Practice 2: Hamilton tops as Vettel crashes

Lewis Hamilton at Abu Dhabi GP

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the second practice session at Yas Marina

Nov.11 (Reuters) McLaren‘s Lewis Hamilton set the pace in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Friday while double world champion Sebastian Vettel crunched into the barriers.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7 spun out in the second practice session.

Sebastian Vettel spun out in the second practice session

Vettel, returning to the Yas Marina circuit a year on from becoming Formula One’s youngest champion, skidded off at turn one with more than half an hour remaining of the second floodlit session.

The Red Bull driver, who has already wrapped up his second title, was powerless to prevent Hamilton ending the day on top of the timesheets and team mate Jenson Button second in a Friday sweep for McLaren.

Hamilton’s time of one minute 39.586 seconds was 0.199 faster than Button. The older Briton was quickest in the opening afternoon daylight session in 1:40.263.

Vettel’s impact with the barriers was nothing to concern the team too much, particularly as the 24-year-old has three times this season crashed Friday before taking pole position on Saturday.

Ferrari may have been more troubled when Fernando Alonso, also a double champion, then went off at the same turn and clouted the barriers with rather more force.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 150 Italia spun out in the second practice session.

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari is hoisted off the track

The Spaniard, who still ended up third fastest, also had a spin in the opening practice.

Vettel’s Australian team mate Mark Webber was second on the Yas Marina timing screens in the first session but slipped to fifth as the night fell.

Some less familiar names also enjoyed a moment in the limelight in opening practice, with Robert Wickens the first Canadian to appear on track in a grand prix weekend since 1997 champion Jacques Villeneuve departed the scene in 2006.

While Wickens replaced Belgian Jerome d’Ambrosio at Virgin Racing for the first session, Frenchmen Jean-Eric Vergne and Romain Grosjean took the wheel at Toro Rosso and Renault respectively.

Wickens was 23rd out of the 24, half a second slower than team mate Timo Glock but ahead of Rubens Barrichello who failed to set a time after a problem halted his Williams.

Jenson Button at Abu Dhabi GP

Jenson Button ended the day second fastest

Vergne was 11th on the timesheets, right up with Toro Rosso’s regular race driver Jaime Alguersuari, while GP2 champion Grosjean marked his return to the F1 cockpit with a time quicker than Renault’s Vitaly Petrov.

Vettel and Red Bull have already clinched this year’s championships but the German can still claim some Formula One records.

If the champion takes pole position Saturday he will equal the record of 14 in a single season set by Britain’s Nigel Mansell in 1992.

If Vettel wins the penultimate race of the year Sunday, he will remain on track to equal Michael Schumacher’s unprecedented tally of 13 triumphs in a season.

The German said, however, that he was not thinking about such milestones.

“It will be wrong to say that I want to beat this record or that record if it is possible,” he told reporters. “Then, you are thinking of the record and how to break the record. And I think you will fail if you think that way.”

Friday, 11 November – Free Practice 2

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.586 31
2 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.785 0.199 30
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:39.971 0.385 20
4 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:39.980 0.394 34
5 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:40.104 0.518 35
6 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:40.132 0.546 26
7 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:40.553 0.967 34
8 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:40.951 1.365 34
9 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:41.021 1.435 37
10 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:41.490 1.904 34
11 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:41.565 1.979 34
12 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:41.680 2.094 33
13 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:41.947 2.361 31
14 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:41.983 2.397 34
15 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1:42.369 2.783 36
16 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:42.798 3.212 35
17 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1:42.910 3.324 34
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1:43.562 3.976 36
19 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1:44.050 4.464 38
20 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:44.265 4.679 41
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:45.486 5.900 34
22 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1:46.142 6.556 32
23 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1:46.249 6.663 21
24 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1:46.328 6.742 34
  • Evel

    ”Vettel was ”powerless to prevent Hamilton ending the day on top of the timesheets”.
    Do you think he really cares?
    So much emphasis is placed on the practice sessions and it’s even used as a measure to see which team mate has got the upper hand but in reality the race is the only thing that counts.

  • Stewy33

    What happened to Rosberg? He ran 41 laps (most of all) and is down in 20th.

  • Sennauno

    @ Evel

    RBR already has the bread…let the rest fight for the crumbs