Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2018

Vettel quickest, then spins, as Ericsson escapes huge crash

2018 German Grand Prix second practice

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Sebastian Vettel put Ferrari on top at Monza but the second practice session was disrupted by a heavy crash for Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.

The session was only a few minutes old when Ericsson’s car snapped violently towards a barrier approaching turn one, the fastest point on the track. His Sauber C37 hit a barrier nose first and was launched into a series of flips. It came to a stop in an upright position and Ericsson was able to climb out. The FIA confirmed he was uninjured following precautionary medical checks.

Ericsson appeared to lose control of his car in the braking zone for the corner when his DRS failed to close. Sauber spent the rest of the session checking the system on the team’s other car, driven by Charles Leclerc, who reported several times the flap was not closing properly.

Later radio messages indicated the team believed it had solved the problem and Leclerc went on to set the ninth-fastest time of the day.

Vettel also made contact with a barrier, but it was considerably less destructive. The Ferrari driver had already topped the times with a lap of 1’21.105 on super-softs before spinning off at Parabolica. He touched the barrier with the back of his car but was able to pull out of the gravel trap and rejoin the circuit.

The Mercedes pair were third and fourth quickest, Lewis Hamilton lapping within three-tenths of a second of Vettel on the same tyres. The Red Bull pair were next, both over a second slower than Vettel.

Force India continued the two-by-two formation with Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez seventh and eighth. Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 behind Leclerc.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’21.10527
27Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’21.3750.27031
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’21.3920.28731
477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’21.8030.69835
533Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’22.1541.04928
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’22.2961.19128
731Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’22.9301.82530
811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’22.9421.83732
916Charles LeclercSauber-Ferrari1’22.9651.86020
1027Nico HulkenbergRenault1’23.0631.95830
118Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’23.0771.97231
1255Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’23.1932.08832
1320Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’23.2332.12828
1410Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’23.4022.29734
1535Sergey SirotkinWilliams-Mercedes1’23.5142.40928
1628Brendon HartleyToro Rosso-Honda1’23.5312.42616
1718Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’23.5662.46129
1814Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Renault1’23.7412.63623
192Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Renault1’24.0842.97930
209Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari

Second practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’21.105

+0.270 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’21.375

+0.287 Lewis Hamilton – 1’21.392

+0.698 Valtteri Bottas – 1’21.803

+1.049 Max Verstappen – 1’22.154

+1.191 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’22.296

+1.825 Esteban Ocon – 1’22.930

+1.837 Sergio Perez – 1’22.942

+1.860 Charles Leclerc – 1’22.965

+1.958 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’23.063

+1.972 Romain Grosjean – 1’23.077

+2.088 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’23.193

+2.128 Kevin Magnussen – 1’23.233

+2.297 Pierre Gasly – 1’23.402

+2.409 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’23.514

+2.426 Brendon Hartley – 1’23.531

+2.461 Lance Stroll – 1’23.566

+2.636 Fernando Alonso – 1’23.741

+2.979 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’24.084

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2018 German Grand Prix

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Author information

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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48 comments on “Vettel quickest, then spins, as Ericsson escapes huge crash”

  1. This must be one of the races everyone at McLaren hates most.

    1. Are they trying to be deliberately slow at this point?

      1. Are they TRYING to be slow? How could you tell the difference?

    2. Like every other race.

  2. Hey keith, how is the race looking so far for the top 3 ?

  3. Mclaren…Williams are faster than you!

    It just keeps getting worse!

    1. Alonso’s radio: Massa is faster than you (on the taxi)

    2. Alonso team radio: Fernando, sirotkin is faster … than… you! Can you confirm you understood our message?

      Alonso: No more radio for the rest of the race!

  4. VER driving SpecB
    RIC driving SpecC

      1. FP2 and Ric is out of the team. Their interest in him now is non existant.
        It doesn’t matter anymore.

        1. I thought his point was the SpecC engine offers disappointing gains over the previous version… Not even enough to compensate for the usual gap between the two drivers.

        2. I don’t buy that. Anywhere RIC can beat VER, he would try his very best to do so. He is competitive, so naturally he’d want to win, but apart from that he is asked a dozen times if he is leaving because of VER. Yeah, he will want to shut them up as well.

          But still, it is just FP2. Means nothing he is a few tenths behind

          1. Yes, true, I’d expect ricciardo to do his best to beat verstappen, at least in the standings, even though atm he’s only behind due to worse luck, just like verstappen in 2017 for the most part.

        3. He has his 4th Renault PU of the year already – you think he should turn it up to 11 in Monza practice to stop the turkeys gobbling?

  5. Mclaren is just an embarrassment. Get rid of them already.

    1. I’d rather not get rid of any team and its hundreds of people it employs around the world, thanks…

      1. Is that now the only reason to keep teams in F1 – supposedly the pinnacle of motor-racing. Lol.
        Some of these teams employ ten times as many people than is actually necessary to perform at the back of the grid. Perhaps sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind…

    2. Get “rid” of McLaren and Williams and F1 ceases to be a viable public spectacle. Bare minimum 16 car grids to meet promoters requirements.

      I don’t see a queue of new entrant lining up to take McLaren or Williams place to make up what currently is a barely presentable, for a public spectacle, 20 car grid.

      Down to 16 car grids, the remaining teams will need to start fielding a third car, how viable will that be for all but the top teams?

      Liberty should be concentrating on how to “balance” the field and thus present a viable event that draws in new spectators by the millions. Not to mention reinvigorating the existing spectator/customer base.

