iconimg Monday, July 06, 2015

Vinayak Pande, Hindustan Times
Greater Noida, October 26, 2012
Two-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel showed exactly why Lewis Hamilton feared a Red Bull Racing walkover at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida by topping the first free practice session on Friday with a time of 1:27.619.

Three of the top four drivers, as a matter of fact, in the session were also classified in the top four at the first free practice session at last year's inaugural F1 race weekend.

Trailing Vettel was McLaren's Jenson Button, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull's Mark Webber.

The fastest time, however was 0.783 seconds slower than the fastest time in first practice last year as drivers complained of the track being 'green' due to no racing having taken place on it since last year's race.

Sebastian Vettel (R) and Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko cover their ears inside their team garage during the first practice session of the Indian GP at the Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida. Reuters Photo

New tyre compounds brought by F1's tyre supplier Pirelli mitigated the fact that the circuit was much cleaner than last year, with none of the dust seen at last year's opening session.

Due to the nature of the new tyre compounds, hard and soft for this race, and the low grip of the track drivers also spent a fair amount of time trying to judge the best spots to use the Drag Reduction System (DRS) for qualifying.

The track is expected to get much faster as the weekend wears on and it seems like there won't be any canine invasion either like last year either.

Narain Karthikeyan completed 24 laps in the session setting the 22nd fastest time ahead of the Marussia F1 of Timo Glock and HRT F1 teammate Pedro De La Rosa.

Sebastian Vettel drives his car during the first practice session of The Buddh International circuit in Greater Noida. AFP Photo

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