Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012

Vettel leads Hulkenberg in second practice

2012 European Grand Prix second practice

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Valencia, 2012Sebastian Vettel was quickest in the second practice session for the European Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver, winner of the last two races at the Valencia street circuit, set a quickest time of 1’39.334. It was another close session with the top 15 covered by 0.910s.

Five different teams appeared in the top five but several of the usual suspects were missing including McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus. Nico Hulkenberg was second for Force India, followed by Kamui Kobayashi, Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna.

Pastor Maldonado led the early running in the session, returning to the top of the time after leading the first session.

He traded fastest times with Jenson Button, the McLaren driver them being pipped by team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso then took over at the top but the other local driver ran into trouble.

Pedro de la Rosa brought out the yellow flags halfway through the session when he crashed at turn 14. The HRT undesteered wide in the corner and came to a swift halt in the tyre wall. The driver fortunately climbed out uninjured.

This disrupted the efforts of several drivers to improve their times using the soft tyres. Some found the softer rubber gave them only one chance to improve their times.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’39.33433
212Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’39.4650.13132
314Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’39.5950.26120
47Michael SchumacherMercedes1’39.6010.26727
519Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’39.6440.31034
611Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’39.7000.36632
75Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’39.7330.39934
810Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’39.8680.53433
92Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’39.9010.56730
108Nico RosbergMercedes1’39.9260.59232
119Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’39.9450.61134
123Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’39.9900.65633
1318Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’40.0750.74129
144Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’40.1470.81325
156Felipe MassaFerrari1’40.2440.91035
1615Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’40.5111.17729
1721Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’40.9631.62920
1816Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.1211.78732
1920Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’41.1971.86338
2017Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’41.2631.92929
2124Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’42.4243.09021
2225Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’42.9583.62430
2323Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’44.2014.86733
2422Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’44.2604.92612

2012 European Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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32 comments on “Vettel leads Hulkenberg in second practice”

  1. Vettel looks very good for this race. The car is well suited to the track, he is on good form, and his previous history at Valencia is stunning. First double winner of the year.

    1. Yeah, looks like Vettel has got this one. The Ferrari is not quite there yet in terms of pure pace, but they have leap frogged MacLaren who seem to be going backwards in terms of development! They are in danger of being swamped by the not so mid-field teams this weekend!

      1. Yeah, looks like Vettel has got this one.

        I’m amazed that you seem to think you can predict the outcome of the race based on a single lap time.

        If I remember rightly, Vettel was looking pretty strong during practice in Canada, too …

        1. Maybe he/she is like me and simply says that before *every* race. Hey, it served me well in the predictions competition I was in last season! ;-)

        2. Awwwstralian
          23rd June 2012, 5:42

          Exactly, its only FP2….

    2. @davidjh
      Yeah my money is on him as well this weekend!

    3. Sviatoslav Andrushko (@)
      22nd June 2012, 16:26

      He hasn’t won yet. I believe that predicting the results of this season is nonsensical. For instance, I expected Vet to win Canadian GP. Obviously, he was lacking pace compared to Ham and Alo. So, what is it gonna be?

      1. Well, not really. He let HAM at the start and pulled out a bit of a lead. Had he pitted earlier he could have won the race. Overall, HAM probably was a little faster, but it was marginal at best.

        1. but they have leap frogged MacLaren who seem to be going backwards in terms of development!

          It’s extremely difficult for someone to actually agree with that, to an extent no one has even spoken of who’s got the fastest package overall never mind being certain, because of the unpredictability of this season so far.

      2. I believe that predicting the results of this season is nonsensical.

        Well, there is sort of a whole championship on this website dedicated to these “nonsensical” actions.

    4. RedBullaway!!!!
      22nd June 2012, 18:42

      Vettel to get pole, but I think the Lotus’ will have this one easily!

  2. ya Nico Hulkenberg, I thing this time Force India will be on Top 5……. Finger’s cross

  3. I don’t think one session has ever seen so many lock-ups. Interesting stuff. If it continues through to qualy, there could be some big teams/drivers dropping out earlier than expected.

    1. It is a street circuit and the tarmac clearly has very little grip. With Pirelli bringing the mediums to this race weekend, things could get entertaining. Yes, even at Valencia!

  4. I wonder how the Force India’s true pace will be in qualifying. Mallya said during the week that FI were ‘close’ to being on the podium, and I’ve also read about general rumblings the team have been making since Canada about how they’ve ‘learned’ from Canada and improved a lot. Maybe they have a surprise in store this weekend?

  5. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
    22nd June 2012, 15:52

    YES YES !!!! Thant’s what I’m talking about!!!! (FINGER UP)

    1. jackbrabhamfan
      22nd June 2012, 16:19

      Obviously! :-)

  6. It’s good to see Button on pace with Lewis. However, for pole my money is on Vettel who has a great change to claim his second win this year but if Lewis manages P2 in Q3 we will have a battle.

