Vettel leads McLarens in second practice

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix second practice

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Yas Marina, 2012Sebastian Vettel headed the times in second practice at Yas Marina.

Vettel took to the top of the times straight after the session began but was pegged back by Lewis Hamilton at first.

McLaren appeared to be a match for Red Bull on the medium tyres. Hamilton set a 1’42.095 which was around half a second quicker than Vettel could manage on the same rubber.

But when the teams switch to the soft tyres Vettel found much more time. A 1’41.751 put him ahead of Hamilton by 0.168s. Mark Webber was fourth-fastest behind the other McLaren of Jenson Button.

Webber’s session came to an early end after a leak was seen on his car. During the session Webber’s RB8 was also observed to be touching the ground at the T-tray when he had DRS open, kicking up sparks as Vettel’s had done in India.

The two Lotuses were next, Romain Grosjean fractionally faster than Kimi Raikkonen. The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were seventh and eighth.

Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez completed the top ten. Nico Hulkenberg was 13th for Force India after a KERS failure on his car.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’41.751 34
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.919 0.168 34
3 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’42.412 0.661 36
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’42.466 0.715 21
5 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’42.500 0.749 34
6 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’42.532 0.781 28
7 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’42.587 0.836 31
8 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’42.823 1.072 33
9 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’42.998 1.247 37
10 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’43.106 1.355 36
11 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’43.191 1.440 34
12 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’43.200 1.449 36
13 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’43.255 1.504 34
14 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’43.267 1.516 32
15 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’43.578 1.827 34
16 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’43.689 1.938 32
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’44.260 2.509 27
18 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’45.073 3.322 19
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’45.245 3.494 36
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’45.782 4.031 33
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’46.589 4.838 36
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’46.674 4.923 22
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’46.707 4.956 26
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’47.406 5.655 35

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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30 comments on Vettel leads McLarens in second practice

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 2nd November 2012, 14:38

    Bounce back from Lotus is quite unexpected…and unpleasant for the show! It was strange that Hamilton rarely improved his best time with the option. Another option/prime optimization failure? Alonso looked good in longer stint but I have a bad feeling that it might end here…

    • Estesark (@estesark) said on 2nd November 2012, 14:44

      I wouldn’t say it’s unpleasant for the show. I think it’s nice to see a few different teams doing well, as we did at the start of the season. Alonso has excelled in making the most of bad situations this year, so if his Ferrari is slower than the Lotus, he’ll just have to pull out another top-drawer performance to keep his title hopes alive and healthy. Isn’t that something to look forward to?

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 2nd November 2012, 14:46

        Its a dynamic I am really in favour of.

      • Eggry (@eggry) said on 2nd November 2012, 14:55

        @estesark Yeah, it might be good for the race. but if Alonso starts behind both Mclaren, Red Bull and even Lotus then he couldn’t make significant progress which means he should finish ahead of Vettel, the championship would not be good for sure. That’s what I meant. of course it’s possible Alonso can outpace all of them in front of him but you know…

      • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 2nd November 2012, 15:01

        It is indeed something to look forward to, but to me personally, it’d feel a little unrewarding to show the best of performances I have in me, consistently for seasons in a row but not receive the reward that I so much seek. Alonso might feel differently about that.
        Also it wouldn’t be wise to write him off after free practice.

    • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 2nd November 2012, 15:28

      Räikkönen said that his car had enough speed to even fight for a victory in India, but he made a bad call and changed set ups after 3rd practice.

  2. Ivan B (@njoydesign) said on 2nd November 2012, 14:43

    To say that ferrari failed to impress is akin to being silent… At this rate they will be starting behind Lotuses. Then our only title hope will be Grosjean’s aiming skills.

    Caterham seem to have imporved, at least some revelation.

  3. Todfod (@todfod) said on 2nd November 2012, 14:48

    I would be shocked if this wasn’t another pole to chequered flag victory for Sebastian.

    I question if Ferrari even know what they’re doing on car development…

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 2nd November 2012, 14:59

      I’d like to be shocked :D

    • ka (@ka12) said on 2nd November 2012, 15:02

      Seb looks good on Option tires, but Lewis is faster on Prime. So I would tip Seb for Pole, Lewis for a Win.
      same as you, I don’t see any improvement from Ferrari relating to the gap with the front.

    • infy (@infy) said on 2nd November 2012, 15:26

      This track is one that favors traction, which is where the Reno engine and Mclaren handling tend to do well. So of the two reno cars and Mcalren team, Ferrari are fourth which could have been expected.

      Ferrari will need to setup their car for race performance in the hopes that they can make up places in the DRS zone on Sunday.

    • artificial racer said on 2nd November 2012, 18:36

      Hamilton and Vettel take each other out in the first corner. Podium is BUT, WEB, ALO.

