Vettel on top as gearbox glitch halts Alonso

2013 Indian Grand Prix first practice

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

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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23 comments on Vettel on top as gearbox glitch halts Alonso

  1. Jay Menon (@jaymenon10) said on 25th October 2013, 7:11

    Signs off the weekend ahead. Hope Nico and Romain can push the Bulls

  2. Mandice said on 25th October 2013, 7:17

    According to BBC, Lotus were testing new stuff on Kimi’s car.

    Now kimi is officially no.2 or even no.3 driver.

    Not that im shocked though. Kimi had often wasting his own setup time for the team to test new stuff on his car in the past. Most notably the PDRS that was proved to be failure ultimately.

    • David Margono (@woshidavid95) said on 25th October 2013, 7:45

      Can’t say I blame Lotus, firstly Raikkonen has ditched them for Ferrari and in ajddition, Grosjean has improved and is regularly outqualifying him; it’s only natural they support Grosjean now.

      • David Margono (@woshidavid95) said on 25th October 2013, 7:46

        addition*

      • Mandice said on 25th October 2013, 7:50

        hah, they have been doing it since 2012.

        Funny how Romain suddenly got the upperhand when Ferrari deal was announced. Of course, it was Romain’s hardwork alone and nothing to do with the team not hoping Kimi to score good results. More points for Kimi = More debt for Lotus

        • Andrea said on 25th October 2013, 8:29

          “More points for Kimi = More debt for Lotus”
          I don’t understand this equation.

          • phildick (@phildick) said on 25th October 2013, 16:04

            It is believed that Kimi has a performance clause in his contract that makes him earn €50.000 for every point scored.

        • David Margono (@woshidavid95) said on 25th October 2013, 9:13

          I don’t know where you got that idea from (Supporting Grosjean over Raikkoken in 2012? When and where?) but I suggest you stop spouting nonsense, if they wanted Raikkonen to stop scoring so many points they would have told him to move over for Grosjean in Korea which they didn’t, did they? And FYI, Grosjean’s improvemrnt started from the German Grand Prix which was before the contract was announced so honestly, stop.

        • Boomerang said on 25th October 2013, 9:15

          F1 car is developed around a driver. It seems perfectly sane they were concentrated to please Kimi and direct development in favor of his preferences. However, it seems perfectly sane at this point to concentrate on Romain ’cause guy is staying with them and the other one is leaving.

        • Yes i’m sure Lotus don’t want Kimi to win points which could potentially win them second place in the constructor’s championship worth tens of millions in prize money alone.

          • robbyvert said on 25th October 2013, 9:31

            you right no 2 in custructor championship is primary for lotus now, so they can pay him. Maybe because the oversteer promblem, i hope he got good start, because only him can beat redbull now if he got good qualify because he’s better when race than grosjean

        • Roald (@roald) said on 25th October 2013, 9:25

          That’s just dumb, a better result in the constructor’s championship will earn them a lot more than they’ll ever have to pay Raikkonen.

        • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 25th October 2013, 10:11

          Some Kimi fans amaze me, sometimes.

    • Damon said on 25th October 2013, 11:31

      Basically there’s not much between the pair of them, Romain arguably has the speed whereas Kimi has the safer more consistant pair of hands. Give either driver preferential treatment and you’ll notice a big performance gap. At the start of the season Kimi was dominating, now the tables have been turned.

  3. What a laugh by Alonso with de la Rosa & Gene inthe garage. It’s been a long time we didn’t see him that way during a F1 weekend.

  4. Illusive (@illusive) said on 25th October 2013, 9:03

    I wonder was there any driver as dominating as vettel is and was he also not so popular among the fans due to fact he was dominating all races.

  5. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 25th October 2013, 10:20

    I think that Vettel might win the 2013 WDC after all…

  6. Ron (@rcorporon) said on 25th October 2013, 15:24

    Good luck RBR! Here’s hoping for two drivers in purple up on the podium!

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