  7. Ham for pole!
    Mclaren has been leap frogged by ferrari? when did this happen? before or after the last race won by a Mclaren?
    as has been demonstrated this season, a mid field team can win a race, all u need to do is have fresh tires and track position towards the end of a race

    1. Mclaren has been leap frogged by ferrari? when did this happen? before or after the last race won by a Mclaren?

      Ferrari were already slightly quicker than Mclaren at both Monaco and Canada imo. It was only a matter of strategic mistakes the last GP.

      1. I don’t get this, EVERYONE seems to think that the Canadian GP was a Ferrari win, lost due to strategy, but leading up Hamilton’s final pitstop, Hamilton was leading the race, so stop or not, he’d probably have won the race anyway. All Alonso or Ferrari did wrong was throw away a podium.

        1. No, I don’t think Hamilton could have resisted against Alonso if Ferrari had chosen to give him new supersoft at the same time. Race was not remained much so supersoft’s superior performance would have outperformed Hamilton.

  8. I can only say that the Force India’s never looked that competitive on the previous FP’s for the last seven race. If they can manage there rear tyre degradation issues ,they can definitely bang the nails here. Hopefully they will. Williams are strong with the slow corner traction’s so they are a possibility too. But my money will go for the Lotus and the McLarens.

  9. Lots of people being brave & predicting pole sitters & race winners based on FP times… I’m not following suit. I think fast practice laps will have very little to do with the outcome of this race, & those slower teams may well have the beating of the big guns: as every race so far this season has proven, tire management & strategy (as well as trouble free pitstops… Yeah, I’m talking to you McLaren) will prove more decisive. Should be a very interesting race, even though it’s Valencia.

    1. Lots of people being brave & predicting pole sitters & race winners based on FP times… I’m not following suit.

      Exactly. Especially since today’s temperatures were quite low compared to what we should expect for tomorrow and Sunday. That could provide some twists and turns.

      However, Vettel still has the first chance if I’m to be asked. He was fairly quick all day today, he loves this track, the temperature suits the car, RBR appear to have nailed the setup again and strategy-wise, I have a feeling they will be extra cautious this time. It should be a perfect weekend for Red Bull, unless of course someone else plans to have a say in it. I’d keep a close eye on Alonso, Schumacher, Grosjean and on those Sauber strategists…to be honest.

      Force India seem to be able to take some points home on Sunday as well.
      At the other end…I’m amazed by how low Torro Rosso seem to have fallen…

      1. Force India seem to be able to take some points home on Sunday as well.
        At the other end…I’m amazed by how low Torro Rosso seem to have fallen…

        Not necessarily fallen back, their two inexperience drivers are hindering them, especially at this track but I think it’s mainly due to Caterham gaining rather than them losing.

        1. Caterham have taken a huge step forward, no doubt there. But in terms of pace, Torro Rosso have started the season lapping in the same tenth of a second with the Force Indias. That gap has now increased up to 1.5 seconds… There’s something wrong with that car. The other teams have progressed and they’ve been left behind for one reason or another.

          I definitely wouldn’t blame the drivers. Both Ricciardo & Vergne drove very good races in Melbourne & Malaysia. Those weren’t results gained by context (like you-know-who’s win).

  10. Still a very competitive session, keeps us guessing! Plus most of the drivers have done more laps than in FP1 which only reinforces how competitive everything is. With the long held belief that Valencia doesn’t produce good races then this puts the emphasis on qualifying to produce the goods and it looks like it will!

  11. This ones going to be close.
    Even the Caterhams are mixing it up with the Toro Rosso’s & inside of a second of both McLaren’s!

  12. Teams that have impressed me so far in free practice are Force India & Caterham, I can see them as dark-horses in their respective positions if they’re able to maintain their strong pace through qualifying & the race, when the temperatures will be higher.

    At the top end however, Willliams & RB’s good traction is really doing it’s job in the final sector (Lotus as well) whilst the McLarens are losing a bit there, someone said to watch out for their straight line speed. Mentioning Lotus, in the form of Grosjean, their high fuel runs looks the strongest If not one of the strongest, consistently in the 1:44s while the others (RB,Ferrari, McLarens) are in the 1:45s again the fuel loads could be deceiving but as expected the Lotuses are right up there although again, it’s difficult to call because it’s only practice. Qualifying looks a bit mysterious for me as I can only think of Vettel & the McLarens going aggressive in quali but struggling in the race (like in Bahrain).

    1. Qualifying looks a bit mysterious for me as I can only think of Vettel & the McLarens going aggressive in quali but struggling in the race (like in Bahrain).

      I meant excluding Vettel (struggling)

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