Vettel fastest despite delay in second practice

2012 United States Grand Prix second practice

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Sebastian Vettel's helmet, Red Bull, Circuit of the Americas, 2012Sebastian Vettel was quickest for the second session in a row at the Circuit of the Americas.

But the Red Bull driver had to spend around half the session in the pits after a water leak was discovered on his car after just three laps.

Mark Webber, who had a similar problem to Vettel in the first session, was second-fastest but over three-quarters of a second slower than his team mate.

He was just eight-thousandths of a second faster than Fernando Alonso. Next were the two McLaren drivers, fourth-placed Lewis Hamilton having a 360-degree spin at one point.

As in the first session several drivers had spins and off-track moments as the track surface offered very little grip. Romain Grosjean and Vitaly Petrov spun in separate incidents at turn one.

Petrov had a near-miss when Michael Schumacher came past him at one point. At almost the same time the other Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen suffered a puncture after being nudged by Jean-Eric Vergne.

The two HRT drivers did practically no running in the first half of the session, but did appear and set times in the second half.

As the session came to an end Pastor Maldonado crawled into the pits with an apparent engine problem, race engineer Xevi Pujolar telling him on the radio to stop the car and turn his engine off.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’37.71817
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’38.4750.75736
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’38.4830.76535
44Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’38.7481.03031
53Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’38.7861.06832
66Felipe MassaFerrari1’39.0291.31131
78Nico RosbergMercedes1’39.4481.73032
819Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’39.5311.81338
914Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’39.6531.93536
107Michael SchumacherMercedes1’40.1152.39730
119Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’40.1662.44832
1218Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’40.2302.51235
1310Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’40.2862.56835
1415Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’40.3262.60835
1516Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.4352.71730
1617Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.5162.79832
1712Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’40.7002.98234
1811Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’41.4303.71235
1920Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’42.4764.75838
2024Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’42.6524.93433
2121Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’42.8465.12838
2225Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’43.5385.82038
2322Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’44.4536.73516
2423Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’45.1147.39620

2012 United States 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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42 comments on “Vettel fastest despite delay in second practice”

  1. Might not like it..but Vettel seems absolutely on it.

    1. No it’s the car / Adrian Newey

      (Should I insert a smiley to be sure?)

      1. I think Alonso’s only chance is to nick Webber’s car and paint it red. Even then, Ferrari will need two full days to understand the car and get the set up right, and they only have one :)

        1. vettel is a good driver, he is just lucky to have the car newey designed rather than alonso who has one by some bloke less famous (and less brilliant) than newey.

          1. Drop Valencia!
            17th November 2012, 0:24

            Is it luck that Vettel chooses Newey and Alonso chooses Ferrari?

          2. Newey doesn’t guarantee championships. Look at what Kimi had to show for his time with Newey. Besides, where was the whinng about past champions in good cars?

  2. They put turns from every other circuit and the most complicated is the 19. Almost everybody went wide in that place.

  3. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    16th November 2012, 20:55

    The WDC may very well be decided over the next 48 Hours. I’m sure Alonso would be up for trading places with Vettel upon coming to america, as I doubt the title will swing back in his favour, if Alonso is religious, now might be the time to pray to the holy man upstairs. I fear that Alonso can dolittle to prevent the title returning to the young German, but let’s give credit to Vettel, he has been the golden child of F1 over the past two years. It seems no matter what he does, the WDC keeps finding its way back to its faithful owner like a boomerang, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Vet clinches his third consecutive title this weekend…imagine that!

    You have to feel for Alonso, his third WDC has been a long time coming and he’ll probably have to wait another year. Even if Alonso doesn’t win, he has shown that he is very much the distinguished gentlemen of the F1 grid.

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        16th November 2012, 21:30

        I find it amusing that he doesn’t believe in God, yet he is superstitious.
        If you don’t believe in a higher consciousness that is all powerful, surely believing in superstition is tantamount to the same thing?

