Sebastian Vettel has claimed top spot on the timesheets at the end of the opening day’s running for this year’s European Grand Prix at Valencia. The German narrowly edged out compatriot Nico Hülkenberg for top honours, with the Force India driver showing promising pace for the Silverstone team this weekend.
Despite predictions of sunnier conditions than the morning session, conditions remained partly cloudy, although the strong Mediterranean winds were bringing little respite in the warm conditions.
Again, many drivers struggled to get a decent balance in the braking and traction zones and, as was the case in the first practice session, a number of drivers outbraked themselves into Turn 12, skipping through the run-off without incident.
Sergio Pérez had a rather more adventurous moment at the same corner, getting his Sauber very sideways under braking before gently pirouetting into the run-off and rejoining the action.
A few minutes later and the yellow flags were out once again, this time when local driver Pedro de la Rosa crashed his HRTF1 at Turn 14 in a rather bizarre-looking accident. The Spaniard seemed to be performing a slow lap, making his slide into the tyre wall all the more unusual. The left side of his F112 was badly damaged, ruling him out of any further action in the session.
Schumacher was experiencing his own dramas in the session, firstly losing time in the opening minutes while his mechanics set about setting his gear ratios for the session. Later on, he lost more track time with an issue in the drivetrain. Fourth-fastest at the end of the session was a pretty good result, all things considered.
Grosjean, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg rounded out the top-ten, with Rosberg being the only driver to post his quickest lap time on the medium-compound tyres.
Neither McLaren made it into the top-ten on the timesheets, with both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton preferring to concentrate on longer runs in this session.
The order on the timesheets was considerably different to that seen in the opening session, and with the fastest fifteen drivers covered by less than a second on the stopwatch, Saturday’s final practice session could prove very telling as to who has genuine pace here.
2012 European Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:39.334||33|
|2.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:39.465||+ 0.131||32|
|3.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:39.595||+ 0.261||20|
|4.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:39.601||+ 0.267||27|
|5.||Bruno Senna||Williams Renault FW34||1:39.644||+ 0.310||34|
|6.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:39.700||+ 0.366||32|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:39.733||+ 0.399||34|
|8.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:39.868||+ 0.534||33|
|9.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:39.901||+ 0.567||30|
|10.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:39.926||+ 0.592||32|
|11.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:39.945||+ 0.611||34|
|12.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:39.990||+ 0.656||33|
|13.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW34||1:40.075||+ 0.741||29|
|14.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:40.147||+ 0.813||25|
|15.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:40.244||+ 0.910||35|
|16.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:40.511||+ 1.177||29|
|17.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham Renault CT01||1:40.963||+ 1.629||20|
|18.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:41.121||+ 1.787||32|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham Renault CT01||1:41.197||+ 1.863||38|
|20.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:41.263||+ 1.929||29|
|21.||Timo Glock||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:42.424||+ 3.090||21|
|22.||Charles Pic||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:42.958||+ 3.624||30|
|23.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:44.201||+ 4.867||33|
|24.||Pedro de la Rosa||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:44.260||+ 4.926||12|
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