Vettel fastest again as Mercedes hit trouble

2013 Australian Grand Prix second practice

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2013Sebastian Vettel stayed on top of the times in the second practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.

It was a one-two for Red Bull with Mark Webber second ahead of Nico Rosberg. But both Mercedes drivers came to a stop in the final minutes of the session.

Having set the pace in first practice, Vettel returned to the top of the times in short order as the second session began.

A lap of 1’26.274 put him comfortably ahead, with Lewis Hamilton half a second down.

Williams and Toro Rosso were the first team to sample the super-soft rubber early in the session, finding around a second in lap time but remaining in the midfield.

Fernando Alonso’s first effort on the red-coloured rubber left him the best part of half a second of Vettel’s mark on the medium tyres.

It was Mark Webber who eventually took the best time off his team mate. Vettel set out to respond and set a quicker time in the first two sectors before having to back off when he caught Pastor Maldonado.

Vettel eventually produced a 1’25.908, taking the fastest time off his team mate by over a quarter of a second. Shortly afterwards he reported a KERS problem on his car.

Hamilton looked like he might threaten Vettel’s time after a quick run through the first sector on super-softs. But he locked his brakes on the bumpy run into turn nine and took to the run-off area. His subsequent lap on now rather worn super-softs was only four thousandths of a second faster than his medium-tyre effort had been.

Giedo van der Garde was at the bottom of the times for the second session running. The Caterham driver ran wide at turn three early in the session and got stuck in the gravel trap, ending his session.

He was in good company as Hamilton’s session ended in a similar way, the Mercedes driver stopping at turn eight with six minutes to go. “I’m in the gravel, something’s wrong with the car,” he reported.

Moments later his team mate joined him as Mercedes told Rosberg to stop due to a gearbox problem. A hectic end to the session also saw Webber spin at turn 13 but he kept his car out of the barriers.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’25.90833
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’26.1720.26431
39Nico RosbergMercedes1’26.3220.41426
47Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’26.3610.45338
58Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’26.6800.77232
63Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’26.7480.84035
710Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’26.7720.86428
84Felipe MassaFerrari1’26.8550.94732
915Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’27.4351.52735
1011Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’28.1872.27934
115Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’28.2942.38630
1214Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’28.3112.40337
136Sergio PerezMcLaren1’28.5662.65833
1419Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.6272.71931
1512Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’28.7722.86433
1616Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’28.8522.94436
1718Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.9683.06036
1817Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’29.3863.47839
1922Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’29.6963.78832
2020Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’30.1654.25737
2123Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’30.6004.69236
2221Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’32.4506.54211

2013 Australian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty

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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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125 comments on “Vettel fastest again as Mercedes hit trouble”

  1. And so it begins…

    1. So gonna laugh because of Red Bull pace, but Lotus seems to be the easiest car to handle.

    2. sandbagging is when you have 2 fast laps in a single supersoft :)
      7 K. RAIKKONEN
      13 P 7:59.315
      14 1:45.657
      15 1:26.361
      16 1:42.967
      17 1:26.683
      18 P 8:20.348

      1. and with medium..
        13 1:28.251
        14 1:28.625
        15 1:28.246
        16 1:28.195

    3. Another normal F1 season, no 2012 start up hick ups, the pecking order is pretty much set, some teams don’t know what they did wrong. Red Bull will win easily as they follow the end of 2012 and no one seems to be able of innovating beyond them or copy them as they wished. It’s like as soon as you see the massive rake on Vettel’s car you know that he is on his zone, and as tyres seem to be easy to understand impossible to keep, good teams will handle it much better. I don’t want to be a pessimist but 2 FP’s have already killed all the hype, Brazil continuation from now on but, without Mclaren, they pulled a F12.

  2. Damn, Red Bull… :-/

    1. And this is without using DRS freely. Abu Dhabi’s aggressive setup?

    2. Just trying to do my predictions and it’s difficult to guess the pole lap as the current forecast is hail. How do Red Bull go in the hail?

    3. But the compensation is their second team which surely should be named “Canus Rosso” or whatever the Italian is for dog.

  3. Schumacher sat at home thinking “Welcome to Mercedes, Lewis” …

    1. Hehehe, that´s funny :)

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      15th March 2013, 7:11

      Haha. I had similar thoughts!