        1. I think that’s a question for a different website, or perhaps the off-topic section of the forum!

          1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
            16th November 2012, 23:31

            LOL! I got a bit carried away and forgot what website I was on. :-)

    1. And Newey’s the Nutty Professor? Subtle, though @tmcs88

  4. I wonder if Vettel will be at all comprised by missing out on the running; currently it doesn’t look like it’s made much difference to his one-lap pace at least.

    1. @vettel1
      I’ve wondered the same thing. Certainly hope not, at least there’s another practice…

    2. I suppose you haven’t the FP2 times then.
      Otherwise there’s nothing there to worry about.

  5. 2012 WDC & WCC seems to be decided then.

    1. @jarv150 WCC almost certainly, but for Vettel to take the WDC on Sunday he needs to score 15 points more than Alonso, whose form so far this weekend suggests will make that difficult.

      It’s still only FP2, so perhaps a little early to be throwing in the towel.

  6. let us wait and see what happens on sunday. given it is a new track, strange things can happen especially from the non-leaders and back markers that could change the race dynamics.

  7. Did somebody order a damp squib?

    1. Ah, seems my order of Tramp squib was misunderstood. Sorry people :-(

  8. FI are no where.

  9. Alonso displaying his maturity once again. Lets call it a friendly wave at a coleague in a Sauber.
    As opposed to Vettel who was constantly shouting and cursing at his engineers to repair that scrapheap. Then took to the track middlefinger held up high while demanding others to let him through.

    Huh, Jacques? :)

    1. Imagine how much faster he would have been if not for the drag of that middle finger :lol:

      1. @mnmracer

        I think he remembered Alonso trying an improvised F-Duct and thought he could replicate a more effective DRS system.

    2. @f1fannl Ah, love is blind. You’re an Alonso fan, right?

      1. I think he is being sarcastic…

  10. Let’s not bury the championship intrigue yet. Vettel certainly looks like the man to beat this weekend but Red Bull are having reliability issues and there is no reason why Alonso could not finish 3rd or even 2nd anyway. And many strange things have happened at Interlagos over the last years. Vettel is the clear favourite but the fat lady hasn’t sung yet.

    1. I dearly hope you’re right, but by the law of averages and probability that fat lady is about to jump into a verse of ‘Con te partirò’!

  11. Good to see Vettel is doing a good job so far. I just hope that things are not decided by some coincidence. McLaren and Lotus seem of the pace compared to last race, and Mercedes seems a little better. They need to do better not to loose a place in the constructors. FI do seem to be in trouble. It will be interesting tomorrow.

    1. @palle, just looking at this session I would conclude that the Ferrari and McLaren cars were equal in performance .

  12. I just bought F1 2012 the other day, and so far I’m just a tick slower than the HRT’s. I might not make the grid on Sunday! lol

  13. Seb and his helmet designer are geniuses ! it says texas rangers on it :)

  14. Seems to me most people are assuming that if Vettel wins the race he’s won the championship. That isn’t the case!

    I would have thought the HRT folks would have been taking advantage of the full 90 minutes to at least get some banker FP times in if their qualifying isn’t up to scratch.

    1. @andrewtanner HRT probably don’t have the money to buy enough fuel to do a full session.

      Seriously, though, there’s been a suggestion that funds are so tight they could have their cars do the formation lap (“starting” in the race and thus fulfilling their F1 contractual obligations), pull into the pits and retire. It would be sad to see that happen….

      1. davidnotcoulthard
        17th November 2012, 0:59

        Hispania Arrows Racing Team?

  15. The fact that both Red Bulls had water leak problems suggests (among other things)something new and unproven on the cars. New KERS cooling system perhaps?

    1. Could be to do with the KERS. I’m hoping it has more to do with the engine cooling… so our dear friend, the alternator, can make his comeback.

      It’s sad that Ferrari and Alonso fans have to hope for reliability issues on the RB8, but the playing field is not at all levelled since Newey got his game face on.

      1. @todfost Every other team has someone in the same role as Newey, ie responsible for the design of their cars. I don’t think the problem is that Newey is good, rather I think it’s sad the others are not good enough.

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