Alonso splits Red Bulls in close session

2013 Spanish Grand Prix second practice result

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The second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix saw the top three drivers separated by less than a tenth of a second. The Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber were first and third, with Fernando Alonso in between them.

After the damp first practice session the second 90-minute period saw sunshine and warmer temperatures. The teams joined the track en masse as practice began, several drivers using the development hard tyre compound.

The Mercedes pair led the times initially but Lewis Hamilton spun to a stop while trying to better Nico Rosberg’s best effort. He was able to continue, however.

Webber was next to take over at the head of the times. But Alonso had a quicker run through the first sector and carried his advantage through to the end of the lap, edging Webber by less than a tenth of a second.

Webber responded by switching to the medium tyres and all-but matched Alonso in the first sector but going much quicker in the second. He broke through the 83 second barrier with a 1’22.891.

However Vettel found more time with the mediums, pipping his team mate by 0.083s. Alonso improved his first sector time again when he did his first run, but fell just 0.017s short of beating Vettel, splitting the two Red Bulls.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth quickest for Lotus but team mate Romain Grosjean was left shaking his head as he returned to the pits with a time that was only good enough for 18th.

The two Mercedes were behind Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton told their pace was six to seven tenths of a second slower than the likes of Red Bull and Lotus.

Both Force Indias were inside the top ten but Paul di Resta’s session ended when his left-rear tyre appeared to suffer a delamination as he came out of the final corner. He pulled the car up to a safe stop at the pit lane exit.

But Pirelli will surely be concerned about the problem after Massa and Hamilton suffered multiple failures in the previous race weekend.

McLaren also had cause to be worried as neither driver appeared in the top ten times after running their new upgrades.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’22.80834
23Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’22.8250.01735
32Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’22.8910.08336
47Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’23.0300.22232
54Felipe MassaFerrari1’23.1100.30237
610Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’23.1400.33235
79Nico RosbergMercedes1’23.3980.59045
815Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’23.8401.03237
918Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’24.0581.25031
1014Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’24.1041.29625
1119Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’24.1751.36732
125Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.3061.49835
136Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes1’24.8542.04631
1417Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’24.8882.08038
1511Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’25.1672.35938
1616Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’25.3212.51332
1712Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’25.4412.63337
188Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’25.8513.04336
1921Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’25.9633.15530
2022Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’26.0783.27031
2120Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’26.9304.12235
2223Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’26.9704.16226

2013 Spanish 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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74 comments on “Alonso splits Red Bulls in close session”

  1. Red Bull’s tyre degredation looks about equal with Ferrari’s, so I reckon this is going to come down to a qualifying battle between them for the victory.

    1. Lotus did look a bit better on longer runs than the both of them though, so they could upset that a bit. And maybe a FI or a Mercedes getting in there at the start as well.

      1. Which FP did you see? Because I just saw Alonso doing 11 consecutive laps (Vettel did 7 laps with a slow one in the middle to cool the tyres) with the softer compound spanning from 1:29.1 to 1.30.7 and he also did the last four laps with the hard tyres doing mid 27s…I don’t see Vettel/Raikkonen did any better…

    2. @vettel1 In that case, Vettel for the win, considering how consistently Alonso underperforms in Q3…

      1. Three third places in the row, two of them ahead of his teammate. Yes, that’s some under-performing right there, especially for a car that is recognized to have more of a race pace than a quali pace.

        1. He should have been ahead of Raikkonen in China and ahead of Vettel in Bahrain. And I’m only talking about the races in which he outqualified Massa..

          1. @wsrgo

            and by what logic you arrived at the conclusion that he should’ve been ahead of Kimi in China and Vettel in Baharin?

          2. @puneethvb Ferrari was quicker than Lotus on one lap throughout the entire weekend in China, therefore my thought.
            And he made several mistakes in his final lap in Q3(which he ultimately aborted), but his car had the pace to beat Vettel’s time.

      2. @wsrgo

        In that case, Vettel for the win pole, considering how consistently Alonso underperforms in Q3…

        I have that fixed for you.

        Qualifying ability and racecraft are two very different things. Guess where Alonso excels? ;-)

        1. @kingshark I’m only going alongwith what @vettel1 is saying..

          1. He should have been ahead of Raikkonen in China and ahead of Vettel in Bahrain.

            Can you prove that the Ferrari should have been ahead of the Lotus in China qualifying? You have no evidence other than guesswork.

            Alonso qualifying ratio compared to his teammates throughout his career is actually better than any other driver on a top team, just to point that out.

          2. @kingshark

            Alonso qualifying ratio compared to his teammates throughout his career is actually better than any other driver on a top team, just to point that out.

            Really? What about Hamilton?

