Buddh Free Practice 2: Vettel untouchable on day one in India

25 October, 2013

Sebastian Vettel fastest in FP2

Sebastian Vettel fastest in FP2

Sebastian Vettel promised to treat the Indian Grand Prix like any other race, despite a fourth successive title beckoning, and lived up to his word on Friday practice with the sort of domination Formula 1 fans have come to expect.

Red Bull’s 26-year-old German was fastest in both sessions, with Australian Mark Webber the only man close to matching the speed of his teammate.

Such is Vettel’s mastery of the Buddh International Circuit, a track swathed in a haze of pollution south of New Delhi, that he can boast of being top in every practice session held there since the opening day of the race’s debut in 2011.

On Friday his best lap of one minute 25.722 seconds, in the afternoon after clocking 1:26.683 in the earlier session, made him the only driver below the 1:26 mark.

Mark Webber second in FP2

Mark Webber second in FP2

Webber, who is leaving the sport at the end of the season, was 0.188 seconds slower in the first practice and 0.281 off the pace in the afternoon when Frenchman Romain Grosjean was third with a best time nearly half a second slower than Vettel’s.

Germany’s Nico Rosberg was the best of the rest for Mercedes in the morning with a lap 0.216 off his compatriot’s best effort.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the only man who can deny Vettel the title on Sunday, suffered a gearbox problem after six laps in the morning but was fifth fastest at the end of the day.

The Spaniard has to finish in the top two on Sunday to have any chance of denying Vettel the title on Indian soil.

Romain Grosjean was third in FP2

Romain Grosjean was third in FP2

Vettel, who has a 90-point lead over the Ferrari driver with four races remaining – worth 100 points in total, is the runaway favourite to win the race.

He has won the previous two Indian Grands Prix from pole position and has lead every competitive lap ever held at the circuit.

Vettel will be the first Formula 1 driver to win his first four titles in a row, as well as the youngest quadruple Champion.

Only seven-time Champion Michael Schumacher and the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio have won four successive titles since the Championship started in 1950. Frenchman Alain Prost is the sport’s only other four-time Champion.

Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest in FP2

Lewis Hamilton was fourth fastest in FP2

Grosjean was fourth for Lotus in the opening session, ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, with the McLarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez sixth and seventh on the timesheets. Hamilton was fourth in the afternoon.

British reserve James Calado replaced compatriot Paul Di Resta in the Force India for the opening session after the team said the regular race driver had not felt well on Thursday.

Di Resta returned for the second session, after Calado went off late in the morning.

The main incident in the afternoon was provided by Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado, whose Williams shed a wheelnut while out on track. He managed to nurse the car back to the pitlane entry. (Reuters)

Subbed by AJN.


Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest in FP2

Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest in FP2

Indian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 25 October 2013

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:25.722 35
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:26.011 0.289 38
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:26.220 0.498 36
4 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.399 0.677 36
5 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.430 0.708 39
6 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.582 0.860 40
7 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:26.601 0.879 41
8 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:26.632 0.910 32
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.857 1.135 40
10 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:26.972 1.250 39
11 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:27.304 1.582 17
12 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:27.375 1.653 36
13 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:27.429 1.707 31
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.491 1.769 40
15 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:27.608 1.886 38
16 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:27.720 1.998 23
17 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.949 2.227 34
18 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:28.431 2.709 30
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:28.692 2.970 39
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:28.799 3.077 32
21 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:29.366 3.644 37
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:30.164 4.442 27

  • Adriana

    Even the wheels and wheelnuts wants to come apart from Maldonado , that is sad!

  • realf1fan

    No, RB9 untouchable.

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