Vettel quickest before puncture ends his session

2013 Belgian Grand Prix second practice

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Sebastian Vettel led a Red Bull one-two in the second practice session at Spa-Francorchamps but suffered a setback with a quarter of an hour to go.

Vettel limped into the pits with a right-rear puncture during his race fuel run, bringing his session to an early end. The failure will raise concerns of a repeat of the problems seen at Silverstone.

Shortly after Vettel’s puncture Giedo van der Garde had an even more dramatic problem at Stavelot, the car snapping sideways and spinning into the barrier. Van der Garde climbed out of the damaged Caterham unhurt.

Van der Garde had a near-miss with the other Caterham early in the session when his team mate braked too late for the chicane, forcing him wide. “I don’t know what he was doing,” Van der Garde exclaimed. Vettel had to back off to avoid the pair of them as they rejoined the track.

The Red Bull drivers comfortably led the session up until that point. Mark Webber was the first of the pair to set a time on medium tyres but Vettel pipped him by less than six hundredths of a second.

Romain Grosjean was their closest rival, over eight tenths of a second behind. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen had to cut his last run short due to low water pressure.

Despite complaining about poor rear grip earlier in the session Felipe Massa ended up fourth quickest, ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne who impressed for Toro Rosso.

The Mercedes drivers were surprisingly far down the running order, Nico Rosberg ninth and Lewis Hamilton twelfth.

Max Chilton was at the bottom of the times after complaining about a steering problem on his Marussia, which was pulling to the right.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’49.331 22
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’49.390 0.059 34
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’50.149 0.818 34
4 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’50.164 0.833 27
5 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’50.253 0.922 28
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’50.318 0.987 33
7 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’50.510 1.179 21
8 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1’50.536 1.205 27
9 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’50.601 1.270 33
10 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’50.611 1.280 27
11 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’50.629 1.298 30
12 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’50.751 1.420 27
13 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’50.972 1.641 33
14 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’50.991 1.660 28
15 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’51.195 1.864 28
16 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’51.447 2.116 26
17 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’51.568 2.237 28
18 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’51.644 2.313 26
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’53.157 3.826 21
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’53.251 3.920 29
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’53.482 4.151 28
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’54.418 5.087 12

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

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44 comments on Vettel quickest before puncture ends his session

  1. hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 23rd August 2013, 14:38

    Do you think van der Garde might have had a puncture as well?

  2. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 23rd August 2013, 14:42

    I know it’s early, and Spa always bring surprises but… 8 tenths. Wow.

    • Jason (@jason12) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:40

      Hopefully something else can explain that difference.

    • Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:46

      @fer-no65
      I think Ferrari can do better than what they did. Massa’s fastest lap had a couple of mistakes and Alonso couldn’t set a good time due to traffic.
      Mercedes will be strong tomorrow, for sure. 8 tenths from RB to Lotus is realistic, but I think that there will be other cars between them.

    • Everyone was driving at a leisurely pace today. If it’s dry tomorrow (which it probably won’t be) the pole time would be around a minute 47 seconds, dead. More than two seconds faster than anybody was running today, in other words.

  3. mhop (@mhop) said on 23rd August 2013, 14:43

    Can I be first to say that Vettel’s puncture is very ominous. It looked to me like VDG’s crash could also have been caused by a rear right failure.

    If so I think there’s a strong chance that this Grand Prix could be cancelled.

    • Roald (@roald) said on 23rd August 2013, 14:46

      I’ll be very, very angry if that happens. Tomorrow will be my first time watching Formula 1 cars live in action!

    • crr917 (@crr917) said on 23rd August 2013, 14:53

      If the earth splits open and devours the pit crews, cars and drivers, then maybe the race will be cancelled. It’s more likely that FIA/FOM/Mr.E/shareholders/whoeverrunsf1 force teams to do at least 3 pit stops.

      • mhop (@mhop) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:04

        I don’t remember the earth splitting open during Indianapolis 2005. If the tyres aren’t safe then they can’t run the race.

        Look at what has just happened: Vettel had a tyre failure on his loaded tyre, and is quickly followed by VDG in the exact same corner. It *might* be a coincidence but it certainly doesn’t look good to me.

        • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:18

          Indianapolis wasn’t cancelled in 2005 though. It’s a bit premature to start saying one puncture on one car means there’s going to be a repeat of Silverstone. Van Der Garde spinning could be anything. You may be right but so far this definitely isn’t suggestive, let alone proof to me that the tyres are unfit to race.

