa and Sutil. Hamilton and Button remain top of the pops.

mikeywatson on Twitter: "I would buy tickets to the British GP, but I can't risk it until I know England's World Cup fate. Same as final day! Eek!"

Lotus chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne: "First practice went very well and we were pleased with both cars. There are new parts on the car so the straight-line speed is better. We'll see what times we get at the end of today. We want to close the gap on those in front and concentrate on next year - step into the midfield. This year, we have an upgrade package for Silverstone which should be worth about half a second."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Istanbul: "I've got a feeling that Adrian Sutil will have no problem bouncing back from his first-practice crash because the German's sport of choice growing up was trampolining. He almost came a cropper as an 18-year-old though when he tore ligaments in a trampoline fall the day before he was set to drive for a place on a driver programme. He still drove the kart the next day and credits his injury with giving him a big break in motorsport as the watching manager was impressed he drove so well despite the injury."

1235: Sutil is back out on the track and he goes wide at Turn Eight. Soon after, Massa does the same. There are no real dramas for both of them, however, and they can continue.

1232: Here's a quick reminder that there's plenty of other sport going on around this very website this afternoon. The England cricket team are currently taking on Bangladesh but if tennis is more your scene, then have a look at our French Open commentary.

1229: Petrov goes wide on the exit of Turn Eight - that corner really is going to be fun this weekend. He goes on the grass and the road outside of it but he is nowhere near the barriers and is able to get back onto the track. By the way, Alonso is currently in 13th with a 1:30.929.

1226: Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who has won in Turkey three times (2006, 2007 and 2008), is currently in 15th place with a best of 1:30.969. BBC 5 live analyst Anthony Davidson says: "If Felipe Massa can't do it here then he's looking a bit dodgy for the rest of the season."

BBC 5 live analyst Anthony Davidson: "I think Mark Webber was full throttle at Turn Eight on a full load - that's frightening."

Renault F1 on Twitter: "We have a busy working schedule this afternoon, everybody's heads down. We also have a new front wing this weekend."

1217: Hamilton improves his quickest time to a 1:28.692. Then it's Button, Kubica, Schumacher, Petrov, Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa.

1215: Whoa there Schuey. The Mercedes driver is as wobbly as year-old toddler through Turn One and Two. He goes fourth with a 1:29.328. BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos says Red Bull are changing a water pipe on Seb Vettel's car.

1213: Button does indeed go quickest with a 1:28.931. Petrov is fourth after a 1:19.923. Apparently Sutil is getting into his Force India and he'll be out soon.

1211: Hamilton is now fastest after a 1:29.117 while Kubica improves to a 1:29.284 - but Button is on a flier.

1208: Times are being posted pretty sharply in this session. Bob Kubica leads the list with a 1:29.558 followed by Button (1:29.399).

BBC 5 live analyst Anthony Davidson: "If the wind is blowing in the wrong direction then you're going to lose your rear at Turn Eight."

1206: It's that man again, Kamui Kobayashi spins his BMW Sauber at Turn Eight. He keeps the car running, however, and is quickly back driving.

1204: Force India are confident Sutil will be driving "in the next 10 minutes". That's pretty impressive stuff from the team's mechanics. I reckon their packed lunches were left untouched during the break.

1202: Hispania's Bruno Senna is the first man out on to the circuit after a rest in FP1. You can hardly see him in amongst all the heat haze coming off the track. As a tabloid newspaper might say, "Phew, what a scorcher."

1200: And we are go.

Anon via text: "Hopefully McLaren have improved their qualy pace this weekend. It's costing them so many points and if they have any chance of catching the Red Bulls this weekend they have to at least get pole."

1155: Coverage has begun again on the Red Button and at the top of this page. We are off for FP2 at 1200 BST. It really is hot out there, we have some TV shots of a bank of supporters forming a nice and neat pattern underneath a bridge as they shield from the sun. No-one is braving the rays.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Istanbul: "Hello again. The mercury has risen to 28C over lunchtime and it wasn't surprising to hear complaints about tyres degrading quickly on Turkey's hot and dusty track during first practice. Off the track, there were a few jaded journalists but at the far end of the long, wide paddock Team Virgin were keeping cool after removing the windows from their motorhome. Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali had popped to Sauber for a chat or was it a bowl of Kamui Kobayashi's famous homemade rice? The driver told pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie that he makes his own lunch every day and that it is becoming increasingly popular with other members of the F1 fraternity."

