Vettel fastest despite delay in second practice

2012 United States Grand Prix second practice

Sebastian Vettel's helmet, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Sebastian Vettel was quickest for the second session in a row at the Circuit of the Americas.

But the Red Bull driver had to spend around half the session in the pits after a water leak was discovered on his car after just three laps.

Mark Webber, who had a similar problem to Vettel in the first session, was second-fastest but over three-quarters of a second slower than his team mate.

He was just eight-thousandths of a second faster than Fernando Alonso. Next were the two McLaren drivers, fourth-placed Lewis Hamilton having a 360-degree spin at one point.

As in the first session several drivers had spins and off-track moments as the track surface offered very little grip. Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov spun in separate incidents at turn one.

Petrov had a near-miss when Michael Schumacher came past him at one point. At almost the same time the other Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen suffered a puncture after being nudged by Jean-Eric Vergne.

The two HRT drivers did practically no running in the first half of the session, but did appear and set times in the second half.

As the session came to an end Pastor Maldonado crawled into the pits with an apparent engine problem, race engineer Xevi Pujolar telling him on the radio to stop the car and turn his engine off.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’37.718 17
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’38.475 0.757 36
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’38.483 0.765 35
4 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.748 1.030 31
5 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.786 1.068 32
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’39.029 1.311 31
7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’39.448 1.730 32
8 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’39.531 1.813 38
9 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’39.653 1.935 36
10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’40.115 2.397 30
11 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’40.166 2.448 32
12 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’40.230 2.512 35
13 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’40.286 2.568 35
14 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.326 2.608 35
15 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.435 2.717 30
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’40.516 2.798 32
17 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’40.700 2.982 34
18 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’41.430 3.712 35
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’42.476 4.758 38
20 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’42.652 4.934 33
21 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’42.846 5.128 38
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’43.538 5.820 38
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’44.453 6.735 16
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’45.114 7.396 20

2012 United States Grand Prix

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42 comments on Vettel fastest despite delay in second practice

  1. Alfie (@alfie) said on 16th November 2012, 20:47

    Might not like it..but Vettel seems absolutely on it.

  2. Gabriel (@naylamp) said on 16th November 2012, 20:47

    They put turns from every other circuit and the most complicated is the 19. Almost everybody went wide in that place.

  3. Traverse Mark Senior (@) said on 16th November 2012, 20:55

    The WDC may very well be decided over the next 48 Hours. I’m sure Alonso would be up for trading places with Vettel upon coming to america, as I doubt the title will swing back in his favour, if Alonso is religious, now might be the time to pray to the holy man upstairs. I fear that Alonso can dolittle to prevent the title returning to the young German, but let’s give credit to Vettel, he has been the golden child of F1 over the past two years. It seems no matter what he does, the WDC keeps finding its way back to its faithful owner like a boomerang, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vet clinches his third consecutive title this weekend…imagine that!

    You have to feel for Alonso, his third WDC has been a long time coming and he’ll probably have to wait another year. Even if Alonso doesn’t win, he has shown that he is very much the distinguished gentlemen of the F1 grid.

  4. I wonder if Vettel will be at all comprised by missing out on the running; currently it doesn’t look like it’s made much difference to his one-lap pace at least.

  5. Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 16th November 2012, 21:09

    2012 WDC & WCC seems to be decided then.

  6. let us wait and see what happens on sunday. given it is a new track, strange things can happen especially from the non-leaders and back markers that could change the race dynamics.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th November 2012, 21:21

    Did somebody order a damp squib?

  8. FI are no where.

  9. F1fanNL (@) said on 16th November 2012, 21:25

    Alonso displaying his maturity once again. Lets call it a friendly wave at a coleague in a Sauber.
    As opposed to Vettel who was constantly shouting and cursing at his engineers to repair that scrapheap. Then took to the track middlefinger held up high while demanding others to let him through.

    Huh, Jacques? :)

  10. Girts (@girts) said on 16th November 2012, 21:39

    Let’s not bury the championship intrigue yet. Vettel certainly looks like the man to beat this weekend but Red Bull are having reliability issues and there is no reason why Alonso could not finish 3rd or even 2nd anyway. And many strange things have happened at Interlagos over the last years. Vettel is the clear favourite but the fat lady hasn’t sung yet.

  11. Palle (@palle) said on 16th November 2012, 21:40

    Good to see Vettel is doing a good job so far. I just hope that things are not decided by some coincidence. McLaren and Lotus seem of the pace compared to last race, and Mercedes seems a little better. They need to do better not to loose a place in the constructors. FI do seem to be in trouble. It will be interesting tomorrow.

  12. schooner (@schooner) said on 16th November 2012, 21:53

    I just bought F1 2012 the other day, and so far I’m just a tick slower than the HRT’s. I might not make the grid on Sunday! lol

  13. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 16th November 2012, 22:07

    Seb and his helmet designer are geniuses ! it says texas rangers on it :)

  14. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 16th November 2012, 23:05

    Seems to me most people are assuming that if Vettel wins the race he’s won the championship. That isn’t the case!

    I would have thought the HRT folks would have been taking advantage of the full 90 minutes to at least get some banker FP times in if their qualifying isn’t up to scratch.

    • PaulT (@pault) said on 16th November 2012, 23:32

      @andrewtanner HRT probably don’t have the money to buy enough fuel to do a full session.

      Seriously, though, there’s been a suggestion that funds are so tight they could have their cars do the formation lap (“starting” in the race and thus fulfilling their F1 contractual obligations), pull into the pits and retire. It would be sad to see that happen….

  15. PaulT (@pault) said on 17th November 2012, 0:18

    The fact that both Red Bulls had water leak problems suggests (among other things)something new and unproven on the cars. New KERS cooling system perhaps?

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 17th November 2012, 8:14

      Could be to do with the KERS. I’m hoping it has more to do with the engine cooling… so our dear friend, the alternator, can make his comeback.

      It’s sad that Ferrari and Alonso fans have to hope for reliability issues on the RB8, but the playing field is not at all levelled since Newey got his game face on.

      • PaulT (@pault) said on 17th November 2012, 11:07

        @todfost Every other team has someone in the same role as Newey, ie responsible for the design of their cars. I don’t think the problem is that Newey is good, rather I think it’s sad the others are not good enough.

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