Vettel on top as gearbox glitch halts Alonso

2013 Indian Grand Prix first practice

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Sebastian Vettel headed a Red Bull one-two in the first practice session for the Indian Grand Prix.

However his only remaining championship rival Fernando Alonso suffered a blow as an apparent gearbox failure forced an early end to his session. The Ferrari driver crept back into the pits without changing gear having completed just half-a-dozen laps.

Vettel’s best time, set on medium tyres, was almost a full second faster than the best time in the same session last year, when the drivers were on hard tyrs.

Mark Webber was second, less than two tenths of a second behind Vettel, with a slender gap over third-placed Nico Rosberg.

There was a large gap between the Lotus drivers, Romain Grosjean fourth on a 1’26.990 and Kimi Raikkonen 1.8 seconds down on that in 17th, indicating the the pair were on very different programmes.

Lewis Hamilton moved up to fifth late in the running after a few lock-ups earlier on. He also caused some consternation at Force India by holding up Adrian Sutil in the final few laps before the chequered flag. “I don’t know what Hamilton’s doing, he seemed to slow down every time we wanted a lap,” said Sutil’s engineer Brad Joyce.

The two McLarens appeared in the top ten along with Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas. The other Williams of Pastor Maldonado was 14th following a spin.

James Calado, the only reserve driver participating in the session, also suffered a spin at turn 15 without damaging his Force India.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’26.68324
22Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’26.8710.18817
39Nico RosbergMercedes1’26.8990.21623
48Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’26.9900.30720
510Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’27.2270.54421
65Jenson ButtonMcLaren1’27.3350.65223
76Sergio PerezMcLaren1’27.4160.73323
84Felipe MassaFerrari1’27.6921.00921
911Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1’27.7701.08719
1017Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’27.8001.11723
1118Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.0351.35225
123Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’28.2141.5316
1319Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’28.3361.65318
1416Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’28.3421.65921
1515Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’28.4681.78520
1612Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’28.5381.85528
177Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’28.7302.04718
1814James CaladoForce India-Mercedes1’29.1972.51422
1921Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1’29.4132.73024
2022Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1’29.5602.87720
2120Charles PicCaterham-Renault1’30.0263.34323
2223Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1’30.4713.78817

2013 Indian 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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23 comments on “Vettel on top as gearbox glitch halts Alonso”

  1. Signs off the weekend ahead. Hope Nico and Romain can push the Bulls

    1. to push more ahead :)

    2. i rather lewis and kimi in front

  2. According to BBC, Lotus were testing new stuff on Kimi’s car.

    Now kimi is officially no.2 or even no.3 driver.

    Not that im shocked though. Kimi had often wasting his own setup time for the team to test new stuff on his car in the past. Most notably the PDRS that was proved to be failure ultimately.

    1. Can’t say I blame Lotus, firstly Raikkonen has ditched them for Ferrari and in ajddition, Grosjean has improved and is regularly outqualifying him; it’s only natural they support Grosjean now.

      1. addition*

      2. hah, they have been doing it since 2012.

        Funny how Romain suddenly got the upperhand when Ferrari deal was announced. Of course, it was Romain’s hardwork alone and nothing to do with the team not hoping Kimi to score good results. More points for Kimi = More debt for Lotus

        1. “More points for Kimi = More debt for Lotus”
          I don’t understand this equation.

          1. It is believed that Kimi has a performance clause in his contract that makes him earn €50.000 for every point scored.

        2. I don’t know where you got that idea from (Supporting Grosjean over Raikkoken in 2012? When and where?) but I suggest you stop spouting nonsense, if they wanted Raikkonen to stop scoring so many points they would have told him to move over for Grosjean in Korea which they didn’t, did they? And FYI, Grosjean’s improvemrnt started from the German Grand Prix which was before the contract was announced so honestly, stop.

        3. F1 car is developed around a driver. It seems perfectly sane they were concentrated to please Kimi and direct development in favor of his preferences. However, it seems perfectly sane at this point to concentrate on Romain ’cause guy is staying with them and the other one is leaving.

        4. Yes i’m sure Lotus don’t want Kimi to win points which could potentially win them second place in the constructor’s championship worth tens of millions in prize money alone.

          1. you right no 2 in custructor championship is primary for lotus now, so they can pay him. Maybe because the oversteer promblem, i hope he got good start, because only him can beat redbull now if he got good qualify because he’s better when race than grosjean

        5. That’s just dumb, a better result in the constructor’s championship will earn them a lot more than they’ll ever have to pay Raikkonen.

        6. Some Kimi fans amaze me, sometimes.

    2. Basically there’s not much between the pair of them, Romain arguably has the speed whereas Kimi has the safer more consistant pair of hands. Give either driver preferential treatment and you’ll notice a big performance gap. At the start of the season Kimi was dominating, now the tables have been turned.

  3. What a laugh by Alonso with de la Rosa & Gene inthe garage. It’s been a long time we didn’t see him that way during a F1 weekend.

    1. lol absolutely.

  4. I wonder was there any driver as dominating as vettel is and was he also not so popular among the fans due to fact he was dominating all races.

  5. I think that Vettel might win the 2013 WDC after all…

    1. You Think?

      You know when I knew who would become 2013 WDC?, December 2012 :-D

      1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        25th October 2013, 14:06

        @full-throttle-f1 hey! first half of this season was really close between the top 4 drivers.

  6. Good luck RBR! Here’s hoping for two drivers in purple up on the podium!

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