          3. In 2007 hamilton vs Alonso in qualifying was 10-7 in hamilton’s favor…
            Considering he was up against Hamilton who arguably is the best qualifier in f1 now , that was a pretty decent showing from a supposedly weak qualifier :)

          4. In 2007 hamilton vs Alonso in qualifying was 10-7 in hamilton’s favor…
            Considering he was up against Hamilton who was a rookie , that was a pretty poor showing from a double world champion :)

        2. @kingshark

          So you agree Alonso consistently underperforms in Q3?

      3. In that case, Vettel for the win, considering how consistently Alonso underperforms in Q3

        In that case, Alonso for the win, considering how consistently Vettel underperforms in the race

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          10th May 2013, 16:41

          @tifoso1989 @vettel1 yeah Barhain was a clear example of Vettel underperforming in the race

          1. Perhaps he does ‘underperform’: when he has a race-winning gap of about 6+ seconds by the half race distance.

            But then again Vettel is one that’s fond of statistics and that would mean…

          2. @omarr-pepper +1! Vettel is actually renowned for his fantastic pole-to-win conversion rate.

            From what I’ve seen, both the Ferrari’s and the Red Bull’s were in the high 29’s low 30’s pretty consistently throughout their stints, so I think they are both pretty equal in the race by the early signs.

            Hence it looks this battle is going to be decided in qualifying and at the start, and hence Vettel has two poles and a second place and I believe is still yet to lose a place on the first lap then I think he’s got Alonso covered on that one.

            It’s still early days though and anything can happen!

        2. hahaha yup thats why he one 2 races already

        3. 1:36:961

          That’s how underperforming he is.

      4. I don’t think @wsrgo is far off the mark: Alonso hasn’t been as good as Vettel in qualifying so far this year, and Vettel’s starts have been pretty good so far this year (he kept the lead in Australia and Malaysia, held position in China and only really lost out to Alonso in Bahrain due to some stern defence from Rosberg, forcing him to back down).

        Whatever happens though, I reckon this is likely to be a win for Alonso or Vettel from the early signs.

    3. Considering Alonso’s lightening starts and the longest start finish line of Barcelona and the Ferrari top speed, if Alonso will qualify on the second row he could have a greate chance of winning.

      1. @wsrgo

        Really??? I am not so sure how one can conclusively say that Ferrari had better one lap pace than Lotus in China .. do you have any data to prove that?
        Even If he had nt made any mistakes in his last Q3 run in Baharin what is the guarantee that he would’ve bettered his time.. may be the first Q3 run time was the maximum the car was capable of…

        1. In that case, Alonso for the win, considering how consistently Vettel underperforms in the race

          Nice way to counter his point.

          In 2007 hamilton vs Alonso in qualifying was 10-7 in hamilton’s favor…

          It was 8-9 actually.

          So you agree Alonso consistently underperforms in Q3?

          I’m not sure, does Vettel consistently underperform in races?

          Vettel is actually renowned for his fantastic pole-to-win conversion rate.

          Only 28 wins for 38 pole positions is not a great ratio.

          yeah Barhain was a clear example of Vettel underperforming in the race

          See above.

          1 race does not define a driver.

          Alonso has 41% more wins than pole positions. Vettel only capitalized on 73% of his pole positions, so Alonso is clearly a much, much better racer, right?

          Just in case some people don’t get the sarcasm, I was making fun of certain posts’ irrational lack of logic.

  2. I wouldn’t have believed I would be saying this a few years ago, but I hope Alonso wins. Of the 3 most likely title contenders, I support Kimi most, but I want to see Alonso get the points haul he needs to get closer to Vettel.

    1. @matt90
      That is a very nice thing to say! I really hope he has a good race too, it´ll make the championship all the more interesting!
      Lotus does make the rubber last longer so it seems they might be the dark horse in this one! (hope not *fingers crossed!*)

    2. (@matt90)

      I wouldn’t have believed I would be saying this a few years ago, but I hope Alonso wins

      Same! I couldn’t used to stand Alonso, though I always respected his abilities, but he’s clearly really matured the last year or two and I find myself feeling bad for him considering the (2012 in particular) championship results.

      And Kimi’s still the boss of course :p

  3. I really enjoyed the main commentator in FP2. Who is he?

    1. Depends what channel you were watching..

    2. Probably David Croft for Sky Sports F1.
      And I particularly enjoy the bits by Martin Brundle in different Parts/Corners of the circuit.
      Although you only hear him talking, his analysis of the car driving by are very accurate imo!

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        10th May 2013, 15:52

        Well that’s Martin”Biggest Legend Ever” Brundle for you.

    3. Allan Mcnish on BBC was very in depth with his commentary today. He knows what he is is talking about and has interesting tales to tell as well.

      1. @calum Yeah I alwas enjoy listening to McNish! :)

      2. I am in South Africa, I thinks it’s BBC we get (Fellow South Africans, pls confirm)
        It wasn’t Martin Bundle, it was someone more informative. Had interesting tales and bits of useful information throughout the session. Definitely enjoyed his style. So if James Allen was the main commentator it must be him then.