    3. Lewis sat in a Merc thinking ”welcome to MacLaren, Sergio….”

      1. And Vodafone might be thinking “Good Luck Telmex Next Year”

        The grass is always greener on the other side wasn’t or is it not ?

    4. LoL

      That’s gold Kodongo

  4. McLaren over 2 seconds off the pace. Sandbagging in testing then eh? Perhaps they left them in the car by mistake.

    1. It seems they are looking where they stuck them to take them out but can’t remember where they are. The only light point is that their pace in the lower fuel race runs at the end are comparatively solid.

      1. Maybe taking off a bit of rear wing would help (see what Kravitz showed in comparison to RBR)

      2. Yes, I think 1 second down is probably about where they are. McLaren are making some strange decisions. I mean, with such a rule overhaul in 2014 why have they gone down this route instead of building on a (very) good car from last year? Now they are going to compromise their 2014 programme as well. Easy in hindsight but to be honest entirely predictable. Ron Dennis must be tearing his last remaining hairs out.

        1. with such a rule overhaul in 2014 why have they gone down this route instead of building on a (very) good car from last year?

          Actually, with the new engines next year, it seems to make sense to me that you’d make your significant chassis changes this year (eg. pullrod front suspension) and concentrate on integrating the new drivetrain changes next year.

          Besides, it’s the first day of the first grand prix, it’s way too early to say whether their design decisions are a mistake. McLaren always expected it would take some time to understand the car, but the hope is that it will give them greater scope for improvement through to the end of the season.

        2. David not Coulthard (@)
          15th March 2013, 8:24

          why have they gone down this route instead of building on a (very) good car from last year?

          According to mcLaren, because they can’t.

          1. i think mclaren will find their sweet spot with their setup and challenge to the top again as the season continues… i think in brazil, they already have found that and start to fight. :-)

        3. Remember last year ferrari had a dog of the car to start with and even struggling to make it to Q1 but with upgrades they made it fight for championship.Mclaren trying to understand the car as its quiet different from last year and definitely have more development potential later in the season ,we have seen just 2 practice sessions to pass our judgement.It it will probably take two or three races before we see a pattern emerge.

    2. Ferrari paid the price to develop pull rod front end and get it working, now McLaren are paying theirs.

      1. The pull rod will be important in 2014 with the weight of the cars due to v6 turbo. Ferrari started in 2012, Mclaren in 2013…they both will be rewarded in 2014, maybe Ferrari a little bit more with one year plus on experience.

      2. Sounds like rubbish to me. Get the pull-rod on the car in 2014 and work from there. The weight distribution from the V6 + drive-train will be completely different…. The 2013 push-rod teams might even have an advantage going into next year. I’m getting frustrated with my favourite team. Whitmarsh is having a nightmare and hiring people like Sam Michael and saying goodbye to Hamilton does not fill me with confidence. Mclaren will get what they deserve.

  5. Merc looks too good to be true,they may have some reliability issues at the end of the session but mercs got some raw pace.Just wondering had lewis not spun off when he on supersoft he may have set the fastest time in FP2

    1. He did?

    2. @smokinjoe

      They started 2012 in similar fashion. I hope they can keep up with the rest and not end 2013 like they did 2012.

      1. Yeah, I think Schumacher was running 3rd in Melbourne last year when he retired.

      2. @f1fannl . well in 2012 they knew it from the beginning that they have some fundamental problem with the car so they stopped the development midway through the season and instead they start focusing on 2013 car ,that is why merc faded half way through the season.But this year it looks like merc finally got it right and they definitely have the resources and will to keep up with top teams

        1. @smokinjoe @f1fannl they also stopped development midway though the season in 2010 and 2011, so I’d not put too much hope in them just yet. I mean, it’s the same recipe that didn’t work 3 times already xD it’s just that now they got a great driver, which might (and will) be faster than the car.

          1. And 2009, and 2008, and 2007…….

  6. RedBull with the clear lead but I am happy that Merc appear to not be too far behind. Still a little hard to judge but P3 will reveal the 1 lap pace we are to expect.

    Pray that McLaren will have good race pace or be very kind on their tires or they will be mixing it up in the midfield!!!

