Valencia Practice 2: Vettel fastest, but midfield teams showing strongly

Sebastian Vettel European F1 Grand Prix - Practice

Sebastian Vettel topped the timing sheets at the end of FP2 in Valencia

Jun.22 (GP247) Reigning world champion, and winner of the European Grand Prix for the past two years, Sebastian Vettel ended the first day of practice for this year’s edition of the race in Valencia fastest of all with five different marques in the top five – not one of them a Ferrari, McLaren or even a Lotus!

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05. Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Practice, Valencia, Spain, Friday 22 June 2012.Several drivers had spins or off-track moments, most notably Sergio Pérez who finished up facing the wrong way in his Sauber at Turn 17, but the hardest luck was reserved for the struggling HRT outfit – on home soil, as Pedro de la Rosa lost control exiting Turn 14, and appeared to understeer before slamming the tyre wall and causing severe damage to the front end of the F112.

The Spanish veteran was unscathed in the impact, and immediately got on the radio to inform his team that he had made a mistake and apologised.

Vettel spent the day at the sharp end of the timing screens, showing strong pace with both Pirelli tyre options available for the street circuit – softs and mediums – with the Red Bull RB8 proving handy on long runs, too. Just short of the hour mark the German set the benchmark time of 1 minute 39.334 seconds which remained the top time of the day.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012. Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Practice, Valencia, Spain, Friday 22 June 2012.Behind Vettel, Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was a tenth off the pace, followed by Kamui Kobayashi, Michael Schumacher, Bruno Senna, Paul di Resta, Fernando Alonso, Romain Grosjean, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg completed the top ten.

In a busy session with most drivers doing long runs on both tyre compounds, Heikki Kovalainen completed the most mileage, with 38 laps, and de la Rosa aside, Kobayashi the least with 20 laps.

Earlier in the session Jenson Button had been the first man to set a time below 100 seconds, bolting on a set of soft tyres early in the session, his lap of 1:39.990 briefly held top spot before being beaten by Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes. Significantly, Rosberg was able to do his time on the harder compound. After Rosberg, Alonso topped the timing screens briefly before Vettel set his quick lap.

Remarkably the top 11 drivers were all in the sub-100 seconds zone and the top 15 within a second of the top time, suggesting a very, very tight contest ahead in qualifying and the race.

Subbed by AJN.

Practice 2 – Friday, 22 June 2012

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:39.334 33
2 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:39.465 0.131 32
3 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:39.595 0.261 20
4 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:39.601 0.267 27
5 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:39.644 0.310 34
6 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:39.700 0.366 32
7 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:39.733 0.399 34
8 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:39.868 0.534 33
9 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:39.901 0.567 30
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.926 0.592 32
11 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:39.945 0.611 34
12 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.990 0.656 33
13 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:40.075 0.741 29
14 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:40.147 0.813 25
15 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:40.244 0.910 35
16 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:40.511 1.177 29
17 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:40.963 1.629 20
18 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:41.121 1.787 32
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:41.197 1.863 38
20 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:41.263 1.929 29
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:42.424 3.090 21
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:42.958 3.624 30
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:44.201 4.867 33
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:44.260 4.926 12
  • kaka007

    for a 1m 38s circuit , that’s an ultra close field…..this is exciting…….

  • seo


  • Clare

    Wow cant miss this race! This is gonna be one hell of a race!

  • Speedo

    I do not know about excitement as this track is identical to Monaco as it is difficult to overtake. Perhaps we will see another train of cars following the leader. Why did they do away with the 2nd DRS zone???