FP2: Vettel Keeps Alonso Honest

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel topped the second practice session in Catalunya on Friday to keep local-boy Fernando Alonso off the top spot. Vettel, who finished 19th in the first session, was back on form and finished just milliseconds ahead of his Ferrari rival, a 1.22.808 in comparison to 1.22.825. Alonso split the Red Bulls with Mark Webber in 3rd, also an improvement from the wet opening practice where he was 20th.

Kimi Raikkonen took his Lotus to fourth overall, ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg who lined up sixth and seventh respectively. Adrian Sutil in eighth and Paul di Resta in tenth sandwiched Jean-Eric Vergne in ninth. Di Resta’s session ended prematurely as his tire lost its rubber in yet another problem for the Pirellis. He pulled up near the pitlane entrance and left the car to be wheeled back.

The other Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo was eleventh ahead of both McLarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez. The historic team’s woes are seemingly continuing, despite teams earmarking the Spanish round as the last chance saloon. Valtteri Bottas took his Williams to fourteenth while Nico Hulkenberg in fifteenth kept Pastor Maldonado in sixteenth at the circuit where he last year grabbed his maiden pole position and win in Formula One.

Esteban Gutierrez was seventeenth for Sauber ahead of Romain Grosjean in eighteenth due to not setting a lap on the faster medium tyre. Giedo van der Garde was best of the back-markers, finishing nineteenth ahead of Marussia’s Jules Bianchi in twentieth, Caterham’s Charles Pic in twenty-first and Marussia’s Max Chilton, who took the last spot.

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