      1. Funny how football teams are literally fighting to get into the Premier League because the money and exposure is so great, even for the teams that barely scrape by relegation each year. F1 needs to create a prize money scheme to make new entrants want to queue up for a chance to enter into F1. Most sports team world wide (almost regardless of performance) are fairly lucrative besides F1 and road cycling. NASCAR is huge in America so it must be fairly lucrative for the teams involved, although I highly doubt they spend hundreds of millions to compete each year.

      2. Gerrit – I have no desire to see 16-car grids… I’d like to see a minimum of 24 cars. But one of the reasons for the over-spends is the huge numbers of personnel. Keeping them employed when they might be redundant is absurd. One does not need two dozen people to change wheels – no other formula allows this. In the past the top teams sometimes fielded four or even five cars…
        The only way to ‘balance’ the field, if that’s what you want, is a ‘spec’ formula, and nobody wants that. The main reason why there used to sometimes be more potential drivers on the podium was because often the top teams had breakdowns – by perhaps trying too hard. The current desire for reliability is what has destroyed opportunities for smaller teams to finish higher up more often.

        BNK – I continually hear that both NASCAR and IndyCar are failing to bring in customers and are in danger. Just see the almost empty grandstands… but we all agree the prize money system should be much improved.

  6. Ferrari is just quick everywhere. Officially the best allrounder and quickest car of 2018. Its Vettel’s championship to lose but he keeps making mistakes. Hamilton the better driver. Ferrari the quicker car.

    1. A practice spin is not what you can consider a “mistake”.

    2. @amg44 with such a car he can afford making mistakes.

      1. Yeah, Vettel cam afford runoff during race and easily retake the lead by overtaking Hamilton in straight. That would spice up the race instead of sole leading by 20 sec…

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          31st August 2018, 19:41

          Reminds me of my Assetto Corsa days

    3. Hamilton kept making them too, @amg44. At some point during FP2 I lost track of how many times he ran wide at the exit of the 2nd chicane, putting his wheels on the gravel. This is just free practice, drivers are finding the limits of their cars around here.

      Also it’s way too early to say that the Ferrari is the best car of the year. Even Toto Wolff admitted that as recently as Silverstone they had the quickest car, so that’s 3 races (not counting Monza yet) where Ferrari had an advantage. Until Germany Mercedes was at least as strong as Ferrari. Hamilton has been so far the more consistent driver of the two though.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        31st August 2018, 19:42

        I remember when in 2016 you would actually get penalized for doing that stuff. FIA are losers

  7. It would be funny if Q3 Mercedes trailing 0.6 sec – 1 sec behind Ferrari. That would honour Ferrari the most successful hybrid PU ever built.

  8. Mercedes will rebound come Saturday Qualifying

  9. DRS is really becoming a bandaid solution.

    It doesn’t really fix the root of the overtaking issue and also adds a new layer of potential technical problems…

    1. And next year DRS effect will be even more strong (and dangerous).

    2. Not only technical, DRS can also be a safety issue.

  10. Molto impressed with Force India – especially given their situation

    1. Yes, I stopped being impressed with force india, remember at the start of the year, when they kept saying they had serious money problems, we’d all write them off, mclaren and renault will be ahead etc.?

      Eventually, if it weren’t that they start back from 0, they’d be very likely to be the team to score most points apart from the top 3.

  11. Each driver ranked higher in this practice than their team mate in my opinion is the stronger driver of that team. Take a look! The only pairing that could be either or is Ocon over Perez. As much as I hate to admit it Verstappen has the better of Ricciardo this year and for the foreseeable future.

  12. The second time this season Ericsson has crashed due to something happening with the DRS.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      31st August 2018, 20:15

      Although the blame did seem to go towards him for what happened in Britain, something about it looked similar to this. The car just snapped violently and from the outside, neither look like driver error, especially this recent one. Sauber are overall a decent team now, but this is a serious problem they need to know they have sorted out if both cars had it today.

  13. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
    31st August 2018, 19:15

    You know your favourite team is in a state when you are ecstatic with 15th.

  14. Poor Alonso. Such wrong professional choice. And instead in Ferrari fighting for WC, trying not to be last.

  15. As expected.. Ferrari, clearly the quickest team and Mclaren, clearly the slowest.

    1. They really need a mclaren-ferrari to recover some performance, think how weird it’d be if ferrari were willing to do that (anyway mclaren is so bad it wouldn’t be a threat nowadays), their historical rivals selling them the engine!

  16. Fantastic and scary accident Marcus had – very impressive driver safety in those cars, even if the stability of the DRS is not so impressive. In the old days ground effect systems were made illegal, because they were dangerous, if the system failed and many other ingenious systems have been banned, because they became dangerous, when they had a defect. By that logic, the DRS system should be banned from either this race or the next.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      31st August 2018, 22:15

      @palle That was the reason why DRS got restricted from free use in practice and qualifying after 2012.

  17. Stroll faster than Alsono! Obviously deserves the McLaren seat. Give Zak Papa Stroll’s AMX card.

  18. Did anybody hear what happened to Simon Lazenby? Natalie Pinkham said he had a bad blow to the head, and therefore wouldn’t be presenting during FP2. On her twitter feed there is reference to stiches being required, but apart from that, it all seems hush-hush.

  19. McLaren’s car really must be an absolutely massive piece of crap. A new low point for the team that’s for sure.

  20. I just can t believe it, 1.6 sec behind the redbulls which have the same engine, that is totally not acceptable from.mclaren,from everyone who is in charge,how can they afford to sleep at night when they are last at monza….friggin last two position, 2.6 seconds behind leader…..

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