      3. @calum I do like McNish too but I don’t know, sometimes I see him as a bit bigoted! Usually his rational and experience is very insightful though and as a Scot myself I like hearing the accent in commentary (which is why I also like DC)!

    4. BBC’s main commentator was James Allen.

  4. 3 drivers covered by less than a tenth of a second. Seems like an interesting battle for the top 3 spots is on the cards.

    This has also been one of Webber’s stronger tracks… I hope he gets to battle Vettel in this race… while Alonso cruises ahead ;)

    1. Well, if Alonso starts on front row, not pole necessarily, he might just beat SV to the first corner. Ferrari does have better starts so it is possible!!
      If that does happen, you can expect Mark to swarm all over SV´s gearBOX ! hehehee And hopefully they might punt each other off!
      Anyways, it´s shaping up to be another cracker of a race!!

      1. @karter22

        I think Web will qualify better than Seb and probably better than Alonso. Like most people, I rely on recent past to make my predictions… Web has to poles at Circuit de Catalunya

      2. @karter22 You have the assumption that Vettel will start on pole (let’s wait till end of FP3to be scrupulous), who gets away from pole just as well to a degree.

        1. @younger-hamii

          You have the assumption that Vettel will start on pole

          Yup, guilty as charged. I know ALO isn´t the fastest in qualy and although WEB does have 2 poles in barcelona, I think he´ll crack and as usual, SV will get pole although it wouldn´t be right to count out HAM or RAI. It´s gonna be one heck of a qualy session!

    2. I think Webber made a mistake on his fastest lap and Alonso’s wasn’t perfect either while Vettel’s lap was spot-on. If all three of them get a good lap tomorrow, it’ll likely be WEB-ALO-VET.

      1. @starbuck VET’s lap wasn’t perfect at all, he was 3 or 4 tenths up by the end of the second sector and lost about 3 tenths to WEB by the end of the lap, He missed the apex at T9 and lost some more afterwards. pretty sure we’re talking about the same lap

        1. Yup, we’re talking about the same lap. He was 3 tenths up on Webber because Webber made his mistake in sector 1. Didn’t really see him missing the Apex, so they might have been equally quick.

      2. Vettel could have gone at least 0.1 faster; his best sector times clearly show that.

  5. At the end, vd Garde was fastest of the newer teams, even though he kept complaining about trouble with drive ability of the car during the session. I guess the updates got Caterham up to speed with Marussia then, and Pic suffered a bit from not having had FP1.

  6. The tyres tread failures the Pirelli have suffered from should be a big concern for Pirelli & the teams now.

    I spent 10 years around F1 & can’t recall ever seeing a tyre fail in this way. Usually if there going to fail they either just go flat or blow up. I have seen small chunks come off the tread before but never the entire thing.

    Pirelli say its caused by debris & perhaps they have been, However none of the tyres that have failed have actually gone flat, They have all retained full pressure & have simply lost the tyre tread. Regardles of how Pirelli spin it a tyre hitting debris, retaining pressure & just tossing the tread isn’t normal.
    Hitting debris should cause a cut in the tread & if deep enough should cause the tyre to lose pressure, Thats the normal thing to happen, They should not throw the tread off the tyres.

    There is clearly an issue with the way Pirelli are attaching the tread to the canvas & its clearly something Pirelli needs to address as there has been 5 similar failures over 2 consecutive race meetings now.

    1. lets hope we don’t have another michelin at indy situation

      I didn’t see what happened to hamilton’s tyre , but I saw massa’s and they both looked deflated to me

      1. both looked deflated to me

        Both stayed inflated as did Di Resta’s today.

        One of the Saubers also had part of the tread come off its left/front at Bahrain during Friday practice. Van Der Garde’s tyre also delaminated about the same time as Hamiltons.

        There was also Button’s lock-up in China that caused the tyre to delaminate & go flat which is something you don’t see that often.
        If you look at Kimi’s failure at Nurburgring in 2005, He had several massive lock-ups which caused that big flat spot, However the tyre never failed it remained fully inflated. It was the bottom wishbone linkage to the hub that failed due to the vibration & at the speed he was doing it tore the rest of the suspension apart.

    2. Thank God that it didn’t give way midway through the last corner or during turn 3; it could’ve been a lot uglier. It is just fortunate that the tyre failures of Paul, Felipe and Lewis have all occurred on straights; soon Pirelli will run out of luck and actually hurt someone.

    3. I second that. Fourth major delamination (HAM, MASx2, DIR) in less than two weekends – this is something that simply cannot be tolerated. Whatever Hembery says, this is not what FIA has asked them to do (and if it is – FIA needs to be brought up on charges). What happened to DiResta in the last corner today could have ended up in a major accident. I’ve never been a big Villeneuve fan but now I thing he was onto something when he said that Pirelli’s new tyre construction is an obsolete last century design. This tyre nonsense really has to stop before someone is injured or worse.

    4. Are they wainting for something serious to happen?

      1. I actually hope we do have another ‘Michelin at Indy’ situation so that maybe it will be a wake up call and they will get away from trying to use dangerous mandated banana peels for tires and start using proper solutions toward exciting racing in F1.

        Have to shake my head now that it seems to be emerging that not only are the tires an artificial means to shake things up, like DRS, but they are also dangerous…seems to fly in the face of what F1 has been about since Senna passed.

        Surely to goodness they can put their heads together and come up with some way to do better for F1 (I don’t mean Pirelli I mean everyone involved in F1). Stable tires, no DRS, but much less aero downforce dependancy (or some opine go the route of ground effects) and that way cars are not nearly so adversely affected in dirty air and the processions of the past won’t be an issue.

        JV’s name has come up a few posts above and I’ll once again reiterate something he said at the time they introduced grooved tires in the 90’s, which he thought was a joke, and it’s still valid today. Give us back the big fat slicks of the 70’s. They gave tons of mechanical grip for confidence in the corners and yet created so much drag down the straights that you had no choice but to run less wing if you wanted to achieve any kind of respectable top speeds. This kills two birds with one stone…provides mechanical grip while reducing dependancy on clean air (ie. cars less affected by dirty air because they are running less wing and have good mechanical grip through the tires.)

  7. I didn’t watch the session but any particular reason why Grosjean is so far down the order?

    1. Not really, he must not have been able to find a clear space to register a fast lap. The long run that Grosjean did at the end of the session augurs well for him and Kimi come Sunday.

      1. Ok thats good to hear. He looked like he made some good progress in Bahrain and I hoped he’d continue to show some good form.

    2. heavy fuel load maybe? Don´t know, haven´t watched it yet.

    3. James (@jamesjames123abc)
      10th May 2013, 15:26

      He was about a tenth up on Kimi’s best time after the first 2 sectors, but then backed off and went into the pits. I guess he got held up in traffic at some point in the final sector.

    4. Davide Valsecchi said that Grosjean had a problem with the car in his fast lap, so he had to abort it.

  8. A shout out to @tophercheese, whose question was chosen by David Croft..

  9. I am just watching the GP2 quali – do they do the same circuit as the F1 cars?

    At the moments pole position is only 2 seconds slower than Max Chiltons best practice time…..!!!

  10. Mclaren upgrades? More like downgrades har har.

  11. If kimi manage to stay in the front two rows by the end of Q3 tomorrow, he would a strong contender on Sunday

  12. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
    10th May 2013, 16:08

    When’s the fist fight between Webber and Vettel going to happen? :-)

  13. The Ferrari is the fastest package. Practice doesn’t mean much anyway. I expect nothing less than a Vettel pole.

  14. Seen as Di Resta’s tyre failed around the silly cookie cutter chicane, does that mean we can get rid of it!!? (I wish)

    1. I really don’t understand the need for shoving chicanes into already built circuits! It does nothing but extend the total time of a grand prix, and for no necessary reason!

      They can’t claim it’s for safety (to slow the cars down) as they are prefectly happy for the cars to enter turn 1 at Suzuka, to fly around the many massively fast corners at Spa and also the Lesmo corners at Monza to name a few. I don’t see how the old final corner at Catalunya could ever be deemed more unsafe than those or many other corners on the calendar.

      They can’t argue it’s to increase overtaking either, how is the following driver meant to be able to make up any ground on the car in front around those final turns when there is only 40 odd meters between each one. There is simply no room to capitalise the effect of getting on the power earlier than the car in front; and if the intention is to help overtaking at the end of the pit straight, then surely exiting a fast corner onto the straight allows for a more immediately efficient slip steam effect (if that makes sense?).

      They’ve already seen it does nothing to improve a race. Get rid of it already, along with that double chicane in Singapore!

  15. So the FP2 title should be Vettel followed by Ferrari Team Mates ( Alonso & Webber )

    1. @tmax

      I’ve seen nothing to suggest Webber is working in favor of Alonso now. In Bahrein he could have let Alonso through if he wanted too. He could have made it look like his tyres were absolutely finished. He didn’t.

      While Webber may not like Vettel or doesn’t want Vettel to win Webber does want to score as many points as possible to try and keep his own championship aspirations alive. Plus he’s also racing for his guys in the paddock and the people in Milton Keynes.

  16. ahhhhh……it will be vettel again on pole…….and alonso saying our carrr isn’t gooood,we are trying to catch rrredbulll……blahhh blahhh….

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