Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012

Vettel leads Hulkenberg in second practice

2012 European Grand Prix second practicePosted on Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012Sebastian Vettel was quickest in the second practice session for the European Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver, winner of the last two races at the Valencia street circuit, set a quickest time of 1’39.334. It was another close session with the top 15 covered by 0.910s.

Five different teams appeared in the top five but several of the usual suspects were missing including McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus. Nico Hulkenberg was second for Force India, followed by Kamui Kobayashi, Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna.

Pastor Maldonado led the early running in the session, returning to the top of the time after leading the first session.

He traded fastest times with Jenson Button, the McLaren driver them being pipped by team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso then took over at the top but the other local driver ran into trouble.

Pedro de la Rosa brought out the yellow flags halfway through the session when he crashed at turn 14. The HRT undesteered wide in the corner and came to a swift halt in the tyre wall. The driver fortunately climbed out uninjured.

This disrupted the efforts of several drivers to improve their times using the soft tyres. Some found the softer rubber gave them only one chance to improve their times.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.334 33
2 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’39.465 0.131 32
3 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.595 0.261 20
4 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’39.601 0.267 27
5 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’39.644 0.310 34
6 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’39.700 0.366 32
7 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’39.733 0.399 34
8 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’39.868 0.534 33
9 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’39.901 0.567 30
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’39.926 0.592 32
11 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’39.945 0.611 34
12 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’39.990 0.656 33
13 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’40.075 0.741 29
14 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’40.147 0.813 25
15 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’40.244 0.910 35
16 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.511 1.177 29
17 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’40.963 1.629 20
18 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.121 1.787 32
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’41.197 1.863 38
20 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’41.263 1.929 29
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.424 3.090 21
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.958 3.624 30
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’44.201 4.867 33
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’44.260 4.926 12

2012 European Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

32 comments on “Vettel leads Hulkenberg in second practice”

  1. Vettel looks very good for this race. The car is well suited to the track, he is on good form, and his previous history at Valencia is stunning. First double winner of the year.

    1. Yeah, looks like Vettel has got this one. The Ferrari is not quite there yet in terms of pure pace, but they have leap frogged MacLaren who seem to be going backwards in terms of development! They are in danger of being swamped by the not so mid-field teams this weekend!

      1. Yeah, looks like Vettel has got this one.

        I’m amazed that you seem to think you can predict the outcome of the race based on a single lap time.

        If I remember rightly, Vettel was looking pretty strong during practice in Canada, too …

    2. He hasn’t won yet. I believe that predicting the results of this season is nonsensical. For instance, I expected Vet to win Canadian GP. Obviously, he was lacking pace compared to Ham and Alo. So, what is it gonna be?

      1. Well, not really. He let HAM at the start and pulled out a bit of a lead. Had he pitted earlier he could have won the race. Overall, HAM probably was a little faster, but it was marginal at best.

        1. but they have leap frogged MacLaren who seem to be going backwards in terms of development!

          It’s extremely difficult for someone to actually agree with that, to an extent no one has even spoken of who’s got the fastest package overall never mind being certain, because of the unpredictability of this season so far.

  2. I don’t think one session has ever seen so many lock-ups. Interesting stuff. If it continues through to qualy, there could be some big teams/drivers dropping out earlier than expected.

  3. I wonder how the Force India’s true pace will be in qualifying. Mallya said during the week that FI were ‘close’ to being on the podium, and I’ve also read about general rumblings the team have been making since Canada about how they’ve ‘learned’ from Canada and improved a lot. Maybe they have a surprise in store this weekend?

  4. It’s good to see Button on pace with Lewis. However, for pole my money is on Vettel who has a great change to claim his second win this year but if Lewis manages P2 in Q3 we will have a battle.

  5. Ham for pole!
    Mclaren has been leap frogged by ferrari? when did this happen? before or after the last race won by a Mclaren?
    as has been demonstrated this season, a mid field team can win a race, all u need to do is have fresh tires and track position towards the end of a race

    1. Mclaren has been leap frogged by ferrari? when did this happen? before or after the last race won by a Mclaren?

      Ferrari were already slightly quicker than Mclaren at both Monaco and Canada imo. It was only a matter of strategic mistakes the last GP.

