Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012

McLaren and Red Bull closely-matched in first practice

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix first practice

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Interlagos, 2012Just one tenth of a second covered the best times by McLaren and Red Bull’s drivers in the first practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton led the way followed by Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber and Jenson Button – all covered by 0.086s.

Vettel’s title rival Fernando Alonso was fifth-fastest, 0.261s slower than the best time. Felipe Massa was sixth following a spin in his Ferrari, which left his car undamaged.

Romain Grosjean was seventh for Lotus but team mate Kimi Raikkonen’s session was disrupted by an engine problem. He failed to set a time until the final quarter of an hour after the team’s first attempt failed to cure the glitch.

The Force India drivers also appeared in the top ten, separated by Pastor Maldonado’s Williams.

The HRT drivers did little running early in the session before appearing for a few laps.

Much of the session was conducted by drivers using Pirelli’s development tyre compound for the 2013 season, which were identified with orange markings.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
14Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’14.13133
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’14.1400.00935
32Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’14.1980.06734
43Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’14.2170.08631
55Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’14.3920.26128
66Felipe MassaFerrari1’14.7160.58529
710Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’14.7190.58833
811Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’14.7380.60734
918Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’15.0150.88437
1012Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’15.0500.91932
117Michael SchumacherMercedes1’15.1140.98336
1214Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’15.2551.12431
1315Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’15.3961.26532
1419Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’15.4131.28223
1516Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’15.5871.45635
169Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’15.7011.57016
1717Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’16.0481.91735
188Nico RosbergMercedes1’16.3152.18436
1920Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’16.4602.32932
2024Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’16.5062.37531
2121Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’16.6172.48630
2225Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’17.2343.10326
2322Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’17.6783.54715
2423Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’17.8953.76413

2012 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

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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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27 comments on “McLaren and Red Bull closely-matched in first practice”

  1. Vettel and Webber set their times on this years tyres

    1. even more important is that the race tires will be wet/inters so no time set on a dry set is particularly relevant

      1. I wanted to note two things only – and both of them were addressed in the only 2 comments above mine.

    2. Anyway, if it will be again Vettel and Hamilton battle, then Hamilton will for sure. This is already known.

      1. @sorin and you know this because? (Considering, of course – that Vettel has won in Hamilton vs Vettel battles before)

  2. Those times are just so close! And not too far away from what we saw last year really.

  3. Hamilton being the fastest doesn’t mean a whole lot, given that he was ahead of both the Red Bulls by just a fraction, and while he was on the test tyres, the pair of them did it on the hard set — which aren’t as fast. Also, his times on the hards seemed to be, on average, just a little behind the Bulls’. Although, he seemed a fair distance of them in the USA and we saw what happened there. I’m predicting the most common front row this season again — Vettel and Hamilton, but I’m not sure who will be on pole out of those two.

  4. Bottas was only .4 seconds off of the pace of Maldonado. He looks promising.

    1. Van Der Garde was not so bad either…

  5. The gap between Fernando and Felipe is quite large. Not good for the championship if Massa can’t come into the picture.

    1. @sumedhvidwans I care more about getting a deserving champion than whichever one of them actually wins it. I want an exciting and, above all, fair conclusion to the championship. I don’t want to see Massa (or Webber) being used for blocking tactics or anything like that, so I think it’s good for the championship if he’s not involved. Let Vettel and Alonso fight it out for themselves and we’ll have a worthy champion, that’s what matters.

      1. @keithcollantine Please don’t get me wrong. I was not saying that Massa has to do a Piquet Jr. or crash into Vettel or anything. All I mean is that Alonso needs people to fill in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th places so that he can win the championship and it would be great if Massa fills up one of the three.

  6. Unfortunately the data from dry sessions is not of much use if it is going to be wet GP.

    1. which is why I reeally hope its a wet race, as with little setup practice in wet conditions will make for a pretty exciting wet race

      1. True that! But the teams can utilize the practice sessions to gain as much feedback as then can from the 2013 Pirelli tyres. Nice move by Pirelli to give the drivers a feel of next year’s tyres.

        1. @hari yet that could be seen as an unfair advantage as Ferrari and RedBull have to concentrate on this race while the others can have a nice taste of new tyres. Even if I don’t think it can makes a huge difference between teams and I’m sure Ferrari and RedBull don’t care to much about next year right now …

          1. Well, I don’t think they will be at a disadvantage. In FP1 for instance Massa was doing the job of testing the 2013 tyres and giving his feedback on them while Alonso did most of his laps on this year’s tyres (although he set his fastest lap on test tyres).

  7. I think we all might be underestimating Vettel’s relative youth when predicting an easy Vettel Hamilton front row. This is probably the first time he’ll start with so many contenders behind him with nothing to lose. Granted, he can make pole easily, but during the race? He’s been rather bad under pressure in the past, this might be Alonso’s hope.

  8. Great programme design for this race!

    Only one more chance to win a poster of one with my predictions (my prediction is I won’t win) otherwise I’ll have to go and buy one.

  9. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
    23rd November 2012, 15:18

    BBC are currently showing a re-run of the 1993 Brazilian on the red button (freeview channel 301)

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      23rd November 2012, 15:19

      *Brazilian GP

  10. DAT PICTURE… superb !

  11. That race has already so many things that can decide winner even before: the rain, tyres strategy, the fact that is the last race (people that plays pool know how oddly hard is to sink the black ball most of yhe times), even some macumba can decide it.

  12. I’m sincerely hoping the likes of Rosberg and Raikkonen were using the 2013 development tyres…

  13. I know this is a short lap, but the differences between the drivers are quite small, especially the top 11. What did Hamilton set his timeson?

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