Vettel takes charge in Japanese GP practice two

Vettel takes charge in Japanese GP practice two

Formula 1

Vettel takes charge in Japanese GP practice two


Sebastian Vettel beat Red Bull teammate Mark Webber to top spot in an incident-strewn second Formula 1 practice session at Suzuka.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso both had moments at the Degners the latter doing well to save a spin without damage while Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Pastor Maldonado all suffered early exits after accidents.

Perez’s off was the most dramatic: the Mexican clipped the astroturf on the entry to Spoon with his McLaren’s rear right and was pitched sideways into a heavy collision with the barriers.

Williams driver Maldonado also hit the tires this time at Degner, just 12 minutes into the session while Raikkonen lost the rear of his Lotus and ended up beached in the gravel at Dunlop 30 minutes from the session’s end. The Finn still ended the session fourth fastest, as the field collectively switched to long runs for the final third of the afternoon. That put him just behind the lead Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, who was little more than a quarter of a second down on Vettel in third.

Raikkonen’s teammate Romain Grosjean was fifth fastest, fractions ahead of Hamilton, whose best lap on the medium compounds was spoiled when he ran wide exiting the Degners.

Alonso’s spin was one of several lurid moments for the Spaniard, who must finish inside the top eight on Sunday if he is to prevent Vettel from clinching a fourth straight world championship crown this weekend. The Spaniard could only manage 10th at the flag, behind Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa and McLaren’s Jenson Button.

Esteban Gutierrez beat Jean-Eric Vergne and Sauber team-mate Nico Hulkenberg to 11th, with the trio covered by less than one tenth of a second. Perez was 16th, while Maldonado hung on to 18th despite completing just six laps.

Charles Pic claimed rear-quartet honors, although Jules Bianchi’s morning crash meant he was unable to participate in the session.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps 1.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m33.852s           35 2.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1m34.020s  +0.168s  35 3.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m34.114s  +0.262s  36 4.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1m34.202s  +0.350s  17 5.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m34.411s  +0.559s  30 6.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m34.442s  +0.590s  36 7.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m34.473s  +0.621s  30 8.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m34.698s  +0.846s  35 9.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m34.912s  +1.060s  3410.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m35.087s  +1.235s  3211.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m35.089s  +1.237s  3612.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m35.109s  +1.257s  3413.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m35.182s  +1.330s  3414.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m35.275s  +1.423s  3515.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m35.341s  +1.489s  2516.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1m35.709s  +1.857s  817.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m36.136s  +2.284s  4118.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m36.722s  +2.870s  619.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m37.630s  +3.778s  3120.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m37.905s  +4.053s  3621.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m38.121s  +4.269s  33