Vettel leads McLarens in second practice

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix second practice

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Sebastian Vettel headed the times in second practice at Yas Marina.

Vettel took to the top of the times straight after the session began but was pegged back by Lewis Hamilton at first.

McLaren appeared to be a match for Red Bull on the medium tyres. Hamilton set a 1’42.095 which was around half a second quicker than Vettel could manage on the same rubber.

But when the teams switch to the soft tyres Vettel found much more time. A 1’41.751 put him ahead of Hamilton by 0.168s. Mark Webber was fourth-fastest behind the other McLaren of Jenson Button.

Webber’s session came to an early end after a leak was seen on his car. During the session Webber’s RB8 was also observed to be touching the ground at the T-tray when he had DRS open, kicking up sparks as Vettel’s had done in India.

The two Lotuses were next, Romain Grosjean fractionally faster than Kimi Raikkonen. The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were seventh and eighth.

Pastor Maldonado and Sergio Perez completed the top ten. Nico Hulkenberg was 13th for Force India after a KERS failure on his car.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’41.75134
24Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’41.9190.16834
33Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’42.4120.66136
42Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’42.4660.71521
510Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’42.5000.74934
69Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’42.5320.78128
75Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’42.5870.83631
86Felipe MassaFerrari1’42.8231.07233
918Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’42.9981.24737
1015Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’43.1061.35536
1119Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’43.1911.44034
128Nico RosbergMercedes1’43.2001.44936
1312Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’43.2551.50434
147Michael SchumacherMercedes1’43.2671.51632
1511Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’43.5781.82734
1614Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’43.6891.93832
1716Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’44.2602.50927
1817Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’45.0733.32219
1921Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’45.2453.49436
2020Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’45.7824.03133
2124Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’46.5894.83836
2225Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’46.6744.92322
2322Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’46.7074.95626
2423Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’47.4065.65535

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Image © Yas Marina/LAT

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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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30 comments on “Vettel leads McLarens in second practice”

  1. Bounce back from Lotus is quite unexpected…and unpleasant for the show! It was strange that Hamilton rarely improved his best time with the option. Another option/prime optimization failure? Alonso looked good in longer stint but I have a bad feeling that it might end here…

    1. I wouldn’t say it’s unpleasant for the show. I think it’s nice to see a few different teams doing well, as we did at the start of the season. Alonso has excelled in making the most of bad situations this year, so if his Ferrari is slower than the Lotus, he’ll just have to pull out another top-drawer performance to keep his title hopes alive and healthy. Isn’t that something to look forward to?

      1. Its a dynamic I am really in favour of.

      2. @estesark Yeah, it might be good for the race. but if Alonso starts behind both Mclaren, Red Bull and even Lotus then he couldn’t make significant progress which means he should finish ahead of Vettel, the championship would not be good for sure. That’s what I meant. of course it’s possible Alonso can outpace all of them in front of him but you know…

      3. It is indeed something to look forward to, but to me personally, it’d feel a little unrewarding to show the best of performances I have in me, consistently for seasons in a row but not receive the reward that I so much seek. Alonso might feel differently about that.
        Also it wouldn’t be wise to write him off after free practice.

        1. On the other hand the guy gets millions for doing the job he loves and in a Ferrari, so, I guess he can’t complain too much ..

    2. Räikkönen said that his car had enough speed to even fight for a victory in India, but he made a bad call and changed set ups after 3rd practice.

      1. He always said that even at Mclaren, and I still love him.

  2. To say that ferrari failed to impress is akin to being silent… At this rate they will be starting behind Lotuses. Then our only title hope will be Grosjean’s aiming skills.

    Caterham seem to have imporved, at least some revelation.

  3. I would be shocked if this wasn’t another pole to chequered flag victory for Sebastian.

    I question if Ferrari even know what they’re doing on car development…

    1. I’d like to be shocked :D

    2. Seb looks good on Option tires, but Lewis is faster on Prime. So I would tip Seb for Pole, Lewis for a Win.
      same as you, I don’t see any improvement from Ferrari relating to the gap with the front.

    3. This track is one that favors traction, which is where the Reno engine and Mclaren handling tend to do well. So of the two reno cars and Mcalren team, Ferrari are fourth which could have been expected.

      Ferrari will need to setup their car for race performance in the hopes that they can make up places in the DRS zone on Sunday.

    4. artificial racer
      2nd November 2012, 18:36

      Hamilton and Vettel take each other out in the first corner. Podium is BUT, WEB, ALO.

