Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2013

Vettel on top as gearbox glitch halts Alonso

2013 Indian Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Buddh International Circuit, 2013Sebastian Vettel headed a Red Bull one-two in the first practice session for the Indian Grand Prix.

However his only remaining championship rival Fernando Alonso suffered a blow as an apparent gearbox failure forced an early end to his session. The Ferrari driver crept back into the pits without changing gear having completed just half-a-dozen laps.

Vettel’s best time, set on medium tyres, was almost a full second faster than the best time in the same session last year, when the drivers were on hard tyrs.

Mark Webber was second, less than two tenths of a second behind Vettel, with a slender gap over third-placed Nico Rosberg.

There was a large gap between the Lotus drivers, Romain Grosjean fourth on a 1’26.990 and Kimi Raikkonen 1.8 seconds down on that in 17th, indicating the the pair were on very different programmes.

Lewis Hamilton moved up to fifth late in the running after a few lock-ups earlier on. He also caused some consternation at Force India by holding up Adrian Sutil in the final few laps before the chequered flag. “I don’t know what Hamilton’s doing, he seemed to slow down every time we wanted a lap,” said Sutil’s engineer Brad Joyce.

The two McLarens appeared in the top ten along with Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas. The other Williams of Pastor Maldonado was 14th following a spin.

James Calado, the only reserve driver participating in the session, also suffered a spin at turn 15 without damaging his Force India.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’26.683 24
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’26.871 0.188 17
3 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’26.899 0.216 23
4 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’26.990 0.307 20
5 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’27.227 0.544 21
6 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’27.335 0.652 23
7 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’27.416 0.733 23
8 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’27.692 1.009 21
9 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’27.770 1.087 19
10 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’27.800 1.117 23
11 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.035 1.352 25
12 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’28.214 1.531 6
13 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.336 1.653 18
14 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’28.342 1.659 21
15 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’28.468 1.785 20
16 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.538 1.855 28
17 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’28.730 2.047 18
18 14 James Calado Force India-Mercedes 1’29.197 2.514 22
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’29.413 2.730 24
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’29.560 2.877 20
21 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’30.026 3.343 23
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’30.471 3.788 17

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