    Sutil with a strong start. Di Resta can moan all he wants about missing out on a top team seat but he needs to first master his seat in the midfield. I hope Sutil spanks him this year to give him a pinch of reality

  7. Aditya (@adityafakhri)
    15th March 2013, 7:11

    It shows that the grid is not as close as we’re expected. It’s not like 2012, it’s more like 2007 or 2008 when just 3-4 teams really could perform well. This year, Red Bull and Ferrari absolutely are gonna make the battle last until last race. Mercedes and Lotus will be fast at start but a bit lost in the end of the year. Mercedes form is pretty similar as last year at least at this point. fast but unreliable.
    I predict McLaren will struggle until their first heavy development part come in Europe. It’s a bit similar case as F2012.
    I have to revise my prediction for the race heavily as Red Bull able to pull out again. I hope it’s not gonna be like 2011 again.

  8. Hmm, looks like I might have to change my predictions for the weekend. Red Bull are looking very strong (why am I surprised), but I’m shocked at how far down the McLaren’s are. Looks like they’ll be hunting for points but not podiums for the first few fly-aways. Also, shame for HAM messing up his quick lap, would’ve be nice to see where he’d come, but a strong lap from ROS proving Merc’s improvement, looks like it was a good swap for HAM at the moment given McLaren’s pace, although it’s way too early to say indefinably.

    All in all, looks like an interesting weekend coming up. But for me, I’m so glad I don’t work cause I’m off to bed now. Same again tomorrow night. God I love Australia :P

    1. Vettel backed of on his fastest lap and set a better lap than Hamilton on his second , Hamilton’s second was much slower

      1. Yeah I was watching the live timing page. Jaw dropped when Seb hit those two purple sectors. Just like like, ‘Oh ****, he’s not gonna do this again this season is he?’

        And yeah HAM’s lap was slower, but that was with half a lap and a flat spot taken out of the tires when they were running out consistently through the final sector after one flying lap.

  9. It’s astounding that you get these reports up literally seconds after the end of the session. Good stuff.

    I think pretty much everyone would agree that Mercedes are in a better position than Mclaren at the moment despite their end of session woes. This also astounds me.

    Hopefully Mclaren’s pace isn’t as bad as it looks as their lap times on heavy fuel seem within a few tenths of the other top teams, but it seems they are lacking downforce at the moment and struggling to understand their new car concept. As a result they have reverted to 2012 spec front wing and turning vanes according to ScarbsF1:

  10. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    15th March 2013, 7:18

    I know it’s only Friday, but Sutil has looked much better than di Resta so far. His style hasn’t grained the tyres too badly, and he’s gotten better times.

    IMO he’s going to beat Di Resta pretty handily over the course of the season.

    Should be interesting.

    1. IMO he (Sutil) is going to beat Di Resta pretty handily over the course of the season.

      If that happens, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Di Resta’s F1 career is over.

    2. Sutil has looked much better than Di Resta already.

      There’s a very simple explanation for this? It’s coz he’s faster it really is that simple. He will crucify Di Resta this season.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        15th March 2013, 8:25

        Not only is he raw speed more impressive than Di Resta’s, but his ability to manage the Super-Softs and Mediums on the longer runs has been better as well, which also; in turn, makes him even faster.

      2. Wasn’t PDR the same guy who was saying that he can out-perform Lewis and Seb if he gets an opportunity. As rightly mentioned, he is still cementing his place in the midfield let alone the sharp end.

      3. No, no, this cannot be right. He must have had an issue right. And voila, here it is:
        The poor guy got beaten by a balance issue, surely not his teammate just being quicker :-P

        1. @bascb thanks for actually bringing some light to this, people are going to still judge either way. I think people really want to see PDR gone, but either way I am glad you brought some fairness that the others didn’t.

          1. Its a bit of a shame that he had this issue, because FI is one of the teams where I think the teammate battle is going to be pretty tight this year.

    3. Sutil is a great driver, always “the best of the rest after the top teams” kind of like kubica in 2010, best of the rest after the top 3 teams, sutil has always been best of the rest after the top 4 teams. he will prove that again this year, and maybe get a better seat next year.

      1. Sutil has never been best of the rest and he wont do it this year either. The highest I can see him is 12th in point unless he some how summoned the ghost of Senna.

