Red Bull has continued its rather ominous pace-setting form at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel heading another 1-2 at the end of the second practice session.
The pairing of Vettel and Webber had been pacesetters throughout the session relative to their nearest rivals at McLaren and Ferrari, and this continued when all runners switched to the super-soft tyre compound in the closing minutes of a busy 90-minute session.
Webber had actually been quicker for much of the session, but Vettel showed fractionally better pace on his later outings to edge ahead by 0.1 seconds, and being the only driver to lap in the 1m11s range.
Ferrari took some fuel out of the F60 and in doing so, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa rocketed up the timesheets from being mired in the lower order in the first session, with Alonso third-quickest and Massa in fifth (who stopped 30 minutes before the end of the session with a clutch problem), split by Lewis Hamilton, who seemed to be happy with the new floor design brought by the team to Sao Paulo.
Rounding out the top-ten was a trio of Germans, with Nick Heidfeld in eighth, followed by the Mercedes GP pairing of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.
Jarno Trulli again lapped fastest of the rookie team runners, and will be delighted to have been just four-tenths of a second slower than the next-best placed Jaime Alguersuari. Trulli’s Lotus team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was just a tenth slower in 20th place, followed by Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna, who unlocked some pace from his HRT. Timo Glock was slowest of all.
The good conditions in the afternoon’s session saw teams doing plenty of mileage to fine-tune their cars, and most teams covered the equivalent of a whole race distance between their respective driver pairings.
The relatively short nature of the Sao Paulo lap meant traffic proved problematic at times, and this was demonstrated by Michael Schumacher and Jaime Alguersuari having a minor coming-together at Turn 1, and the Spaniard spun on his way back to the pits.
Similarly, Kamui Kobayashi was lucky to survive a major tank-slapper as he pulled from behind Kovalainen to overtake him during the session.
And with rain forecast for tomorrow’s running, we’re set for a fascinating day.
2010 Brazilian GP Practice 2 Session Times: