Abu Dhabi GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

Vettel tops first day at Yas Marina

Sebastian Vettel, Abu Dhabi GP 2012

Sebastian Vettel, Abu Dhabi GP 2012 

 © The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel (1:41.751) set the fastest time on the opening day of practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, just 0.16s quicker than Lewis Hamilton's McLaren (1:41.919).

Vettel and Hamilton always look spectacular through the third sector of the Abu Dhabi lap in particular – a bit like kartists with 750bhp! – and it looks as if the pole fight could be between the pair here once again.

Although headline quickest single laps on Friday do not mean a lot, the rest of the top 10 comprised Jenson Button's McLaren (1:42.412); Mark Webber's Red Bull (1:42.466); the Lotuses of Romain Grosjean (1:42.500) and Kimi Raikkonen (1:42.532); the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso (1:42.587) and Felipe Massa (1:42.823); Pastor Maldonado's Williams (1:42.998) and Sergio Perez's Sauber (1:43.106).

Although fuel loads are unknown, the quickest longer run time, in the mid 1:47s, came from Massa's Ferrari, with Alonso running a different programme, but Jenson Button's McLaren lapped in a similar time on a slightly longer run. There was no comparable length run for Red Bull, for whom Mark Webber lost part of the session with a KERS cooling leak.

In the first session, Max Chilton, who is hoping for a full-time seat with Marussia next year, made his debut as a Friday driver for the team and did a good job. He finished the session around a second shy of experienced team mate Timo Glock, but his last lap of the session was on target for a half second improvement until he encountered an HRT in the final sector.


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