  11. Man,what a sinking feeling when I read the lap times.What happened to ferrari?8 tenths off the pace,i honestly thought they would be close to the red bulls.The only hope is for the mercs to challenge them,but it doesn’t look good if you were hoping for 4 team qualifying battle.

  12. Watched the last 30 minutes, the McLaren looked terrible. Car was all over the place under braking, jumping up and down and just looking impossible to drive. Hoping Mercedes’ pace is real, let them get involved this year!

    1. Mclaren have always had cars that jumped all over the place. For the past 6years, their cars always seemed to be the one finding all the bumps on the track. I believe they have a fast car, just that it is difficult to find the right setup.

  13. Looks like the season is over before it started :/ I really hope some teams were still bluffing but this looks like a walk in the (Albert) park for Vet Bull.

  14. The Red Bull looks very planted, although the tyre degredation on Vettel’s heavy fuel run looked quite pronounced and there were others who we quicker. I think Red Bull will probably have the edge in qualifying due to their outright pace, but Lotus in particular look slightly better on race pace and tyre degredation. Mercedes and Ferrari are up there also, but the former has to be worrying with two failures at the end of the session…

    1. I’ve got my fingers crossed as well for the Lotus race pace, the Ferrari was close as well, but I wasn’t keeping track of the Merc’s long run times. Hopefully they can attack Red Bull more on race pace.

      I’m just wondering what the car’s are going to be like in (most probably) the wet tomorrow. Could give the grid a nice shake up and stop the Bulls having a chance to just run away with it.

    2. Lotus in particular look slightly better on race pace and tyre degredation

      I can say that watching it live, the Lotus looked very very good, second only to the Red Bull. If they can bring last year’s characteristic of being kind to its tyres as well, Kimi in particular is in with a real shot on Sunday.

  15. Melchior (@)
    15th March 2013, 7:46

    Is it my imagination or do the cars seem to have more suspension travel or they seem a lot more “Supple”over the bumps etc?

    1. I noticed this too and also figured it was my imagination. Last season the Lotus had a noticably more supple suspension setup than most other cars but this year it looks like Mercedes and Ferrari at the very least are mimicing this characteristic.

      Mclaren are in complete contrast. Their cars have consistently looked very rigid on track in recent seasons. I remember the 2009 Mclaren driving round corners on three wheels until they updated it.

      This year seems no different for Mclaren. The car looked like a real handful over the bumps and kerbs in Melbourne this morning, the whole car visibly oscillating in places where others showed no signs of nervousness. Whitmarsh has acknowledged that the car has “poor ride” in the Team Principle Press Conference.

      We all know about the setup woes Button struggled with last year for almost 1/3rd of the season. At Canada, Mclaren were experimenting with different suspension configurations. Button used a different rear suspension to Hamilton and was two seconds off the pace whilst his teammate qualified on pole and won the race convincingly, so evidently suspension setup can have a huge impact on the performance of the car.

      It just baffles me that Mclaren are apparently still not on top of this after what happened with Button last season and to a lesser extent Hamilton.

      Perhaps someone who is technically astute can explain to me why a team with the heritage and success of Mclaren can struggle to configure the suspension of their cars suitably, because from my laymans perspective, I would assume that suspension setup is pretty much an exact science with known quantities, completely different from the likes of Aerodynamics which is much more nuanced.

      That being said, it’s evident that there is often a tradeoff between Aerodynamic and Mechanical concepts. For example see this highly insightful video from former Williams and Ferrari Design Engineer, Enrique Scalabroni:

      1. @panache
        As with everything in F1, it’s a question of compromise. Teams want to minimise the weight of the car, and keep that weight as low as possible. But at the same time, the trend is for ever higher noses to get air under the car and get the floor working. Putting the nose higher means doing what you can to minimise the weight of the front suspension, and this is why McLaren have used this solution – a shock with less movement can be shorter. An F1 shock will fit in the palm of your hand. Pullrod systems also mean that the shocks can lay flat in the car, keeping the weight as low as possible. More suspension travel equals more weight, so this is the answer McLaren have come up with. It’s not wrong, it’s just different. Other teams have gone the other way, most likely in response to the challenges set by the tyres. Running a slightly higher tyre pressure, for instance, can help minimise heat buildup in the tyre, but it makes the tyre stiffer so you need a softer suspension setup. The McLaren can run lower tyre pressures, which may give more grip, but is likely to also lead to slightly higher tyre wear.

