Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013

Vettel heads second practice as rivals hit trouble

2013 Japanese Grand Prix second practice

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Suzuka, 2013Sebastian Vettel led second practice as several other drivers had spins and crashes during the session.

Team mate Mark Webber made it a Red Bull one-two on Friday afternoon at Suzuka despite twice being held up by Force Indias.

Mercedes, quickest in the first session, could only manage third-best time with Nico Rosberg. The two Lotuses were next, Romain Grosjean behind Kimi Raikkonen after making a mistake at Degner 2 on his first flying lap.

Just 21 cars participated as Jules Bianchi was unable to participate following his crash in the first session.

Within the first half hour two drivers had joined Bianchi on the sidelines. Pastor Maldonado went off at Degner 2 as the Marussia driver had done and become stuck in the gravel.

The next driver to crash was Sergio Perez. The McLaren driver lost control of his car on the way into Spoon, making heavy contact with the barrier.

Several other drivers lost control without hitting anything. Alonso ended up pointing in the wrong direction at Degner 2 after hitting the kerb in the preceding corner and spinning. That cost him his best run on the medium tyre.

Raikkonen’s session came to an end early in his long run when he spun into a gravel trap at Dunlop corner and was unable to rejoin the circuit.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’33.85235
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’34.0200.16835
39Nico RosbergMercedes1’34.1140.26236
47Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’34.2020.35017
58Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’34.4110.55930
610Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’34.4420.59036
719Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’34.4730.62130
84Felipe MassaFerrari1’34.6980.84635
95Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’34.9121.06034
103Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’35.0871.23532
1112Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’35.0891.23736
1218Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’35.1091.25734
1311Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’35.1821.33034
1414Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’35.2751.42335
1515Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’35.3411.48925
166Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes1’35.7091.8578
1717Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’36.1362.28441
1816Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’36.7222.8706
1920Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’37.6303.77831
2021Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’37.9054.05336
2123Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’38.1214.26933
2222Jules BianchiMarussia-CosworthNo time0

2013 Japanese 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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50 comments on “Vettel heads second practice as rivals hit trouble”

  1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
    11th October 2013, 7:35

    Massa 0.4 up on Alonso? Say it ain’t so!

    1. It says in the article that Alonso spun on his best lap.

      1. @mike-dee which is funny cause then it would no longer be his “best” lap, lol.

    2. His time was on hards.

  2. Red Bull on top as usual, and abysmal pace from Ferrari. 2014 can’t come soon enough.

    1. @kingshark and what happens if your Ferrari’s are beat yet again next year?

      1. we will clench our fists expecting 2015 to be better. We’re used to it.

        We were patient in 1996-1999 and look how that turned out =)

        1. @njoydesign yeah but 1997 and 1999 were quite close in terms of performance… :P

          Maybe you’ll take another 21 years to win a championship again :P

          1. I surely hope not =) however the wait is what makes it sweeter when it comes.

          2. David not Coulthard (@)
            11th October 2013, 14:16

            So……a guaranteed championship in MMXXVIII? I’ve got news for you, La Gazetta dello Sport! :)

          3. It will take less for Ferrari than Williams, Benetton, Braham and other “garagisti” team.

          4. “We were patient in 1996-1999 and look how that turned out =)”

            So basically you’re waiting for Vettel? ;)

        2. Ha ha, love it!

      2. @magillagorilla

        and what happens if your Ferrari’s are beat yet again next year?

        There’s always 2015, and if that fails, there’s 2016, and 2017, and 2018…

    2. @kingshark

      2014 can’t come soon enough

      Hear, hear!!!


      we will clench our fists expecting 2015 to be better.

      Said like a true tifosi!


      Maybe you’ll take another 21 years to win a championship again :P

      I would not expect any less coming from you with regards to Ferrari! Time will tell…

      I predict that MERC will end up constructors runner up and Ferrari a close third. It seems that´s the way the “wind” is blowing for some rea$on$… I just hope ALO and MAS buck up and dish out great performances this sunday! FORZA FERRARI!!!!

      1. @karter22 what do you mean? I like Ferrari !

        1. @fer-no65

          yeah but 1997 and 1999 were quite close in terms of performance… :P

          I’d say that Ferrari were closer to the top team in 1998 than they were in 1997, although in both years it was Schumi’s magic that helped the team achieve more than it probably should have. ;-)

  3. OK, for the predictions, pole and win looks easy to predict now. The rest of the top 5 are the problem. I keep putting Mark Webber high up and he almost never ends up there…

  4. Ross Brawn earlier stated that Mediums need to Last for 16 to 17 Laps So that they can carry on Two Prime stints. But it seems Mediums last for 12 laps or so. Is 2 Stopper Possible this time around?

