Tyre failures under the spotlight at Spa

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel led a Red Bull one-two at the end of Friday practice at Spa, but it was again Pirelli’s tyres that had the paddock talking.

Vettel and fellow former world champion, Fernando Alonso, both endured tyre failures during the afternoon, prompting fears of a repeat of the British Grand Prix’s spate of problems.

Pirelli blamed both Friday issues at Spa on debris cutting the tyres, emphatically denying that another epidemic could be in store.

The drivers, however, have collectively asked FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting to investigate the matter and provide a guarantee that  there is not a fundamental safety issue.

“We need answers and ‘debris’ is not the answer,” said Mark Webber.

On track, Webber had been second fastest to team-mate Vettel, lapping just 0.06s shy of his team-mate after appearing to run with a higher downforce rear wing.

The Lotus entries of Romain Grosjean were third and sixth respectively, impressing with their long-run pace in the process.

The Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton driven Mercedes managed just ninth and 12th, but were thought to be in engine conservation mode and are again expected to threaten for pole on Saturday.

Alonso had topped the morning’s rain-hit session but was hampered by mechanical problems in the afternoon.

See below for the Practice 2 result

Pos Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:49.331 22
2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:49.390 0.059 34
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:50.149 0.818 34
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:50.164 0.833 27
5 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:50.253 0.922 28
6 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:50.318 0.987 33
7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:50.510 1.179 21
8 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:50.536 1.205 27
9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:50.601 1.270 33
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:50.611 1.280 27
11 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:50.629 1.298 30
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:50.751 1.420 27
13 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:50.972 1.641 33
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:50.991 1.660 28
15 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:51.195 1.864 28
16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:51.447 2.116 26
17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:51.568 2.237 28
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:51.644 2.313 26
19 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:53.157 3.826 21
20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:53.251 3.920 29
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:53.482 4.151 28
22 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:54.418 5.087 12

See below for the Practice 1 result

Pos Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:55.198 11
2 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:55.224 0.026 10
3 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:55.373 0.175 11
4 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:55.518 0.320 14
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:55.614 0.416 10
6 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:55.636 0.438 14
7 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:55.954 0.756 18
8 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:56.110 0.912 11
9 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:56.770 1.572 14
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:56.858 1.660 18
11 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:56.863 1.665 10
12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:57.081 1.883 14
13 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:57.084 1.886 17
14 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:57.281 2.083 14
15 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:57.358 2.160 10
16 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:57.821 2.623 16
17 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:57.887 2.689 16
18 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:58.600 3.402 14
19 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:58.929 3.731 12
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:59.209 4.011 12
21 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:59.441 4.243 11
22 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 2:03.176 7.978 15

 

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