        Every part of the car is compromised in some way. A race car built without regulations, without compromises, would be a very different machine to an F1 car.

  16. I really hope Red Bull aren’t the best again if only so that Vettel isn’t hailed as the greatest driver of all time.

    1. He already is hailed one of the very greatest drivers of all time. All at the very young age of 25.

        1. hmm, yes.

    2. Tough frankly. You may not like him, but he’s already a great. You may not like Schumacher, but he’s also a great. That’s rather schadenfreude of you though isn’t it?

  17. I still can’t believe that McLaren is slow. They might still be sandbagging ;) otherwise how can the fastest car of the last race of the last season be so slow without any change on technical regulations. That too by more than a second off the pace.

    If they are indeed slow, Lewis Hamilton might be Thinking thank goodness I am out of that place!!!!!

    1. No chance. Any hopes that Mclaren are possibly still sandbagging were discarded once Martin Whitmarsh addressed the media. His forlorn demeanour told me everything I need to know. Mclaren might even be worse off than it looks at the moment.

      1. @panache I agree. I had written this comment before Whitmarsh’s press conference news.

        Looks like they have hit some trouble. I don’t understand why people are blaming Button for that.

    2. It’s because unlike most of the teams (if not all) they have gone for a revolutionary new car instead of just evolving the car. This is hindering them at the start as they collect data and understand the car and how to set it up. They did a similar thing end of 2005, having had the fastest car on the grid (although probably one of the least reliable) they changed things up for 2006. The result was a slow and unreliable car.

      It’ll be interesting how it evolves during the season as their main reason for the revolution idea is to create a larger space for development. Maybe they might do similarly as ’06-’07 in the transition from ’13-’14, going from a dog of a car to the fastest car (on par with Ferrari at the very least). And this time they might even manage to do it by themselves ;)

  18. Dear God, I hope this isn’t representative of Red Bull’s pace. I don’t think I could stand a 4th championship for Vettel.

    1. Me neither!

    2. If you can’t stand (it), why don’t you sit down?

      1. @wsrgo Aren’t you quite the joker?

    3. @pielighter +1 Totally agree!

  19. Don’t like what I’m seeing at Mercedes now!

    1. Don’t you mean Mc Laren ?

      1. @tango I think @kani probably refers to the problems faced by Hamilton and Rosberg in FP2.

  20. Early signs are that Vettel will cruise to pole. Perhaps tomorrow’s weather can throw up some surprises.

    McLaren’s lack of form so far is not completely surprising, but I expected them to be quicker than this. Equally, I had expected Williams to be a little further forward. But then, they seemed to be focussing on race pace. As was pointed out in the live chat, perhaps they are not expecting to make Q3, and only run the super softs with a heavy load of fuel. If it doesn’t rain tomorrow, at least we will finally see how quick (or not) the Williams is when at last they take out the fuel.

  21. Big disappointment for FP2 seems to be Ferrari again. Nearly a second down on the Red Bulls.

    If you look past all the ball talk, Ferrari really look incapable of producing a championship winning car

    1. Year after year @todfod, year after year…

    2. The F138 is a better car than the F2012 at the start of the season, that is obvious,
      It dosen’t matter if you have a championship winning car at the start of season ,Mercedes has it last year but look where they ended the season
      The Key to win the WDC is the development of the car during the season
      Fernando said that he will be surprised if the Bull’s are not clearly the fastest team but he feels that Ferrari has reduced the gap ,

    3. @todfod – it’s not looking all that promising in qualifying yes, but it is quicker than the times suggest I believe. The car has good race pace it appears though so all hope is not lost on you, but yes Red Bull have most definitely silenced their pre-season skeptics I think.

  22. Either Bianchi is a future world champion, or Chilton is easily the worst British driver since…anyone??

    1. Quite possibly both.

  23. I’ll say one thing, I doubt Bianchi will still be at Marussia in 2014. Pretty sure Hamilton had the issue, they told Rosberg to shut it down, just in case.

    1. @coronis That’s 2 things…

  24. New tactics for Red Bull? I’m used to seeing them well down on Fridays.

    I hope Williams were carrying loads of fuel, otherwise they’re struggling a bit, along with Toro Rosso.

