Italian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

A Walk In The Park

Sebastian Vettel, Italian GP 2013

Sebastian Vettel, Italian GP 2013 

 © The Cahier Archive

Sebastian Vettel went for a walk in the park on Friday afternoon. Make that a run in the Parco di Monza where he ran away from the opposition with a lap time a full six-tenths of a second quicker than his Red Bull teammate Mark Webber and Lotus teammates Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.

The ambient air temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 109 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was also 84 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius).

Raikkonen got things rolling with a time of 1:27.100 in his Lotus, but Sergio Perez quickly beat that with a 1:26.700 in his McLaren. Raikkonen responded with a 1:25.725. And Jenson Button moved up to second with a 1:26.295 in the other McLaren.

10 minutes into the session, Sebastian Vettel clocked the fastest time yet – 1:25.616 – in his Red Bull. He then lowered that to a 1:25.038.

As in FP1, the drivers were using Pirelli's hard compound slick tire with the orange sidewalls.

17 minutes into the session, Mark Webber finally got out on the track for the first time. His Red Bull mechanics had been working on the car and finally got it repaired.

18 minutes into the session, Fernando Alonso went second quickest with a time of 1:25.543 in his Ferrari. And Webber went from last and no time to third with a time of 1:25.693. After a cool down lap, Webber posted a 1:25.253.

23 minutes into the session, Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) became the first driver to go out with Pirelli's medium compound slick with the white sidewalls.

30 minutes into the session, Nico Rosberg set a 1:25.367 to take over third on the time sheets in his Mercedes. And Vettel put first place further out of reach with a lap of 1:24.721 on the medium tires. Then Vettel clocked a 1:24.453 while Webber, now also on the mediums, improved to a 1:25.076.

42 minutes into the session, Alonso moved into third with a 1:25.330.

44 minutes into the session, Raikkonen took over third with a 1:25.116.

Midway through the session the top six were: Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Rosberg. All had set their times on the medium tires which were best on the second or third timed lap.

46 minutes into the session, Romain Grosjean posted the exact same time as teammate Raikkonen: 1:25.116. So that put the Lotus duo third and fourth.

With 30 minutes remaining, the top six were: Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Alonso and Hamilton. The top drivers were now concentrating on tire comparisons and long runs rather than lap times. All but three drivers were on the track at this stage.

With 11 minutes remaining in the session, every driver except Felipe Massa (whose Ferrari had gear selection problems) was out on the track. And the session ended with all on track except for the unlucky Massa.

With nobody trying for times, the top six at the end of FP2 remained: Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Alonso and Hamilton.

Rosberg, Massa, Button and Perez rounded out the top 10.

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