Friday, November 2, 2012

Practice Two: Vettel hits the front

As night fell over the Yas Marina circuit, Sebastian Vettel emerged as the driver to beat in FP2, setting the pace on the medium and soft Pirellis ahead of Lewis Hamilton

As the sun set over the Yas Marina circuit and the floodlights came into play, the track temperature dropped dramatically from the earlier session and was some ten seconds cooler.
Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel set the early pace with a 1:43.323 as the drivers quickly got down to business. Lap after lap the German lowered the benchmark, dropping down to a 1:42.730 when he headed into the pits after an seven-lap stint.
While the Red Bull racer was in his garage, Lewis Hamilton, on his 11th lap on the medium tyres, set the timesheets alight, putting in three purple sectors to hit the front by 0.635s despite a call from McLaren to head back into the pits.
Thirty minutes into the session Hamilton was leading ahead of Jenson Button, Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen and Nico Rosberg.
It boiled down to a repeat of first practice as the session progressed with the two McLaren setting the pace ahead of the Red Bulls while Alonso was there and there about.
A switch to the soft yellow-marked Pirellis did not see any massive improvements from the drivers with Jenson Button, Sergio Perez, Mark Webber and the rest all failing to go quicker on the first two or even more hot laps.
Romain Grosjean was the first notable improvement on the soft tyres and he climbed to second place. This sparked a brief run of drivers improving with Vettel taking the lead by 0.039s over Hamilton. Alonso, using the new front wing and the new rear one for the first together, climbed to fifth but was still 0.750s down on Vettel's best.
Vettel increased his lead only for Hamilton to close it while Button climbed to third ahead of Webber, Grosjean and Alonso, the drivers who made up the top six after the first hour of practice.
As the drivers put in lap after lap with a few spins and near encounters with the walls, the track temperature dropped to 30'C and many in the field opted to swap to heavier fuel loads. As such there were no changes to the timesheets with most seven to eight seconds down on their previous best times.
Practice Two concluded with Vettel on top with a 1:41.751, 0.168s ahead of Hamilton, who had a late issue with the downshifts, while Button was a further 0.5s off the pace.
01 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:41.751 33 laps
02 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:41.919 0.168 33 laps
03 Jenson Button McLaren 1:42.412 0.661 35 laps
04 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:42.466 0.715 21 laps
05 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:42.500 0.749 34 laps
06 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:42.532 0.781 27 laps
07 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:42.587 0.836 30 laps
08 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:42.823 1.072 32 laps
09 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:42.998 1.247 37 laps
10 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:43.106 1.355 35 laps
11 Bruno Senna Williams 1:43.191 1.440 33 laps
12 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:43.200 1.449 35 laps
13 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:43.255 1.504 34 laps
14 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:43.267 1.516 31 laps
15 Paul di Resta Force India 1:43.578 1.827 33 laps
16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:43.689 1.938 31 laps
17 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:44.260 2.509 26 laps
18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:45.073 3.322 19 laps
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:45.245 3.494 35 laps
20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:45.782 4.031 32 laps
21 Timo Glock Marussia 1:46.589 4.838 35 laps
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:46.671 4.920 31 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:46.707 4.956 26 laps
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:47.406 5.655 34 laps

Source: planet-F1

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