    Did Martin Brundle spot anything else in Practice 2? Heard a couple of his trackside observations from Practice 1 and they’re worth a thousand David Crofts.

  25. I hope Red Bull have shown the full extent of their hand otherwise it might be a very frustrating season, as 2011 was (great racing, but not for the victory).

    I really feel for McLaren. When you are a top team and if your car is disappointing at the beginning of the season, you can normally still rely on your lead driver to drive incredibly to salvage maximum points. (aka HAM 2009 without the penalty, ALO 2012…) And I juste don’t see that happening.

    1. Mclaren will be back like Ferrari last year…it will not be a 2011, Ferrari has more chances to win this year than the last three years

  26. Firstly, I was very surprised how dark it got towards the end. Haven’t seen the sky going this dark before in Australia and with chances of rain on Saturday and Sunday, it seems worrying.

    My heart sank whenever I saw Seb hitting purple in either sectors. Too early to comment but I really can’t stand the Red Bull/Vettel success anymore. Quite reminiscent of the Ferrari/Schumi era.

    Bianchi really impressed. Half a second faster than Chilton. Or else, Chilton is really bad in-spite more days of testing!

  27. Just watched fp2 and have analysed all the times of the big 5.
    Mclaren are 1 sec off the pace on th long runs. I think a couple of teams have sandbagged today namely ferrari and lotus. Their pace on the long runs is a tad quicker than the bulls. Merc are probably about .5secs down on this group. So i don’t think it is a walk in the park for redbull as yet.
    More intetestingly is the strategies the teams are trying to run. Ferrari, Lotus, Mclaren are looking to do a 3 stop whereas redbull are going for 2 which is surprising because both lotus and ferrari had better tyre management last year compared to redbull. The mclaren also seems to have better degradation so a button or perez can still qualify out of the top 10 and have fresh tyres for all the stints.So if qualifying is dry i think we could well see a top 8 shootout. In fact i bet macca are praying that the rain stays away.

  28. Just watched fp2 and have analysed all the times of the big 5.
    Mclaren are 1 sec off the pace on th long runs. I think a couple of teams have sandbagged today namely ferrari and lotus. Their pace on the long runs is a tad quicker than the bulls. Merc are probably about .5secs down on this group. So i don’t think it is a walk in the park for redbull yet.
    More intetestingly is the strategies the teams are trying to run. Ferrari, Lotus, Mclaren are looking to do a 3 stop whereas redbull are going for 2 which is surprising because both lotus and ferrari had better tyre management last year compared to redbull. The mclaren also seems to have better degradation so a button or perez can still qualify out of the top 10 and have fresh tyres for all the stints.So if qualifying is dry i think we could well see a top 8 shootout. In fact i bet macca are praying that the rain stays away.

  29. Does anyone know a link to get practice lap timings for different drivers. It used to be on the FIA media site last year but I could not find it this year.

    Many thanks

      1. Thanks Sandy – always fun to do the analysis to prepare for Sunday long runs

  30. So is Di Resta waiting for tomorrow to smash Sutil?

  31. reports Ferrari wasn’t aiming for times, as both Alonso and Massa were switching diffirent rear aero packages to find the right balance.

    1. it’s normal…they saw they have pace in fp1…we will see in qualy but it look good this year for Ferrari.

  32. Have to love the “Oh no – it’s 2011 again” comments 2 practice sessions into the season ! Calm down everyone….

    This season isn’t going to be lie 2011 at all. McLaren will develop their car very quickly into one that can compete with Red Bull, Alonso will drag the Ferrari forward in the race as will Hamilton with the Mercedes (until it breaks down). Lotus seem very fast which means instead of Grosjean taking out the cars that qualify in the 5th – 9th, there’s a good chance he’ll be further in the pack at the start!

    Practice sessions regularly mean nothing and whilst Red Bull look (and clearly are) fast, I don’t expect it to be a season of Vettel driving off into the distance.

    1. I don’t expect it to be a season of Vettel driving off into the distance


  33. Please, don’t let it be another 2011. Fingers crossed for Lotus and Ferrari.

  34. To me it seems the order in terms of quali pace is:
    Red Bull.
    Force India-Mclaren-Sauber.
    Williams-Toro Rosso.
    Although I think Williams are faster than what they have shown.

