Red Bull stamps authority in Practice 2
Red Bull Racing duo Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber have put in a commanding performance on the opening day of the 2013 Formula 1 season.
Having topped Practice 1 earlier in the afternoon, Vettel’s Practice 2 best of 1:25.91s saw the German 0.26s clear of second-placed Webber.
The Australian had thrilled local fans by shooting to the top of the order halfway through the 90 minute hit-out after moving to the super soft tyre.
Vettel answered the challenge with his own super soft time soon after, before the final 30 minutes saw mainly high-fuel running.
Webber’s session effectively ended with a wild spin at the exit of Turn 13 in the final minutes as he battled with the rapidly degrading rubber.
The quickest non-Red Bull proved the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, which lapped some 0.41s slower than Vettel.
It was a dramatic end to the session for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton’s entry going straight on at Turn 6 after an apparent mechanical failure, moments before Rosberg pulled off with gearbox troubles.
Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean ended a promising day for Lotus in fourth and fifth respectively ahead of Fernando Alonso, Hamilton, Felipe Massa, Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg.
McLaren meanwhile appears to be in for a tough start to the season with Jenson Button 11th and new team-mate Sergio Perez 13th.
West Australian Daniel Ricciardo was 14th in his Toro Rosso, three places ahead of team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.
It was a tough session for rookie Giedo van der Garde, who missed the final hour after spinning his Caterham off the circuit at Turn 6.
A third and final Formula 1 practice session will get underway at 1400 on Saturday afternoon before qualifying at 1700.
See below for the full Practice 2 result
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:25.908|
|2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:26.172||0.264|
|9||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.435||1.527|
|12||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.311||2.403|
|22||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:32.450||6.542|