      VET gets a flat, or gearbox issue, or alternator, or KERS failure, or gets rear-ended during a safety car or on the way to the grid, or…

      Red Bull botch VET’s pit stop (aren’t they overdue for this by now?)

      VET blocks someone in qualy and gets penalized, and either ends up disqualified or rammed off the road by a Sauber.

      (Just saying, there are tons of things that can go wrong for VET and the points gap is small.)

  4. Hamilton’s Mclaren was going to top the sheets if it weren’t for traffic. It is not going to be an easy road to Pole for Vettel.

  5. Well, it looks interesting. It will probably be quite close tomorrow and on Sunday between Vettel and Hamilton.
    I think Ferrari can’t do much more than that. They tried a lot of things, but the car is just not suited to this kind of track. Let’s see what they can do for the rest of the weekend, but the podium seems to be far away.

  6. Bounce back from Lotus, McLaren’s on par with Red Bull, Ferrari 4th team on the grid, Williams getting in the mix for the top ten and Caterham up Torro Rosso’s rear wings.

    Well, this is shaping into an unexpectedly interesting weekend…

  7. With all the issues on one RB8 of late, I’d have thought that was cause for hope for the excitement of the championship… if it happens on the other Red Bull car.

  8. why was weber’s car setup for wet weather?

    1. @me262
      They were testing a brand new water-dispensing system, just in case we have torrential rain in Brazil and the car gets flooded.

  9. i pity f1 fans coz next year had lewis stayed with mclaren,there was a chance that he wud hv pushed red bull nd in all certainity would have won.because ferreri are not the ones good at car development but maclaren can really tame that bull..i m predicting a 4th w.c for the rocketship pilot…wht apity

    1. How many titles does he have in 5 years with them?
      Sometime change is good. McLaren are like Arsenal. They never want to win. All they are looking for is to finish second or third. Just look 2007, even 2008 and this year.

      1. Mclaren are like Arsenal.

        Haha, I’ve always thought that!

        Referring back to FP, Red Bull have a slight edge over McLaren on one-lap pace on the options with the same being the case in favour of McLaren on the primes. Both teams had strong long-runs as well as Ferrari although I’m convinced that the latter was running a slightly lighter fuel load.

        Williams looks as though they’re best of the midfield at least over one-lap, with their good traction aiding them in S3 coupled with their straight-line speed aiding them in S2, not certain about their race pace.

        Whatever marginal gaps we find in the qualifying sims between the front-runners in FP3 can easily vary on track and air temperatures, particularly when it’s much brighter then than in qualifying so I wouldn’t read into FP3 as much as everyone would usually do.

    2. Wow, posted from a phone? It isn’t twitter! There is no character limit.

      On another note, it looks to be an interesting weekend. I would imagine, assuming Lewis doesn’t do something odd with his setup, we will have him and Seb fighting for pole. But then historically, the RB8 has had some quick lap times in it, often not seen in FP.

      Either way, looking forward to quali and an exciting Sunday.

  10. If Alonso starts from 5th-8th-ish and Vettel 1st-2nd-ish then Alonso will most likely won’t be able to finish ahead of Vettel. And a 20-point or so advantage will 50 to play for in the USA and Brazil will all but decides the title barring a huge slice of fortune/misfortune.

    I’m not happy with the way things are going the direction of the above scenario.

    1. I agree – after all that’s happened this season and to end with the same situation as in recent seasons is frankly ridiculous. Partly due to McLaren’s inability to make the most of their considerable advantage at the beginning of the season plus their operational issues in their pit-stops severely hindered Hamilton’s title bid ultimately as well as Button’s mid-season dip in form not helping their cause whatsoever in the Constructors Championship.

      One part of me really sympathises for McLaren in that it’s the most incredulous season for a while when they produce the fastest car at the beginning of a season.

    2. Basically, if Vettel wins 2 races, regardless of where Alonso is, then Vettel is champion.

  11. Well, one can tip Lewis to hit the pole as McLaren looks like the team to beat in S2 and S3 but Lewis was struggling to switch on with primes and that’s were Seb will come into his own. Whatever happens, I fancy another Lewis-Seb front row for the 4th year in running!

  12. Qualifying as ever will be important but I think there’s a lot to be said for the changing temperature conditions on the circuit come race day.

  13. last year Seb had a tyre puncture in the opening lap. Something lilke that can happen again and Alonso is back in the game.

Comments are closed.