Vettel extends his advantage in second practice

2012 Indian Grand Prix second practice

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Sebastian Vettel remained quickest in practice for the Indian Grand Prix as Red Bull increased the margin over their rivals.

By the end of second practice Vettel’s RB8 was almost six-tenths of a second quicker than the next car of a different team.

The Red Bull pair led the way at the start of the session until Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton began trading times. Alonso ended up the quickest of the two to begin with, beating the best time from the first practice session with a 1’27.402.

The slippery track caught several drivers out early on including Alonso’s team mate Felipe Massa. He spun sideways at the exit of turn 11, flat-spotting his tyres.

That caused some concern at Ferrari, who asked Massa if he would still be able to do his planned constant speed aerodynamic test. He carried on, complaining of tyre vibrations.

Moments latest Romain Grosjean spun at the same corner and Bruno Senna had a low-speed spin at turn three.

Vettel claimed back the top time until the drivers began using the softer tyres. Kimi Raikkonen took over with a quickest lap of 1’27.030 in the Lotus.

Massa had another spin on his soft tyres and Alonso had to dodge around his team mate on his way to setting third fastest time. Massa blamed a balance problem on his car but having ruined both his hard and soft tyres, limited him to doing just practice starts instead of a race simulation run at the end of the session.

Alonso briefly took over at the top of the times but the Red Bulls showed their hand soon afterwards. Webber beat Alonso’s time by almost half a second and Vettel lowered the best time by a further tenth of a second.

McLaren struggled to produce any performance on the softer tyres. Hamilton could do no better than sixth behind Rosberg and Raikkonen.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’26.22135
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’26.3390.11833
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’26.8200.59934
48Nico RosbergMercedes1’27.0220.80138
59Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’27.0300.80940
64Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’27.1310.91038
73Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’27.1820.96124
812Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’27.2331.01237
910Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’27.3971.17636
1019Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’27.7381.51736
1111Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’28.0041.78332
1215Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’28.1781.95739
137Michael SchumacherMercedes1’28.2222.00137
1416Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.2392.01837
156Felipe MassaFerrari1’28.2962.07523
1614Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’28.4552.23440
1718Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’28.5962.37538
1817Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’29.1672.94635
1920Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’29.3203.09943
2021Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’29.6063.38522
2122Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’30.9504.72937
2224Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’31.1134.89235
2323Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’31.3725.15120
2425Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’31.4935.27231

2012 Indian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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37 comments on “Vettel extends his advantage in second practice”

  1. Not sure I’ll bother getting up early for this one…

    1. +1 seems like it’s gonna be another RB party. Too bad, I really would have liked to see a battle for first, but this sounds like Vettel is gonna fly to the horizon on sunday…

  2. RBR tops on single run. But race pace is much closer bwt three top teams.

    1. long runs with softs, Alonso and Hamilton are competitive. Pole will be RBR territory, the only way to defeat them seems to be S1.

    2. @ka12 I don’t think it’s fair to say that yet. I’ll do up my own stint models for each car as I always do and see what the data says, but judging race pace by the surface of just watching the lap times rarely tells the full picture

    3. Race pace won’t matter much. It looked fairly close on race pace at Korea, but Red Bull locked out the front row and were able to control the race from there. The same looks likely here.

      1. @andrew81 in my own numbers RBR race pace was behind McLaren and Ferrari (in Korea) but in hindsight, it’s clear RBR were sort if sandbagging with a full tank load

    4. Wasn’t that the case in other races aswell? yet they won. Can’t see them losing this one, really.

      1. @fer-no65 the answer is clean air. In FP, these race runs are done in clean air. In the race, there is dirty air to contend with, which hurts tyres as well as your pace.

        1. @raymondu999 I know, but at this point, it’s hard to imagine anyone other than a Red Bull getting pole position (or even lock-up the front row)

  3. ruth517 (@spanishconnection)
    26th October 2012, 11:19

    Wasn’t there a dodgy overtake by Vettel. Crofty and J.Herbert suggested the stewards needed to look at it. Haven’t heard anymore??

    1. At one point he did chop across Bruno Senna, though what the context was (i.e. whether they were both on a quick lap) I don’t recall now. Didn’t really surprise me, to be honest, Vettel tends to chop across fairly often. I don’t like seeing it, but it’s not new from him.

  4. Bob (@bobthevulcan)
    26th October 2012, 11:19

    Unsurprising that Red Bull are on top again, but honestly didn’t expect such a massive margin. Alonso’s fast lap was impressive. While McLaren’s one-lap pace seemed abysmal, Hamilton was looking good on his high fuel race simulation run; not sure about Button. As it currently stands, it’s going to be another “routine” weekend for Vettel. I’ll wait for the practice analysis data before passing further judgement.

  5. Mercedes seems to be competetive, but Mclaren have some work to do overnight. It’s amazing that just few races ago they had quickest car and now they struggle so much. They just can’t get their act together. No wonder they haven’t won constructors’ title for 14 years and Hamilton is leaving them for slower-car-team. Mclaren really need a reshuffle in management.

  6. Looks like it might be quite a fight behind the Red Bull duo in qualifying; a perfect lap might get anyone up to P3 – and a small mistake might send you back to P10.

    In the race it’ll probably be too difficult to follow through S2 and S3, so I’m predicting quite a borefest.

  7. Maybe early to say it’s another done deal for Red Bull, but the scent of Red Bull drink is already replete and I can distantly hear the gloating screeches thru the team radio. Of course, it’s sure thing to see da finger too. LOL.
    Talking about race pace, Red Bull cannot be worse than any other teams. As they are flying at single lap stint, so much good in race pace too by its nature of the most aero efficient machine. Could be wrong but if there’s any who suffers from quite poor race pace compared to its own quali pace, it would be either McLaren or Mecedes, or both.

