McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was fastest in opening practice for this weekend's F1 2011 Singapore Grand Prix, although the event got off to an inauspicious start due to problems with the track.
Running was due to begin at 18.00 hours local time [11 am UK time], however, officials had to delay the start by 30 minutes after the new kerbing at turns 3 and 14 was damaged in the earlier support event.
To keep to the schedule there was no extension to FP1, and later on another problem with the kerbing, this time at turn 7, after Felipe Massa ran wide, saw running further reduced, although this time only by a couple of minutes. That wasn't the only red flag moment though, as earlier in the session, Heikki Kovalainen had to park his Lotus at turn 18 due to a gearbox issue. His front brakes then overheated and caught fire, with another five minutes lost as a result.
In the end, Hamilton's best lap, a 1 minute 48.599 seconds, put him four tenths up on Sebastian Vettel, who in turn was a second up on his Red Bull team-mate, Mark Webber. Webber managed to damage his front wing at one point after making contact with Timo Glock near the end of the lap.
Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa meanwhile came in fourth and sixth for Ferrari, sandwiching Jenson Button's McLaren, while Force India's Adrian Sutil and Mercedes man Michael Schumacher completed the top eight followed by their respective team-mates, Paul di Resta and Nico Rosberg in ninth and tenth.
Further back Rubens Barrichello, Jaime Alguersuari, Pastor Maldonado and the Sauber's of Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi filled positions 11 through to 15. The Lotus Renault's of Bruno Senna and Vitaly Petrov were a disappointing 16th and 18th, split by Sebastien Buemi's Toro Rosso.
Of the 'newer' teams, Jarno Trulli led the way for Team Lotus, ahead of Kovalainen (who did just eight laps after his gearbox issue) and then the Virgins of Glock and Jerome d'Ambrosio and the HRT's Daniel Ricciardo and Narain Karthikeyan. Karthikeyan was using Vitantonio Liuzzi's car to get in some miles prior to his return outing in front of his home fans in India next month.
To see the full times from F1 2011 Singapore Grand Prix - Free Practice 1: CLICK HERE