US GP Practice 1: Vettel tops first ever session in Austin

16 November, 2012

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8. Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Practice, Austin, Texas, 16 November 2012.

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in FP1

Nov.16 (GP247) Sebastian Vettel had the honour of ending the first ever practice session at Circuit of the Americas at the top of the timing sheets, on the first day of the United States Grand Prix weekend.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8. Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Practice, Austin, Texas, 16 November 2012.The Red Bull driver was nearly 1.5 seconds faster than anyone else on the brand new circuit, which was very slippery and caught out several drivers during the course of the 90 minute session.

Vettel left it until the final minutes of qualifying to set the time of 1 minute 38.125 seconds which clearly showed his intent at the start of the first grand prix weekend on American soil since 2007. The time came on his final lap of the session, following a flurry which saw him first go tops by three quarters of a second, before really driving home the point with his final lap time of the morning.

Next best was Lewis Hamilton in bis penultimate race with McLaren, while Vettel’s only championship rival Fernando Alonso was third quickest in the Ferrari but over two seconds down on the top time.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Practice, Austin, Texas, 16 November 2012.

Jenson Button was fourth quickest, a second down on his McLaren teammate, with Mark Webber 2,5 seconds off his Red Bull teammate in fifth.

Felipe Massa was sixth fastest in the Ferrari, making it three teams in the top six positions after the first session in Austin.

Showing strong pace early on was Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India, who ended the session seventh fastest, which was almost as second up on teammate Paul di Resta.

Also showing a good turn of pace early on were the Sauber duo, with Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez ending the session in eighth and tenth respectively.

Splitting the Saubers was Nico Rosberg, fastest of the two Mercedes drivers in ninth with teammate Michael Schumacher struggling down in 17th.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012. Formula One World Championship, Rd19 United States Grand Prix, Practice, Austin, Texas, 16 November 2012.Never before used for racing, the newly finished Circuit of the Americas surface was slippery and very ‘green’ which resulted in a number of spins and drivers going wide. Turn 19 appearing to be particularly difficult.

The likes of Hamilton, Vettel, Webber, Button, Alonso, Massa, Perez and Hulkenberg all had moments during the course of  the session.

Several teams were running updates, with Alonso trying various elements on the front and rear wings, and a diffuser update on the F2012 in an effort to come to terms with the Red Bull RB8.

But if the first 90 minutes in Austin were anything to go by, the Maranello squad have a major task at hand to keep the youngster from Heppenheim in their sights.

Subbed by AJN.

United States GP Practice 1, Circuit of the Americas – Friday 16 November 2012

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:38.125 30
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.543 1.418 28
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:40.337 2.212 29
4 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:40.528 2.403 29
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:40.650 2.525 30
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:40.966 2.841 26
7 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:41.023 2.898 29
8 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:41.036 2.911 28
9 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:41.159 3.034 32
10 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:41.473 3.348 29
11 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:41.783 3.658 29
12 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:41.825 3.700 28
13 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:41.833 3.708 29
14 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:41.880 3.755 23
15 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:41.998 3.873 27
16 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:42.539 4.414 30
17 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:42.588 4.463 25
18 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:43.288 5.163 23
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:43.443 5.318 28
20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:43.522 5.397 23
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:44.464 6.339 24
22 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:44.548 6.423 29
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:46.917 8.792 13
24 23 Qing Hua Ma HRT-Cosworth 1:48.559 10.434 19


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