      VET gets a flat, or gearbox issue, or alternator, or KERS failure, or gets rear-ended during a safety car or on the way to the grid, or…

      Red Bull botch VET’s pit stop (aren’t they overdue for this by now?)

      VET blocks someone in qualy and gets penalized, and either ends up disqualified or rammed off the road by a Sauber.

      (Just saying, there are tons of things that can go wrong for VET and the points gap is small.)

  4. Hamilton’s Mclaren was going to top the sheets if it weren’t for traffic. It is not going to be an easy road to Pole for Vettel.

  5. Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 2nd November 2012, 15:02

    Well, it looks interesting. It will probably be quite close tomorrow and on Sunday between Vettel and Hamilton.
    I think Ferrari can’t do much more than that. They tried a lot of things, but the car is just not suited to this kind of track. Let’s see what they can do for the rest of the weekend, but the podium seems to be far away.

  6. Bounce back from Lotus, McLaren’s on par with Red Bull, Ferrari 4th team on the grid, Williams getting in the mix for the top ten and Caterham up Torro Rosso’s rear wings.

    Well, this is shaping into an unexpectedly interesting weekend…

  7. katederby (@katederby) said on 2nd November 2012, 15:20

    With all the issues on one RB8 of late, I’d have thought that was cause for hope for the excitement of the championship… if it happens on the other Red Bull car.

  8. Jono (@me262) said on 2nd November 2012, 15:20

    why was weber’s car setup for wet weather?

  9. ranveer said on 2nd November 2012, 15:21

    i pity f1 fans coz next year had lewis stayed with mclaren,there was a chance that he wud hv pushed red bull nd in all certainity would have won.because ferreri are not the ones good at car development but maclaren can really tame that bull..i m predicting a 4th w.c for the rocketship pilot…wht apity

    • John Well said on 2nd November 2012, 15:37

      How many titles does he have in 5 years with them?
      Sometime change is good. McLaren are like Arsenal. They never want to win. All they are looking for is to finish second or third. Just look 2007, even 2008 and this year.

      • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 2nd November 2012, 17:28

        Mclaren are like Arsenal.

        Haha, I’ve always thought that!

        Referring back to FP, Red Bull have a slight edge over McLaren on one-lap pace on the options with the same being the case in favour of McLaren on the primes. Both teams had strong long-runs as well as Ferrari although I’m convinced that the latter was running a slightly lighter fuel load.

        Williams looks as though they’re best of the midfield at least over one-lap, with their good traction aiding them in S3 coupled with their straight-line speed aiding them in S2, not certain about their race pace.

        Whatever marginal gaps we find in the qualifying sims between the front-runners in FP3 can easily vary on track and air temperatures, particularly when it’s much brighter then than in qualifying so I wouldn’t read into FP3 as much as everyone would usually do.

    • Wow, posted from a phone? It isn’t twitter! There is no character limit.

      On another note, it looks to be an interesting weekend. I would imagine, assuming Lewis doesn’t do something odd with his setup, we will have him and Seb fighting for pole. But then historically, the RB8 has had some quick lap times in it, often not seen in FP.

      Either way, looking forward to quali and an exciting Sunday.

  10. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 2nd November 2012, 16:46

    If Alonso starts from 5th-8th-ish and Vettel 1st-2nd-ish then Alonso will most likely won’t be able to finish ahead of Vettel. And a 20-point or so advantage will 50 to play for in the USA and Brazil will all but decides the title barring a huge slice of fortune/misfortune.

    I’m not happy with the way things are going the direction of the above scenario.

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 2nd November 2012, 17:39

      I agree – after all that’s happened this season and to end with the same situation as in recent seasons is frankly ridiculous. Partly due to McLaren’s inability to make the most of their considerable advantage at the beginning of the season plus their operational issues in their pit-stops severely hindered Hamilton’s title bid ultimately as well as Button’s mid-season dip in form not helping their cause whatsoever in the Constructors Championship.

      One part of me really sympathises for McLaren in that it’s the most incredulous season for a while when they produce the fastest car at the beginning of a season.

    • xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 2nd November 2012, 21:58

      Basically, if Vettel wins 2 races, regardless of where Alonso is, then Vettel is champion.

  11. Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 2nd November 2012, 17:11

    Well, one can tip Lewis to hit the pole as McLaren looks like the team to beat in S2 and S3 but Lewis was struggling to switch on with primes and that’s were Seb will come into his own. Whatever happens, I fancy another Lewis-Seb front row for the 4th year in running!

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 2nd November 2012, 18:51

    Qualifying as ever will be important but I think there’s a lot to be said for the changing temperature conditions on the circuit come race day.

  13. last year Seb had a tyre puncture in the opening lap. Something lilke that can happen again and Alonso is back in the game.

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