FP1: Vettel leads the Ferraris in Australia

Friday 15th March 2013, 03:19 by TF1T Staff 

Sebastian Vettel got his championship defence off to the best start with the fastest lap during first practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

The German pipped Ferrari's Felipe Massa to the top spot with a 1:27.211, just under a tenth quicker than the Brazilian who, despite the impressive time, had his share of mistakes as he pushed to find the limit.

Massa's team-mate Fernando Alonso came in third, just ahead of Mercedes new signing Lewis Hamilton who kept Mark Webber at bay in fifth.

Kimi Raikkonen led the times earlier on in the session but fell to sixth ahead of the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg who was half a second down on his new team-mate.

Several drivers explored the outer reaches of the circuit, with turn five proving a problematic area. The dust kicked-up from the cars saw a slippery surface flag brought out - but it wasn't enough to stop Paul di Resta spinning into the gravel in the closing minutes of the session.

Felipe Massa and Giedo van der Garde also took to the grass at stages.

FP1 Times - 2013 Australian Grand Prix:

#DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
01. S. Vettel Red Bull 1:27.211   16
02. F. Massa Ferrari 1:27.289 +0.078 17
03. F. Alonso Ferrari 1:27.547 +0.336 16
04 L. Hamilton Mercedes 1:27.552 +0.341 18
05. M. Webber Red Bull 1:27.668 +0.457 18
06. K. Raikkonen Lotus 1:27.877 +0.666 17
07. N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:28.013 +0.802 17
08. A. Sutil Force India 1:28.426 +1.215 19
09. J. Button McLaren 1:28.440 +1.229 19
10. R. Grosjean Lotus 1:28.520 +1.309 15
11. S. Perez McLaren 1:28.597 +1.386 19
12. N. Hulkenberg Sauber 1:28.786 +1.575 19
13. P. di Resta Force India 1:28.910 +1.699 18
14. P. Maldonado Williams 1:29.443 +2.232 20
15. V. Bottas Williams 1:29.928 +2.717 19
16. G. Gutierrez Sauber 1:30.203 +2.992 17
17. J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:30.729 +3.518 17
18. D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:30.969 +3.758 19
19. J. Bianchi Marussia 1:31.263 +4.052 24
20. M. Chilton Marussia 1:32.176 +4.495 23
21. C. Pic Caterham 1:32.274 +5.063 21
22. G. van der Garde Caterham 1:32.388 +5.177 18

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