    1. I think with a bit of Rain, Bianchi will win. ;)
      Okay, I’m being hopeful there, it’s so cruel to see talent like him right at the tail battle… :(

      1. He is already showing that he is a class above the rest at the slow end of the field. Considering all of the testing Chilton has done in the Marussia, Bianchi has been comfortably faster than him at every single oppertunity so far.

        If he manages a few reasonable results over the year (reasonable for Marussia that is), he could will end up with a decent seat next year.

    2. @master-firelee
      Great summary there bud.

  35. An interesting point to note regarding Mercedes in second practice. Lewis was P2 after a ten lap run on the mediums which he set his fastest time on the ninth lap. Vettel did his fast lap on the mediums on a 5 lap stint. This was before everyone switched to the super softs. I think the merc long run pace looks pretty good.
    Lewis’s off was due to a damaged splitter not a mechanical failure, so his car is fine and easily fixed. Not seen anything on Rosbergs gearbox yet.

  36. Well, i wasn’t expecting Red Bull to be so quick from the start, i wasn’t expecting McLaren and Williams to do so poorly, I wasn’t expecting Torro Rosso to be just where they were last year and I wasn’t expecting Sutil and Bianchi to do so well. The only two teams that ar where I though they would be, are Ferrari and Mercedes, to be honest.

    Still, it’s a good start of the season, right?!

    1. No Wrong, Redbull still have the best car so how does that make it a good start to the season !!!!

  37. I still can’t believe this man actually called his RB9 ‘hungry heidi’

  38. Spent the afternoon at the track with my sons and it was great. The speed, braking ability and noise are something to behold. TV just doesn’t do it justice. All the cars look good in the flesh. With a small Friday crowd you can easily get up close and personal at different parts of the track. Public transport woeful though.

  39. Could it be that the MP4-28 is fluent in Ronspeak?
    It would explain why they are “struggling to understand the car” perhaps.

  40. oh boy look at Lotus..they are genuinely consistent now..Never get to hear something good about the car from kimi….but this time he says he’s pretty happy and comfortable with the car and says he could go much faster…hope it doesn’t rain though…
    Dry: Vettel Hamilton Raikkonen
    Wet: Button Webber Alonso

  41. Vettel clearly the best. For the ones who were saying that Sutil would take half of the championship to get into Di Resta shoes here you have the clues. Let’s see what comes for tomorrow. The two Nico’s are showing their noses. Jules Bianchi top of the underdogs, as predicted. Great flop for Catheram to bet on a rookie season. I don’t know why these smaller teams don’t hire a more experience driver for Fridays so they would get the car on the right wheels.

    1. Vettels clearly the best, No No No No No, the cars clearly the best, Adrian Newey is clearly the best, Vettel’s driven the best car for four years now but he’s not the best driver, if he were he’d prove it by moving teams which he will only do when the Redbull starts to fail.

      1. @stillcamileon – Rubbish. So apparently Ayrton “the best” moved to Williams when Mclaren were still at the top of their game?

        1. Do your homework Ayrton did jump ship when he new that the Williams was the better car, in fact he offer to drive for Williams for nothing just to be in the car, anyway who was talking about Ayrton in the first place.

          1. @stillcamileon – I brought up Ayrton as an example because you claim that Vettel isn’t the best because he won’t move teams. I don’t mind someone believing that he isn’t the best, in their opinion- but I do mind, when people justify the claim by holding him to a different standard than other past drivers (i.e. asking him to move when in order to prove himself, when Red Bull aren’t failing).

            Oh, and you can’t tell me to “do your homework” when you more or less admitted to my example being true.

      2. I was just saying he was “clearly the best” at the two Friday practice sessions. :p

  42. Looks like us poor old Mclaren fans are in for another bumpy ride this season, its like opening a big present at christmas only to find a small present inside, not so much Evil Knievel and his gyro cycle more yesteryear dinky toys !.

  43. Again and again we wait for Mclaren to regain there form,i really need to get down to that factory and bash a few heads together, much like our fellow Ferrari fans its all becoming a little to familiar to lose.

    1. Yea @stillcamileon
      How can Newey be the only genius on the paddock?

      1. Maybe he’s not? Maybe you only think he is the only genius in the paddock.

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