European GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

Vettel tops close-packed field

Sebastian Vettel, European GP 2012

Sebastian Vettel, European GP 2012 

 © wri2.net

Sebastian Vettel (1:39.334) topped the second session of free practice in Valencia with another battle royal in prospect for round 8 of the world championship.

The close-fought nature of the 2012 championship looks set to continue with five different chassis in the top five places and less than six tenths of a second covering the top 10.

Force India appears to have made a step forward in competitiveness with Nico Hulkenberg (1:39.465) second quickest and Paul Di Resta sixth (1:39.700) and the car also impressively quick on a heavier fuel load.

Kamui Kobayashi (1:39.595) put the first Sauber third, ahead of Michael Schumacher's Mercedes (1:39.601) and an impressive Bruno Senna (1:39.644) who sat out the morning session in favour of Williams test driver Valtteri Bottas.

Fernando Alonso (1:39.733) was seventh with the first of the Ferraris, ahead of Romain Grosjean (1:39.868), who had a close shave with Michael Schumacher when he locked up spectacularly barrelling down the inside and forced the seven times champion to take evasive action.

While the headline times of the Lotuses were nothing special, once again the team's long-run pace marked it out as a threat for Sunday afternoon.

Mark Webber's Red Bull (1:39.901) and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:39.926) completed the top 10.


Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter