Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in second Belgian GP practice

Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in second Belgian GP practice

Formula 1

Vettel leads Red Bull 1-2 in second Belgian GP practice


Sebastian Vettel headed teammate Mark Webber as Red Bull scored an impressive 1-2 in a dry second Belgian Grand Prix practice session.

Vettel’s session ended on a sour note however when he suffered a right-rear puncture 20 minutes from the flag, after a long run on the medium compound. He ended up shredding the tire as he limped back to the pits.

Pirelli has brought its hardest two compounds to Spa in order to deal with the extreme loads posed by the Belgian circuit, and has prescribed restrictive limits on pressures and cambers. It was an unfortunate end for Red Bull given its domination of proceedings.

Vettel and Webber hit the front early on and then extended their advantage once the field switched onto Pirelli’s medium compound, eventually ending the session more than seven tenths clear of the chasing pack.

Vettel had also been fastest on the hard tire, and was only displaced when Webber switched onto the options compound and dropped down to a 1m49.390s. He responded instantly however, reasserting himself at the head of the timesheets with a 1m49.331s that was enough to secure top spot given teams switched their focus onto long runs shortly after.

Only four men Romain Grosjean, Felipe Massa, Jean-Eric Vergne and Kimi Raikkonen were able to get within one second of Vettel’s benchmark. Fernando Alonso, who went briefly fastest early on for Ferrari, beat McLaren’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg to seventh.

Force India pair Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil meanwhile locked out 10th and 11th ahead of Hungarian GP winner Lewis Hamilton, who struggled with the handling of his Mercedes throughout.

Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado, Jenson Button and Daniel Ricciardo were next up, with the latter more than 1.2sec slower than teammate Vergne.

Giedo van der Garde, meanwhile, caused the only incident of the session when he lost the rear of his Caterham and slewed into the barriers exiting the Stavelot-Paul Frere complex. The Dutchman, who ended the session in 19th, was unhurt.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps 1.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m49.331s           22 2.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1m49.390s  +0.059s  34 3.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m50.149s  +0.818s  34 4.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m50.164s  +0.833s  27 5.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m50.253s  +0.922s  28 6.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1m50.318s  +0.987s  33 7.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m50.510s  +1.179s  21 8.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1m50.536s  +1.205s  27 9.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m50.601s  +1.270s  3310.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m50.611s  +1.280s  2711.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m50.629s  +1.298s  3012.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m50.751s  +1.420s  2713.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m50.972s  +1.641s  3314.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m50.991s  +1.660s  2815.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m51.195s  +1.864s  2816.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m51.447s  +2.116s  2617.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m51.568s  +2.237s  2818.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m51.644s  +2.313s  2619.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m53.157s  +3.826s  2120.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m53.251s  +3.920s  2921.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1m53.482s  +4.151s  2822.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m54.418s  +5.087s  12