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:23

            In fairness, Indianapolis wasn’t cancelled because the race organisers felt that it was down the the teams and tyre suppliers to turn up with tyres which would last the race. The difference is that then anyone running Bridgestone tyres was able to run the race without issue. If it did turn out there was a fatal flaw in these Pirelli tyres (which I really doubt..) then I don’t see what choice there would be, really.

        • crr917 (@crr917) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:50

          Tyre changes were not allowed during race in 2005, now they are.

    • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 23rd August 2013, 14:54

      Red Bull’s pace over a single lap does look foreboding for qualifying but I’m convinced Mercedes have a bit in their pockets. Ferrari seem to be struggling to find the ideal set-up in terms of downforce levels, which hinder their FP programme I feel. As for Vettel’s right-rear puncture, I won’t read into anything until there is evidence that points to the cause, besides Vettel is referring to it as a ‘puncture’ and what some don’t know is there is a difference between punctures and delaminations or if you want a term that’s more extreme; explosion.

    • nackavich (@nackavich) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:25

      @mhop We dont get to watch practice in Australia and I only just saw Van der Garde’s crash online, but his correction of the snap oversteer was held for a pretty long time. It was like the car just didn’t want to cooperate. Don’t know, just looked a bit odd. Do we have any idea if it was connected to a puncture?

    • JackySteeg (@jackysteeg) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:30

      A driver boycott is far more likely than cancellation. But even then, I wouldn’t bet on it. There will always be one team who wants to take advantage of the boycott, which will ultimately force everybody else to.

      Of course, if you believe the weather man, then dry tyres may not be used for the rest of the weekend. As far as I can remember, non of the rain tyres have been affected by failures this year.

  4. maybet said on 23rd August 2013, 14:53

    lots of driver didn’t get a clean run apart from rbr duo and grosjean.

    Stop freaking out chaps =)

  5. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 23rd August 2013, 15:13

    Apparently Alonso also had a puncture on his final lap of FP2

  6. Vettel was running a low downforce setup, Webber a high downforce one. Result: they set identical lap times. However Vettel was much faster through the speed trap.

  7. James (@speedking84) said on 23rd August 2013, 16:19

    What is van der Garde talking about “I don’t know what he was doing,”, it was his fault for the incident with Pic.

  8. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 23rd August 2013, 16:43

    I think it will be a close match between Red Bull and Mercedes.
    Despite the results, Mercedes boys seemed up beat on their statements.
    Hard to know what will happen.

  9. Rainman (@rainman) said on 23rd August 2013, 16:52

    Mercedes are running a lot of downforce……if you compare the speed trap, vettel – 305 kmph and Mercedes guys just around 289 kmph, and they are the slowest in the speed trap, that’s a lot of wings on that Mercedes. Although the times don’t show, Merc in a good position for this race.

  10. MNM101 (@mnm101) said on 23rd August 2013, 16:56

    So judging by past events… Mercedes for pole ? and win ?

  11. James (@jamesjames123abc) said on 23rd August 2013, 16:56

    Interesting to compare Vettel and Webber’s sectors in that session, it seems pretty clear that Vettel is running a lot less downforce than his team mate. I’m not sure what Vettel’s/Red Bull’s thinking is but I can only assume they think it’ll be dry for the majority of the race, if not for qualifying too (although it’s likely to be wet tomorrow).

    With it likely to be wet for qualifying, Vettel could struggle quite a bit actually compared to Webber, the Mercedes, Ferraris and maybe even both Lotus cars. Maybe he’s hoping that Red Bull’s superiority in the wet will protect him there, otherwise he might find himself starting around 5th-8th. He’d have the straight-line speed to overtake but, again, if it’s wet for the race, the lack of downforce may hurt him.

    For sure, it’s a gamble, but I think I’d rather have Webber’s setup given the high possibility of rain.

    Cue the Vettel pole and win… :p

    • Shena (@shena) said on 23rd August 2013, 17:42

      I’m sure they are going through lots of number crunching at the moment to figure out which way they should go with. Most likely both drivers run very similar cars tomorrow.

  12. Todfod (@todfod) said on 23rd August 2013, 17:59

    This Adrian Newey domination is getting exhausting

    • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 23rd August 2013, 21:18

      @todfod
      Don’t worry, Red Bull also dominated in Hungary practice. Mercedes usually don’t show their sleeves until qualifying.

    • karter22 (@karter22) said on 23rd August 2013, 22:35

      The whoe RBR domination for me is getting to be annoying… I knew Ferrari would be a big question mark here.
      Seems liket 4th or 5th is the best ALO can lok forward to!

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