Yas Practice 2: Vettel owns the first night as McLaren chase

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in FP2 at Yas Marina Circuit

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in FP2 at Yas Marina Circuit

Nov.2 (GP247) Just as day had turned to night over Yas Marina Circuit, Sebastian Vettel bolted on a set of Pirelli, yellow band, soft tyres and scorched to the top of the timing screens to end the first day of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend fastest of all.

Lewis Hamilton McLaren, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday 2 November 2012.The world championship leader’s lap of 1 minute 41.751 seconds was good enough to ensure that the Red Bull driver left the marina on a high, confident that his rivals have not made great inroads on the pace that technical guru Adrian Newey (and his team) have been able to extract from the RB8 in recent races.

Lewis Hamilton, who was fastest in the morning session, ran the German close, topping the timing screens for the first hour when everyone was running the harder compound Pirelli tyres, The McLaren driver comfortably quickest during this phase.

At around 5.45 pm local time, which would coincide with Q3 on Sunday just about everyone was out on the softer tyres. Perhaps because the track was cooling with day turning to night, most struggled to get heat into the tyres on the first lap of their runs. In fact many struggled to go faster than they were able to do with the hard tyres when the sun shone.

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd18, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday 2 November 2012.Third fastest was Jenson Button albeit over half a second down on the top two times. Nevertheless McLaren have shown that they can chase and maybe even match the Red Bull’s around the marina based circuit.

Mark Webber was fourth fastest making, but endured niggles during the course of the ninety minutes including the recurrence of the sparking from the under-tray of the RB8. An affliction that first surfaced during the Indian GP weekend. He also sat out the final minutes of the session with a mechanical issue which may have been KERS related.

Up next were the Lotus pair with Romain Grosjean 0.32 seconds up on teammate Kimi Raikkonen. The Enstone boys showing a good turn of speed early on, which appeared to have eluded them in the more recent races.

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa were seventh and eighth respectively. Notably world championship contender Alonso was 0.836 seconds down on Vettel’s best, although he was fastest on the heavy fuel runs – but these can be deceptive for obvious reasons – who had how much in the tank?

Fernando Alonso Ferrari, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Practice, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday 2 November 2012.The Maranello team had a new front wing, new barge boards and revised rear wing end plates, which both drivers evaluated during the course of the two sessions. Nevertheless they have some work to do ahead of qualifying and the race to make all the bits work together.

Pastor Maldonado was fastest of the Williams duo, setting the ninth best time, with Bruno Senna 11th. The latter sat out the morning session as Valterri Bottas took over his cockpit.

Sandwiched between between the Williams’ on the timing sheets, was Sauber’s Sergio Perez with the tenth best time.

Mercedes pair Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were out of the top ten, ending the session 12th and 14th respectively.

Practice 2 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Friday, 2 November 2012

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:41.751 34
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.919 0.168 34
3 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:42.412 0.661 36
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:42.466 0.715 21
5 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:42.500 0.749 34
6 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:42.532 0.781 28
7 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:42.587 0.836 31
8 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:42.823 1.072 33
9 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:42.998 1.247 37
10 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:43.106 1.355 36
11 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:43.191 1.440 34
12 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:43.200 1.449 36
13 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:43.255 1.504 34
14 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:43.267 1.516 32
15 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:43.578 1.827 34
16 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:43.689 1.938 32
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:44.260 2.509 27
18 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:45.005 3.254 19
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:45.245 3.494 36
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:45.782 4.031 33
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:46.589 4.838 36
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:46.671 4.920 32
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:46.707 4.956 26
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:47.406 5.655 35
  • Butterfly

    Man, what a disappointment Ferrari is.

    If the Red Bull boss were running the show there, Massa would be out, Tombazis too, probably Pat Fry as well. Heck, he could steal Adrian Newey & Co. from Red Bull and bring them to work at Maranello asap.

    But I guess that’s too much to ask from the Italians. What a bunch of monumental losers. Shitty country full of liers.

  • alonso_is_slow

    Markable differences between teammates.

    Vettel vs Webber +0.7
    Ham vs. Button +0.5
    Alo vs Massa +0.2

    Vettel switching places with Alonso, Vettel would be Massa -0.7, and Alonso would be Webber – 0.2.

    That means Vettel would be 2nd with Ferrari and Alonso 4th with Red Bull.

    Ferrari needs to replace Alonso with Vettel.

  • Butterfly

    I wonder if Stefano Domenicali is ready to take Red Bull seriously now. Eight wins and eleven poles per season since 2009 (statistically) is pretty serious stuff if you ask me.

    But surely Red Bull is no match for Ferrari, or “The Prancing Horse” as they like to call it over there. It’s only a matter of time before Vettel & Newey match the Ferrari domination from the early ’00. After that, everybody will be talking about the Vettel/Newey era and forget everything about Schumacher/Byrne.

    And Adrian Newey is in his mid 50s, not 60s. This could go on for at least five more years. It’s getting brutal already.

    It takes at least one year to change anything at Ferrari. One year!

    So if your name is Nicholas Tombazis and your last four cars have been total crap, you’re still guaranteed to design at least two more cars before they decide you might not know what you’re doing.

    The Prancing Horse is dead meat.

  • Butterfly

    The Prancing Horse is dead meat.

  • Forza Ferrari


    Shut up you moron! What do you know about anything anyway, pathetic loser!

  • Butterfly

    @Forza Ferrari:

    You must be Italian, then.

  • Butterfly

    @Forza Ferrari:

    You know, it’s unfair of me to label all Italians as lousy or liars. I am not against Italians, and I certainly don’t think Italy is a shitty country. It’s just that I wanted Alonso to take the title so much and I’m so disapointed by Ferrari’s management that I let my emotions get the best of me.

    I still don’t have a good opinion of Stefano Domenicali or Luca Montezemolo. These guys do nothing but talk. One of them is completely out of his league running the racing team, while the other uses Ferrari to get into politics.

    That incident with the Italian Navy from India is the sort of thing that gets people fired in US companies, but not at Ferrari.

    There’s a lot of good people working at the Scuderia, no doubt, but until the management changes, there’s just no hope, no matter how optimistic one is. I tried to find excuses for SD for a couple of years now, but he’s just not delivering.

    One more thing: from what I’ve seen, you people do seem to have a tendency to lie when pressured, I don’t know why that is.

    My apologies if I offended you.