Sebastian Vettel was the fastest man in Friday practice at Suzuka, with the German leading a Red Bull Racing 1-2 on the timesheets in today’s second free practice session.
The reigning champion was the only driver to break the sub-1m34s barrier today, edging out teammate Mark Webber by 0.168 seconds in a session that saw three drivers crash out.
McLaren’s Sergio Pérez had arguably the biggest accident, with the Mexican hitting the barriers at the Spoon Curve after getting loose on a grass verge when he approached the corner. The Mexican was sent into the tyre wall, damaging the front end of his MP4-28 and putting him out for the rest of the session.
Following his early bath in the morning’s practice session – courtesy of his left-rear wheel falling off – Pastor Maldonado had another curtailed practice session when he slid his Williams into the Degner gravel trap.
While Alonso was able to keep it out of the gravel and rejoin the circuit, the same could not be said for Räikkönen, whose Lotus was well and truly buried in the kitty litter. Despite this, he was still fourth-fastest overall!
As was the case in the opening practice session, the battle for top honours on the timing screens came down to the Red Bull Racing and Mercedes teams, although this time it was the former which emerged on top during the Medium-compound tyre running.
Nico Rosberg proved to be the closest challenger in his Mercedes, with the German placing third-quickest, ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, who sandwiched the Lotus pairing of Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean.
Daniel Ricciardo had another top-ten result in his Toro Rosso, this time improving to the seventh-fastest time ahead of the Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, who sandwiched Jenson Button on the timesheets.
While neither Ferrari showed great one-lap pace in this session, the team was quick to stress that – unlike its frontrunning rivals – its session was solely concentrated on high-fuel, race simulation-style running.
2013 Japanese Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:33.852||35|
|2.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:34.020||+ 0.168||35|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:34.114||+ 0.262||36|
|4.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:34.202||+ 0.350||17|
|5.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:34.411||+ 0.559||30|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:34.442||+ 0.590||36|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:34.473||+ 0.621||30|
|8.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:34.698||+ 0.846||35|
|9.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:34.912||+ 1.060||34|
|10.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:35.087||+ 1.235||32|
|11.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:35.089||+ 1.237||36|
|12.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:35.109||+ 1.257||34|
|13.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:35.182||+ 1.330||34|
|14.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:35.275||+ 1.423||35|
|15.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:35.341||+ 1.489||25|
|16.||Sergio Pérez||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:35.709||+ 1.857||8|
|17.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW35||1:36.136||+ 2.284||41|
|18.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW35||1:36.722||+ 2.870||6|
|19.||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault CT03||1:37.630||+ 3.778||31|
|20.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Renault CT03||1:37.905||+ 4.053||36|
|21.||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:38.121||+ 4.269||33|
|22.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia Cosworth MR02||no time|