Indian GP: Sebastian Vettel stays on top in second practice

Red Bull dominated the second practice session even more emphatically than it did the first in India, with world championship leader Sebastian Vettel ahead of Mark Webber by 0.118s

Indian GP: Sebastian Vettel stays on top in second practice

The German's best time of 1m26.221s was 0.6s faster than his world championship rival Fernando Alonso could manage in the third-placed Ferrari, though the Spaniard would have taken heart from the F12012's apparently strong race-pace late in the 90-minute run.

The track lost some of the adhesion the field worked so hard to build in through the first session, so the early minutes of FP2 were marked by several names jumping to the front as the track improved all over again.

All the usual suspects, including Jenson Button, Vettel, Alonso and Lewis Hamilton had spells at the top of times in the first 20 minutes before things settled down.

When they did, it was Alonso who emerged as the fastest initial hard tyre runner with a lap of 1m27.402s, some 0.246s faster than Vettel, with Hamilton third. Intriguingly though, Alonso would ultimately end up quickest with the silver-painted tyres.

Massa spun at Turn 11, 20 minutes in, after taking liberties with the Astroturf on the inside. That damaged his hard set and prompted him to become the first of the frontrunners to switch to the yellow-walled soft option tyre.

Lotus's Romain Grosjean suffered a similar mishap.

Half an hour in and Vettel was back in front, having set a 1m27.256s lap, ahead of Alonso and Hamilton. Bruno Senna, having also spun at Turn 4, was an impressive fourth at the time given his lack of running in the morning.

Kimi Raikkonen was next to switch on to options, along with team-mate Grosjean and the Toro Rossos, so it was perhaps no surprise that the Finn found himself at the top of the pile halfway through the session with a time of 1m27.030s.

Meanwhile, Massa spun again at Turn 9, complaining of 'a very strange balance' in the car. That pretty much curtailed his running for the day as Ferrari reported damage to both his sets of tyres and set about discovering the source of the Brazilian's misery.

As Massa was rotating, Nico Rosberg, also on options, shot to the top in the Mercedes with a 1m27.022s. But that didn't last long as first Vettel, on soft, and then Alonso, still on hards, moved ahead.

At the turn of the hour Webber finally made it out on track after a lengthy period in the pits and immediately went to the top of the times himself with a 1m26.399s. But only for mere moments until Vettel responded again with a 1m26.221s.

With only 30 minutes of Friday's practice left, Red Bull had a laptime advantage of 0.4s over Alonso and the chasing pack. The Spaniard, however, was consistently quick in his soft-tyre longs runs too.

Red Bull was also strong, delivering low 1m33s similar to that of Lotus. But Alonso's Ferrari and Hamilton's McLaren were in the 1m32s, although fuel loads were apparent.

Behind Alonso in the times, separated by 0.008s were Rosberg and Raikkonen, while the fastest McLaren was that of Hamilton, who was nearly a second down on Vettel.

Button was seventh fastest ahead of Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, with Grosjean and Senna completing the top ten.

Paul di Resta was 11th fastest ahead of Sergio Perez, who was back in his Sauber for the second session, having handed it over to Esteban Gutierrez for FP1.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m26.221 35 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m26.339s + 0.118 33 3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m26.820s + 0.599 34 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m27.022s + 0.801 38 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m27.030s + 0.809 40 6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.131s + 0.910 38 7. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m27.182s + 0.961 24 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m27.233s + 1.012 37 9. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m27.397s + 1.176 36 10. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m27.738s + 1.517 36 11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m28.004s + 1.783 32 12. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.178s + 1.957 39 13. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m28.222s + 2.001 37 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m28.239s + 2.018 37 15. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m28.296s + 2.075 23 16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m28.455s + 2.234 40 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m28.596s + 2.375 38 18. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m29.167s + 2.946 35 19. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m29.320s + 3.099 43 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m29.606s + 3.385 22 21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m30.950s + 4.729 37 22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m31.113s + 4.892 35 23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m31.372s + 5.151 20 24. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m31.493s + 5.272 31 All Timing Unofficial 
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Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Author Simon Strang
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