Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

Vettel leads the way as practice begins in India

2012 Indian Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Sebastian Vettel headed the first practice session at Buddh International Circuit.

The Red Bull driver was over three-tenths of a second faster than his closest rivals.

The session got off to a quiet start as drivers discovered the circuit was low on grip during their installation runs.

The Red Bull drivers didn’t set times until more than half the session had been completed. Mark Webber’s second effort was enough to put him quickest, and he later improved to a 1’28.229.

With just over a quarter of an hour left in the session Hamilton persuaded his engineer to let him do an extra lap at the end of his run, feeling there was more pace in the car. He turned out to be right, producing a 1’28.046 to top the times.

It didn’t take long for Red Bull to reassert themselves but this time it was Vettel on top, edging Hamilton’s time by a hundredth of a second.

With less than two minutes remaining Vettel stretched his advantage, setting a 1’27.619 to move four-tenths of a second clear of Alonso and Hamilton.

Button posted a late improvement with a 1’27.929 putting him in second place.

Nico Rosberg was sixth for Mercedes with Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso also appearing in the top ten.

Esteban Gutierrez took Sergio Perez’s place for the session as the Sauber driver is unwell. “This should help Sergio’s speedy recovery so he is able to drive for the remainder of the weekend,” the team said in a statement.

Gutierrez had a near-miss with the barrier at turn nine and ended the session 20th.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’27.619 22
2 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’27.929 0.310 22
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’28.044 0.425 24
4 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’28.046 0.427 25
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’28.175 0.556 22
6 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’28.447 0.828 25
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’28.542 0.923 24
8 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’28.993 1.374 23
9 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’29.204 1.585 24
10 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’29.291 1.672 24
11 19 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’29.691 2.072 26
12 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’29.760 2.141 23
13 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’29.802 2.183 18
14 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’29.850 2.231 19
15 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’29.895 2.276 19
16 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’30.041 2.422 26
17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’30.401 2.782 23
18 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’30.630 3.011 24
19 20 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’30.896 3.277 20
20 15 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’31.212 3.593 29
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’31.903 4.284 22
22 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’32.125 4.506 24
23 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’32.369 4.750 19
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’32.859 5.240 13

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