Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in Melbourne
Sebastian Vettel led a Red Bull 1-2 in the second free practice session for the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, to show that not a lot has changed since 2012.
|Vettel fastest at Albert Park|
The world champion - who also topped the times in first practice - lapped in 1m 26.070s on Pirelli’s medium tires before cutting that back to 1m 25.908s on the supersofts. Both times were faster than team mate Mark Webber’s, the Australian lapping in 1m 26.172s on the supersofts to go second fastest. Webber survived a half spin at Turn 13.
A late run on the supersoft tires saw Nico Rosberg lap his Mercedes in 1m 26.322s for third place, a position previously occupied by team mate Lewis Hamilton. The latter’s attempt to go quicker on the supersofts was spoiled by a lock up which put him over the grass at Turn Nine, and later he stopped against the tire wall at Turn Six having gone straight-on into the gravel trap. He was thus held down to seventh position on 1m 26.772s. Soon afterwards Rosberg was told to stop because of a gearbox problem.
Fourth and fifth were the Lotuses of Kimi Raikkonen on 1m 26.361s and Romain Grosjean on 1m 26.680s, while Fernando Alonso coped with the odd KERS problem on the way to 1m 26.748s for Ferrari.
Alonso's team mate, Felipe Massa, ran strongly on the prime tires, survived a near clash with Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez as the Mexican came out of the pits just as the Ferrari was arriving in Turn One, and was eighth on 1m 26.855s.
Adrian Sutil was again on strong form for Force India, with ninth fastest time of 1m 27.435s, then there was a gap back to Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber on 1m 28.187s. The McLarens thus finished outside the top 10, with Jenson Button 11th on 1m 28.294s and Sergio Perez 13th on 1m 28.566s. They were separated by Paul di Resta’s Force India on 1m 28.311s.
Daniel Ricciardo got the hammer down for Toro Rosso with 1m 28.627s, and Gutierrez was 15th on 1m 28.772s. Williams' Pastor Maldonado on 1m 28.852s and Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne (who spun in Turn Four while running on the medium tires) on 1m 28.968s completed the runners beneath 1m 29s.
Valtteri Bottas was half a second down on Williams team mate Maldonado with 1m 29.386s, as Jules Bianchi impressed again with 1m 29.696s for Marussia. Charles Pic jumped up to 20th for Caterham on 1m 30.165s, edging out Max Chilton who much earlier recorded a 1m 30.600s in his Marussia.
At the back, Giedo van der Garde was stranded on 1m 32.450s after his Caterham became beached in the gravel at Turn Three partway through the session.
||Paul di Resta
||Giedo van der Garde
CAR 1, SEBASTIAN VETTEL
First Practice Session: Position: 1, Best Time: 1:27.211, Laps: 16
Second Practice Session: Position: 1, Best Time: 1:25.908, Laps: 33
“Overall it was a good day for us. It was pretty seamless and there was no trouble with the car. After all the mileage of testing, it was fun to be out there – this circuit doesn’t get easier, it’s a good challenge. The soft tire doesn’t last too long, but the harder tire is a decent race tire. The weather should be quite changeable tomorrow and, as we can’t predict how much that will impact the tires and car balance, we need to be ready to change things. Today was a good day and the balance was good, but we need to be ready for what’s coming up.”
CAR 2, MARK WEBBER
First Practice Session: Position: 5, Best Time: 1:27.668, Laps: 18
Second Practice Session: Position: 2, Best Time: 1:26.172, Laps: 31
“It was not a bad day and we got through plenty of information. It was nice to have a bit of sun on the circuit after Barcelona, where we had pretty overcast conditions. We had to correlate a lot of information from Europe and that went pretty well. We still have a huge amount to go through tonight and we’re expecting a bit of overcast stuff tomorrow, so we need to be ready for that. Overall, it was pretty positive for us, but there are still areas to improve on.”