Marm via text: "I've got some great news for you, fried breakfasts are much better for you than anything wheat-based. Honest!"
You're totally right of course, I was just trying to make myself feel better!

Hispania driver Karun Chandhok on Twitter: "My speed with the throttle problem on the back straight was the same as when I cycled on Wednesday - 33kmh!!! Hehehe..."

1147: Talking of Barrichello, the 38-year-old was involved in one of two big accidents for the Williams team in Monaco two weeks ago. There was a lot of chat about the Brazilian throwing his steering wheel out of the cockpit and onto the track as he precariously faced the wrong way at the top of the hill near Massenet. Apparently that wheel has been fixed and is now on the team's simulator. Meanwhile, the team have had a delay in getting the latest version of their cars ready for this weekend as they ran out of time after the shunts of Barrichello and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen on Twitter: "First session OK, no problems. Tried different ride-height settings in car, T8 dominates set-up direction. Next session - tyre comparison."

Hispania driver Bruno Senna on Twitter: "Sakon [Yamamoto] got good mileage and my car ran reliably. Now I'm ready to start my weekend."

1140: Just in case you haven't noticed, there is the little matter of a football World Cup about to start in South Africa. The event has even infiltrated the world of F1, with the drivers ribbing each other about it during their press conference. There was a wonderful moment when Michael Schumacher (from Germany) said to Mark Webber (from Australia): "I'm sorry for you Mark, but…" - only for Brazilian Rubens Barrichello to interject: "Yeah, I'm sorry for both of you." So there. Read more on Sarah Holt's latest blog.

1137: Remember you can have your 15 minutes of fame by getting involved in this commentary. Text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with F1 before your message, tweet me on Twitter, or get involved on 606. Over to you.

1133: So here's to a livelier second practice session, although I doubt Force India's Adrian Sutil will concur with those thoughts after that nasty crash at the end of FP1. According to the team, there is some "damage to the front right suspension" of Adrian's car but they "hope to repair it in time for FP2".

1130: And we're back. How was your breakfast? I indulged in some wheat-based healthiness during the break. No gorgeous fried nonsense for me - you don't get a body like mine by eating muck like that.

0949: Good news from Force India there. The report for FP1 is now up, you have a gander over your brekkie why don't you? Time to sign off - I'll be back at 1130 BST for the second session. Laters.

Force India on Twitter: Adrian back to the garage, he said he had understeer and went off into the marbles, which then put him into the barriers. He is fine despite it being an off into Turn Eight, the quickest part of the track."

sumairhashmi on Twitter: "I don't think Michael Schumacher is struggling to find his old form, I think Mercedes are struggling to find the right car."

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "More degradation on the prime tyre than we expected in this session."

BBC 5 live analyst Anthony Davidson: "The important question is have Red Bull mastered that f-duct or are they not going to run it over the weekend?"

0937: BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos says that Force India have not yet been able to go through the replays to work out what caused Sutil's accident. That really was a nasty moment.

0932: How did it finish, I hear you cry? Here we go: Hamilton (1:28.653), Button (1:29.615), Schumacher (1:29.750), Rosberg (1:29.855), Vettel (1:29.867), Kubica (1:30.061), Petrov (1:30.065), Webber (1:30.097), Alonso (1:30.294) and Sutil (1:30.501).

0930: Session over.

BBC 5 live analyst Anthony Davidson: "He's managed to hit the barrier on the exit to Turn Eight so he's travelled a long, long way and it was a high-speed crash. That would have been pretty scary for Sutil. He must have lost the rear very violently. Lucky boy to walk away from that one."

0929: Hamilton is heard on his radio telling his team: "I'm surprised there wasn't a red flag, that was a big crash."

BBC 5 live analyst Anthony Davidson: "So far we haven't heard any driver come on to the radio and say anything good about their car. That's because of the dustiness of the track which is affecting the tyres."

0928: We are now seeing replays of the incident. Sutil loses the car coming out of the high-speed Turn Eight. He flies into the tyre wall, destroying the front of his Force India, but he walks away seemingly unhurt.

0927: Big crash for Sutil - the yellow flags are out.

0924: Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi visits the grass after running wide, I couldn't see exactly where though, but he is quickly back out on to the track. Six minutes to go.