    1. @leotef Race pace is different because different cars respond differently to fuel. Some cars lose more turn-in responsiveness for example, or turn-in stability. Some get more understeer. Also, there’s the question of tyre preservation.

      However if Red Bull really is as good as they look here, they can bias their setup towards race pace anyways, and sacrifice their quali pace.

      1. @raymondu999 – I got your points. BTW, my point is that as far as my memory is right, I don’t recall any GP where Red Bull fell behind others in terms of race pace, or to paraphrase, Red Bull’s race pace was consistently in par with its quali pace or better than that. Which means, when it’s already best quali “machine” overall, – note that not “driver” – its race pace was no less than its quali pace.
        I don’t know those technical details but this prominence of Red Bull may come from various factors like very gentle stress to its tyres and efficient movement of the car for a lot of demanding corners with relatively small variation of the setup for each pace. Then it seems to me that it would have notable correlations with aero edges Red Bull has over the others. Or to say that, it’s Mr. Aero man – Newey.
        On McLaren and Mercedes, I have seen many cases where their quali pace was comparable to Red Bull or sometimes better, but falling fast in race pace or at least struggling, which is exacerbated in the case of Mercedes esp during this season.

        1. @leotef – I remember the Red Bulls falling behind their rivals in terms of race pace after poles in Bahrain (relative to Lotus) and Canada (relative to Ferrari and Mclaren), this season.

  8. In my personal opinion i believe that the pole will be Red Bull’s territory & no other team will bother them the RB8 has demonstrated an incredible aerodynamic stability that’s already remarkable by eye especially in some difficult curves of the circuit

    As for the race pace according to the lap times we can say that Alonso was fast enough more or less Vettel but we also know that the Bull’s have always something in their bags especially when it comes to qualifying.

    I don’t know but i don’t have a good feeling for this weekend ,Ferrari is going another time to defend from:

    1- the story of the flag of the Navy exposed on the car, a choice that has angered the Indians (who see it as a provocation & i’m supporting them even through i’m a die hard fan of Ferrari) & i’m 100% sure that this cjoice has also unnerved Bernie Ecclestone who doesn’t want politics at the tracks

    2- the battle on the track, where the superiority of the Red Bull is embarrassing for anyone else Christian Horned said : “We will fight to the end because Ferrari is strong ” but the reality of the track tells a different story.
    Alonso has tried everything to keep up with the RB8, but the difference in behavior – at least for now – is merciless.Vettel and also Webber can afford to enter the double curve 7-8 at breakneck speed & widen the trajectory in exit passing on the paint of the curb without worrying their selves by lifting the throttle
    If Alonso was looking forkeeping the same speed as the entry, then had to slow down in the exit ,it was even more difficult for Massa, who at that point has also spun
    Is it Ferrari that lucks downforce or Red Bull that has more downforce than anyone else ???
    At the moment the most likely hypothesis seems to be the second & this is not good for the championship

    1. When Ferrari announced about the flag change to the navy one, I assumed it was to do with Alonso’s “If the enemy thinks of the mountains, attack by the sea” statement, showing that they’re ‘attacking by the sea’ rather than provocation, but maybe that’s just me.

  9. There’s only one solution left. We need to ban Newey from the sport. :P

    1. You got my vote. :) Another way to think about is putting him HRT or Marrusia every 2 years.
      Then I’m pretty sure that there will be no VET the greatest bla.

    2. davidnotcoulthard
      26th October 2012, 13:50

      Reminds me of my cousin: She won so many drawing (or painting or colouring, I can’t remember) competitions that the organisers banned her.

      1. So you’re saying it’s back to the drawing board for everyone else?

  10. Ok, I’ll admit it’s looking pretty bad if you’re not driving an RB8 but it’s not over until it’s over. It’s at least encouraging that Alonso is 3rd for Ferrari.

  11. There’s only one solution left.

    Solution #2: For this weekend, someone in India nearby the Buddh circuit needs to hire a sniper who will shoot a puncture in one of Vettel’s tyre during the race.

    1. Abu Dhabi 2011 ? :P

  12. Unless something ridiculous happen, it’s Red Bull’s again. A 4th win in a row? mad if you think how things were not long ago.

    Championship’s over !

  13. Lotus hasn’t improved their speed at all. I think Kimi needs a podium finish from India if he wants to be a championship contender in the remaining races. Sadly that looks like mission impossible right now.

  14. This is becoming like reverse of the 2009 season. Then, Jenson won everything at the start whereas the honours were shared for the rest of the season.
    Here, honors were even at the start but Vettel is winning everything at the end!

  15. BTW Ferrari have found that Massa’s handling problems & spins were caused by a suspension issue.

    As to Red Bull’s pace, Don’t really care if they run & hide in the race as long as there is some good racing going on somewhere through the field.
    Always felt that those who only care about the lead & always call a race boring unless the lead is close are missing the full picture & ignoring the mid-field which is traditionally always where the best action has been in just about every racing category.

    1. I share your sentiment, I wish the FIA TV producers did as well. I have to use F1 Timing/Scoring apps to keep abreast of all the interesting things going on in a race. Even then, I sometimes pause the app and the broadcast so I can analyze positions, gap changes, stint distances, tire compound, try to see who is taking fight to whom. For all that, the F1 producer will show the actual pass and maybe 15 seconds of the run-up.

      It is unfortunate that they ignore the mid and backfield action in favor of the P1 coasting along with a 90min gap, or whoever is at their home GP.

  16. Red Bull walkover for qualifying and Vettel to fly off into the distance in the race. 2nd Grand Chelem of 2012?

  17. Any rain expected for qualifying or race? :-/

  18. OMG can’t believe it Vettel fastest with the sister RBR..zzzZZZZzzz

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