Yas Marina Practice 2: Vettel tops as Red Bull are dominant in the twilight zone

1 November, 2013

Sebastian Vettel fastest in FP2 at Yas Marina

Sebastian Vettel fastest in FP2 at Yas Marina

As if Red Bull were going to let off now that they have bagged both the 2013 F1 drivers’ and constructors titles… instead they are rubbing salt into the wounds of their rivals by ending one-two on the time sheets at the end of the second free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, the only one which starts in daylight and ends at night under floodlights.

Around the halfway mark of the 90 minutes session, with a set of the Pirelli soft tyres bolted on - offering about 1.5 seconds extra when compared to the white band mediums – Sebastian Vettel powered around the plush Yas Marina Circuit in a best time of 1:41.434 which was a mere 0.056 of a second up on teammate Mark Webber.

Best of the rest, in third, was Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes, who is looking the most likely to take the fight to the fizzy drinks outfit. His teammate Nico Rosberg was fifth fastest.

Lewis Hamilton was best of the rest in third at the end of FP1

Lewis Hamilton was best of the rest in third at the end of FP1

Splitting the Silver Arrows on the timing screens was Kimi Raikkonen, who put aside the apparent strife within Lotus, to clock the fifth best time. The Finn will be looking to emulate the victory he scored at the same venue last year.

Raikkonen’s teammate Romain Grosjean, who was fastest in FP1, never did a hot lap run and parked his Lotus early with what appeared to be a recurring brake problem that has previously plagued the E21. Grosjean ended the session 12th.

McLaren appeared to have found some performance, at least on day one around the marina based circuit, with Sergio Perez and Jenson Button ending the day sixth and seventh respectively. The Woking based squad are desperate to finish on the podium in at least one of the last three races. The last time the Woking based squad endured a season without a single podium finish was back in 1980…

Fernando Alonso was best of the Ferrari powered brigade, but clearly the Reds were struggling on the opening day in Abu Dhabi, with Felipe Massa in tenth. The pair mixing it with relative minnows Sauber who share the same power plant. Nico Hulkenberg was ninth and Esteban Gutierrez finished the session 11th.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest in FP2

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest in FP2

Paul di Resta looked strong in FP1, finishing seventh in the session. But by FP2 the Force India cars seemed to have fallen down the order with the Scot 13th and teammate Adrian Sutil (who sat the first practice for James Calado) down in 15th.

Di Resta’s session was further compromised by what appeared to be a brake failure.

There was relatively little drama in the 90 minutes, apart from a piece of Marussia brake cooling system detaching and coming to a rest on the side of the track. It was removed by a brave marshal.

Reflecting on the first day at Yas Marina it is apparent that Red Bull still have the momentum and are going to be hard to stop in qualifying and probably in the race too, with Mercedes and Lotus chasing. But it will be a brave punter who wages a bet against the recently crowned quadruple Formula 1 World Champions.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 1 November 2013

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:41.335 35
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:41.490 0.155 32
3 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:41.690 0.355 37
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:41.726 0.391 42
5 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:41.758 0.423 41
6 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:42.006 0.671 36
7 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:42.010 0.675 31
8 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:42.171 0.836 31
9 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:42.324 0.989 41
10 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:42.440 1.105 36
11 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:42.509 1.174 39
12 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:42.607 1.272 18
13 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:42.806 1.471 27
14 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:42.952 1.617 36
15 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:42.998 1.663 27
16 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:43.152 1.817 29
17 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:43.271 1.936 36
18 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:43.565 2.230 36
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:44.138 2.803 35
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:44.459 3.124 35
21 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:44.525 3.190 38
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:45.565 4.230 27


  • bobw

    “As if Red Bull were going to let off now that they have bagged both the 2013 F1 drivers’ and constructors titles… instead they are rubbing salt into the wounds of their rivals by ending one-two on the time sheets at the end of the second free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, the only one which starts in daylight and ends at night under floodlights.”

    What did you expect they were going to do….stay home? They are doing what they have invested all that time and money to do. They are racing! What a moronic statement!

  • Hawk

    Yeah. Very moronic.

  • Sick of The Hate

    “As if Red Bull were going to let off now that they have bagged both the 2013 F1 drivers’ and constructors titles… instead they are rubbing salt into the wounds of their rivals by ending one-two on the time sheets at the end of the second free practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend,”

    Wow, at least we know how this site really feels about Red Bull. I am just trying to figure out why this site url does not end with .uk.

    The headlines and bylines make it obvious they are part of the British tabliod group of Red Bull/Vettel haters.

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