      1. I don’t get this, EVERYONE seems to think that the Canadian GP was a Ferrari win, lost due to strategy, but leading up Hamilton’s final pitstop, Hamilton was leading the race, so stop or not, he’d probably have won the race anyway. All Alonso or Ferrari did wrong was throw away a podium.

        1. No, I don’t think Hamilton could have resisted against Alonso if Ferrari had chosen to give him new supersoft at the same time. Race was not remained much so supersoft’s superior performance would have outperformed Hamilton.

  6. I can only say that the Force India’s never looked that competitive on the previous FP’s for the last seven race. If they can manage there rear tyre degradation issues ,they can definitely bang the nails here. Hopefully they will. Williams are strong with the slow corner traction’s so they are a possibility too. But my money will go for the Lotus and the McLarens.

  7. Lots of people being brave & predicting pole sitters & race winners based on FP times… I’m not following suit. I think fast practice laps will have very little to do with the outcome of this race, & those slower teams may well have the beating of the big guns: as every race so far this season has proven, tire management & strategy (as well as trouble free pitstops… Yeah, I’m talking to you McLaren) will prove more decisive. Should be a very interesting race, even though it’s Valencia.

    1. Lots of people being brave & predicting pole sitters & race winners based on FP times… I’m not following suit.

      Exactly. Especially since today’s temperatures were quite low compared to what we should expect for tomorrow and Sunday. That could provide some twists and turns.

      However, Vettel still has the first chance if I’m to be asked. He was fairly quick all day today, he loves this track, the temperature suits the car, RBR appear to have nailed the setup again and strategy-wise, I have a feeling they will be extra cautious this time. It should be a perfect weekend for Red Bull, unless of course someone else plans to have a say in it. I’d keep a close eye on Alonso, Schumacher, Grosjean and on those Sauber strategists…to be honest.

      Force India seem to be able to take some points home on Sunday as well.
      At the other end…I’m amazed by how low Torro Rosso seem to have fallen…

      1. Force India seem to be able to take some points home on Sunday as well.
        At the other end…I’m amazed by how low Torro Rosso seem to have fallen…

        Not necessarily fallen back, their two inexperience drivers are hindering them, especially at this track but I think it’s mainly due to Caterham gaining rather than them losing.

        1. Caterham have taken a huge step forward, no doubt there. But in terms of pace, Torro Rosso have started the season lapping in the same tenth of a second with the Force Indias. That gap has now increased up to 1.5 seconds… There’s something wrong with that car. The other teams have progressed and they’ve been left behind for one reason or another.

          I definitely wouldn’t blame the drivers. Both Ricciardo & Vergne drove very good races in Melbourne & Malaysia. Those weren’t results gained by context (like you-know-who’s win).

  8. Still a very competitive session, keeps us guessing! Plus most of the drivers have done more laps than in FP1 which only reinforces how competitive everything is. With the long held belief that Valencia doesn’t produce good races then this puts the emphasis on qualifying to produce the goods and it looks like it will!

  9. Teams that have impressed me so far in free practice are Force India & Caterham, I can see them as dark-horses in their respective positions if they’re able to maintain their strong pace through qualifying & the race, when the temperatures will be higher.

    At the top end however, Willliams & RB’s good traction is really doing it’s job in the final sector (Lotus as well) whilst the McLarens are losing a bit there, someone said to watch out for their straight line speed. Mentioning Lotus, in the form of Grosjean, their high fuel runs looks the strongest If not one of the strongest, consistently in the 1:44s while the others (RB,Ferrari, McLarens) are in the 1:45s again the fuel loads could be deceiving but as expected the Lotuses are right up there although again, it’s difficult to call because it’s only practice. Qualifying looks a bit mysterious for me as I can only think of Vettel & the McLarens going aggressive in quali but struggling in the race (like in Bahrain).

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