German GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Germans in Germany
German drivers Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) topped the times in Friday afternoon's Free Practice 2 for the German Grand Prix.
There had been no blowouts or major tire problems in the mornings FP1, but the teams were anxious to see how the tires performed in the hotter track conditions of FP2 in the afternoon. They also wanted to try out the soft compound slick, with the yellow sidewall, that most drivers had not run in FP1.
The ambient air temperature at the start of the session was 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius).
As the drivers started to complete their first flying laps it was Romain Grosjean who went to the top of the charts with a 1:34.342 in his Lotus. But it wasn't long before Jenson Button turned a 1:33.646 in his McLaren only to be beaten by Kimi Raikkonen who set a 1:33.537 in his Lotus.
Eight minutes into the session, Grosjean was back on top with a 1:33.020 but then Mark Webber turned a 1:32.333 in his Red Bull.
Ferrari had repaired the electrical problems that kept Fernando Alonso out of FP1 so he was back in action for FP2.
12 minutes into the session, Webber lowered the best time to a 1:31.790. That was a full second faster than he'd gone in FP1. His Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel slotted into second with a 1:32.428, but then Lewis Hamilton took over the spot with a time of 1:32.388 in his Mercedes only to have Vettel improve to a 1:32.154.
The drivers were on the medium compound Pirelli slicks.
14 minutes into the session, Nico Rosberg clocked a 1:32.024 in his Mercedes.
With most of their first runs over 19 minutes into the session, many of the drivers headed to the pits for a regroup. There were only five drivers on the track at this time including the Mercedes teammates.
20 minutes into the session, Max Chilton was on track with the soft compound Pirelli, with the yellow sidewall, fitted to his Marussia. He was 19th fastest at the time.
And now other drivers were heading out on the soft tire. One of them was Jean-Eric Vergne who jumped up to sixth with a 1:32.590 in his Toro Rosso.
27 minutes into the session, Webber, on softs, improved to a 1:30.874.
Daniel Ricciardo, on sifts, took fourth place with a 1:32.124 in his Toro Rosso.
On his second fast lap on the softs, Webber set a 1:30.683 just before the 30 minute mark. And Ricciardo improved to a 1:31.885 ‚Äì second place at the time.
34 minutes into the session, Vettel, with soft tires, went quickest with a 1:30.416.
35 minutes into the session, the top six were: Vettel, Webber, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Hamilton and Vergne. Two minutes later, Rosberg slotted into second place with a 1:30.651.
At the midpoint of the 90 minute session, the top six were: Vettel, Rosberg, Webber, Alonso, Felipe Massa (Ferrari) and Hamilton. Adrian Sutil (Force India), Ricciardo, Vergne and Sergio Perez (McLaren) rounded out the top 10.
49 minutes into the session, Kimi Raikkonen, with soft tires on his Lotus, moved up to fourth place with a 1:30.848. Teammate Grosjean went eighth quickest and then fourth best with a 1:30.843 which pushed Raikkonen down to fifth.
As the final 40 minutes of FP2 began several drivers were already out there doing race simulations long runs with heavy fuel loads. After about 10 laps on the soft tires, Rosberg and Vettel were turning times some nine seconds slower than their fastest laps.
Meanwhile, Jules Bianchi had to stop driving because of stomach pains.
With 30 minutes remaining, the top six were: Vettel, Rosberg, Webber, Grosjean, Raikkonen and Alonso. Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Hamilton, Button and Paul di Resta (Force India) rounded out the top 10.
The medium compound tire was working better on the long runs than the soft and had less drop off.
With 22 minutes remaining in the session, only Raikkonen and the ill Bianchi weren't on track.
Vettel and Rosberg were now on long runs on the medium tires and turning virtually identical times as the tires wore out. If FP2 is anything to go by, these two Germans will be fighting for the victory in their home grand prix on Sunday.
With 17 minutes remaining in the session, only Vergne and the ill Bianchi weren't on track. The drivers were certainly racking up the laps. Vettel and Rosberg had 28 each and Webber 31.
With 13 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was out there except Bianchi. The same was true with four minutes to go. Just about every driver had completed well over 30 laps and some did over 40. Plenty of data, then, for the engineers.
The session wound down with the drivers continuing their long runs until the checkered flag. And so FP2 ended with the top 10 being: Vettel, Rosberg, Webber, Grosjean, Raikkonen, Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Button and di Resta.
There were no blow outs, delaminations or tire failures during the session.