  5. Good to see a track that punishes mistakes for once. A challenge for the drivers.

    1. True story indeed… I am annoyed of the track where you can make almost any kind of mistake without being seriously punished (apart from losing time).

    2. Yes, that was the best part of the weekend so far for me too @red-andy.

    3. Indeed and this just confirms that Button was spot on with his comments in the build up to this weekend. On tracks like Suzuka his consistency and lack of mistakes really show. He would be perfectly suited to endurance racing and personally I hope to see him compete in LeMans 24 at least once he retires from F1.

      I just wish modern tracks would be adapted to punish drivers who consistently push past the limits, outbraking themselves and making mistakes. That being said, it’s clearly not a simple thing to achieve whilst maintaining reasonable track safety. Perez’ accident at Spoon was quite scary to watch to be honest and the impact must have really shocked his body.

  6. This track really punishes the drivers, doesn’t it?

  7. It’s astounding how nobody can give a little fight to the Bulls… Congrats Seb indeed, it’s well deserved.

  8. Daniel Ricciardo up there YET AGAIN! Bring on next year.

    1. Got to remember this is Free practice, no qualifying.
      I remember once a Marussia topped a free practice session once.

      1. Yes I understand it’s not qualifying. Thanks for that. He is 0.6 ahead of his team-mate.

      2. Vettel usually shines at Free Partices then he is nowhere at Qualitfying. Let’s be serious, last year’s pole time was 3 seconds faster – there is plenty of room to improve for each drivers.

        1. Vettel usually shines at Free Partices then he is nowhere at Qualitfying.

          I don’t really remember Vettel being nowhere in Qualifying!

        2. @vettel81 You seem to be thinking about the first half of the year when MGP was the top dog in Quali, and now it can go either or but usually Vettel edges out.

          1. This track nearly tolerates no faults .. If Hamilton is in the right mood and Mercedes finds a brilliant setup they can be near the Red Bulls.

        3. Yea, Vettel sucks in quali! He always ends up in the same position and rarely manages to occupy any of the other available slots. ;-)

          1. @coefficient You got my point :)

          2. You’d think he get bored in that spot and want to challenge himself a little.

          3. Yea, and what’s worse after that he fails to overtake anyone for gaining at least one position.

  9. Another F1 race i wont be watching! Might as well go ahead and put up the race results now. At least there is some half decent motor racing in MotoGP still.

    Cant see 2014 being much different either if Red bull have this traction control Kers system!

    1. Time to stop following F1 sites and stop watching F1 then. o/

      1. It may well be indeed. I only popped on in hope that someone else other than Vettel would be top. If this keeps up and F1 goes solely to Sky (which will happen over the next few years) numbers will drop significantly.

    2. I can think of 22 reasons to watch the GP – 21 drivers who are not Vettel, and the fact it’s Suzuka.

    3. Try BSB. the fight between Alex Lowes and Shane Byrne is getting super tense!

      1. I have been watching that too. I must agree with you, some epic battling there.

    4. Weve got the bathurst 1000 v8 supercar race here in aus on the same day. Much closer racing (14 different winners this year so far). I do love f1 but I don’t think this gp will have anything on bathurst for excitement this year

  10. Red Bull and Mercedes seem the closest they’ve been since Hungary, based solely on practice form. I wouldn’t put it against Red Bull to be holding some pace in reserve however, considering their imperious form here in past seasons.

  11. Lotus has achnace if they make a 2 stop strategy work, other teams are struggling a lot with their tyres

  12. This is why these older tracks are great! They weed out the super talented to the “regulars”

  13. Looks like we are up for a Korea repeat, Red Bull fastest and Merc second for the start, but Red Bull and Lotus for the finish.

  14. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    11th October 2013, 13:58

    Quite the typical weekend lately (for my hapiness!!!)
    1st practice :Mercedes sets best times
    2nd and 3rd: Red Bull sets best times
    Quali: Vettel on pole, Hamilton 2nd or 3rd
    Race: Vettel pulls 2 secs ahead on first lap, bye DRS chances. Fun watching who is second and other battles.

  15. Suzuka is easily my favourite track in the world. It really manages to force a driver to be perfect.

    Can’t wait for the race!

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