BBC 5 live analyst Anthony Davidson: "Turn Eight - which I say has three apexes not four because you don't really hit the first one - governs your ride-height for the rest of the track. You have to get it right round there. You want the car as close to the floor as possible without touching. It's a pretty scary ride for the drivers through there."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Disappointing for Di Grassi. He's bottom of drivers to set a time. It's the first time he's been given the same revised Virgin car as Glock."

0918: Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher is not happy. "I don't know what is going on, I am struggling quite a bit with the car," he tells his team. They reply that it could be that fact that the wind has picked up at Istanbul Park.

0913: Force India's Adrian Sutil, who is 10th fastest so far this morning, reports that there is very little grip out on the track. The McLarens of Button and Hamilton seem to have heavier fuel loads at the moment as they are not threatening their own quickest times.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Istanbul: "Bruno Senna may have surrendered his Hispania seat to reserve driver Sakon Yamamoto on Friday morning but he's looking forward to the new-look car appearing now the Spanish team have split with chassis manufacturer Dallara. Hispania were understood to be surprised that the Italian company didn't provide them with any updated parts over the first six races and are now expected to use Toyota's former facilities in Cologne to build their own car under the expert eye of former Williams and Red Bull designer Geoff Willis. Senna says: 'The project was out of our hands; now at least we have the tools to start working on the car and hopefully get some performance updates. Lack of continuity can only hurt for a small time. Geoff is a person who is quite capable. We believe that getting the new design by Silverstone [on 9-11 July] would be a great, great push but it's more realistic by (the next race in) Germany.'"

Virgin Racing on Twitter: "Track now looking a lot better - earlier Timo [Glock] was reporting it's dirtier than other years. And oh, it's hot!"

0906: Rosberg moves up to third place with a 1:29.855 while Renault's Vitaly Petrov is in sixth after a 1:30.065. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso is currently resting in ninth with a best of 1:30.294 while Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa is 12th with a 1:30.867.

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Early days but gap to the midfield looks much closer."

0900: There's been plenty of news knocking around this week, and I'm not just talking about Mick Hucknall being installed as the lead singer of the Faces. Words fail me. One of the main stories is that F1 will be returning to the United States from 2012. The race will be held in Austin, Texas and is planned to run until 2021.

0855: Rosberg briefly stops at the entrance to the pit lane but Ted Kravitz reports that it was not a mechanical problem, the German driver had simply selected the wrong setting as he came in and just moved over so that he wouldn't block anyone.

0852: All change on the timings list now. Hamilton sets a 1:28.653 then it is McLaren team-mate Jenson Button (1:29.615), Schumacher (1:29.897), Vettel (1:29.943), Webber (1:30.097) and Kubica (1:30.118).

0848: Vettel improves to a 1:30.471 before Renault's Robert Kubica, who impressed when finishing third in Monaco, goes top with a 1:30.471. Here's what the Pole said about this race during the week: "We've taken our opportunities when the car has been strong, as we did in Monaco. So I think we can be very pleased with what we have achieved and proud of all the hard work at the factory to bring new parts for the car every weekend. But we know there is still a long way to go this season, and we need to continue pushing hard and improving the car."

0845: Vettel is on a couple of fliers now. He sets the quickest time of 1:30.840. Chandhok is interviewed on the Red Button and he jokes that he was coasting because the team "just wanted to get some TV time". "It is something electronic I think," he adds. "We will lose a bit of time but the track is so green that it is not really a problem. The circuit does not get used and it is so dirty off line."

0842: Up pops Alguersuari with a 1:32.071, then it is Kovalainen with a 1:32.161. Jarno Trulli sets a 1:32.990 in his Lotus with Yamamoto fourth with a 1:37.082. And that's it, although Schumacher and Vettel are both on the track.

0840: Not for the first time this season we have pictures of a very sick-looking Hispania crawling its way around the track. "The engine has gone off, the car is just coasting," says a distressed Karun Chandhok. After what seems like an eternity, he makes it back to the pits.

0836: There are now four drivers who have set times. The Lotus of Heikki Kovalainen is top with a 1:32.357 then it is Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari with a 1:32.409.

njayhya on Twitter: "Anyone else think that if Alonso doesn't make another mistake he can win this weekend?"

Mercedes GP on Twitter: "Nico Rosberg heads out for his first proper run of the day whilst Michael Schumacher's getting ready to get back into the car."

Pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Lewis Hamilton had both ears pierced last week in Los Angeles and when you get them pierced for the first time you have to leave the studs in for three to four weeks to allow the hole to develop. However, that would contravene article 2.2.1 appendix L of the sporting regulations, which states that the wearing of jewellery is prohibited. A few years ago Vitantonio Liuzzi had his eyebrow pierced and he had to have it the ring removed before racing because the medical teams said they didn't like piercings."

0830: Yamamoto comes in to the pits to end his first run. His best time is 1:37.082.

0826: We are just getting pictures of Yamamoto's Hispania bouncing around under braking. Something flies off the car too. To be honest, that wouldn't fill me with a lot of confidence.

0825: Oh no he isn't. He dives into the pits. Boooo. Hang on, we have a time. It's Yamamoto and he sets a 1:38.785. At last.

0823: Vettel is on a fast lap... yippee.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "By the way, during this post installation lull, I should tell you rumours are spreading of a new forecast for light rain on race day."

Renault F1 on Twitter: "Weather's nice again this morning, full blue sky: air temp 26C, track temp 31C."

Oliver_Winconek on Twitter: "Hamilton and Button will be driving the wheels off the MP4-25, I just hope it's enough to keep the Red Bulls at bay."

0812: BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz reveals that Mark Webber will not be running Red Bull's version of the 'f-duct' system for this session but team-mate Vettel will. Former Spyker and Super Aguri driver Sakon Yamamoto is in Bruno Senna's Hispania seat for FP1.

slybacons on Twitter: "I think its about time we see Hamilton pull up his socks and show the nation his true class. Come on Hamilton, light 'em up!"

0808: No times posted as yet. There is lots of chat on on the Red Button about Lewis Hamilton's new earings and whether he is allowed to keep them in while in the car. Can't say I've had that problem myself.

BBC F1 commentator David Croft on the Red Button: "Michael Schumacher never won here before - it is the only track on the calendar that he has raced on that he has never won on."

0803: And we are off. You will not be surprised that it's sunny at Istanbul Park. Most of the cars are out for their installation laps.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Istanbul: "It's a little over 1,000 miles from Monaco to Istanbul, the teams' freight has been shipped from Italy and long since unpacked but after 12 days without racing one question remains - can anyone catch Red Bull? The answer from the leading drivers was a resounding 'no. To make matters worse, Red Bull have arrived in Turkey with another significant update and for the first time during Friday practice they will try out their version of the aerodynamic device the f-duct - and there are four places along Turkey's straights they could deploy it to garner more straight-line speed. Force India will also try out their f-duct here but reserve driver Paul di Resta sits out a Friday session for the first time. McLaren introduced the f-duct to F1 and according to Lewis Hamilton they arrive in Turkey with a new rear wing and a slightly new front wing."

0751: Just a quick reminder of the schedule for today. First practice starts at 0800 BST for 90 minutes with second practice beginning at 1200 BST. The live stream is about to get going on the Red Button and at the top of this commentary. While we are talking about the stream, could you give this page a cheeky manual refresh for me to get the right feed? Awesome.

mike_in_Beijing on Twitter: "I'd like to see Massa winning on Sunday. He deserves a seat in next year's Ferrari."

0746: However, Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher is not so confident, saying Red Bull are "driving in their own world". What do you think, who will come out on top this weekend? You know the drill by now, text me on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with F1 before your message, tweet me on Twitter, or get involved on 606 (from 0900 BST). Lovely.

0739: So opinion is divided as to whether Red Bull can be caught in Turkey. McLaren's Lewis Hamilton believes the MP4-25 will be "back in its element" at Istanbul Park while McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale is also bullish, saying that Red Bull can be beaten. Don't know which joker wrote that last story by the way.

0734: Hello you. Welcome to our coverage of the seventh race of the 2010 season. Doesn't time fly when you're having fun? So then, Webber made it two wins out of two with victory in Monaco and he now leads the championship with team-mate Sebastian Vettel joining him on 78 points. The big question is - can anyone stop those Red Bulls?

0730: Two weeks ago, Mark Webber celebrated his victory in Monaco by taking a dip in the team's swimming pool. Will he be having a Turkish bath this weekend, or will it be someone else's turn for a bit of Turkish delight? (That's the end of the puns, promise). As if you haven't guessed by now, it's the er... Turkish Grand Prix.

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