Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was the top man in this afternoon’s practice session ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix. Both Red Bulls swapped fastest laps early on with Sebastian finally trumping Webber by five-hundreths of a second. His early fast-lap made sure that he finished the session on top despite failing to make it to the end of the session. Twenty-minutes from the end the Red Bull crawled into the pitlane with a punctured rear right Pirelli. As of yet, it’s not been determined what caused the failure, but opens the door to concerns for Red Bull who are infamously tough on their tyres at Spa.
Romain Grosjean was third for Lotus – eight tenths down on second placed Mark Webber. Felipe Massa was fourth, Jean-Eric Vergne fifth, Kimi Raikkonen sixth and Fernando Alonso seventh. Sergio Perez finished the session eighth for McLaren ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in ninth and Paul di Resta in tenth.
Adrian Sutil was right behind his team-mate in eleventh while Lewis Hamilton was down in twelfth for the Silver Arrows. Nico Hulkenberg was thirteenth for Sauber, narrowly beating Pastor Maldonado, Jenson Button and Daniel Ricciardo who finished fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth respectively. Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez finished the session in seventeenth and eighteenth.
Giedo van der Garde was ninteenth, and best of the backmarkers, but also failed to finish the session. Merely seconds after Vettel pulled into the garage to end his session, the Caterham struck the barriers at Stavelot. Replays showed the Dutchman losing it on the apex and simply running out of run-off space. Interestingly, it was the same place that Sebastian Vettel seemed to develop his puncture which could seem to suggest that the curbs were to blame for both incidents. Charles Pic finished twentieth, Jules Bianchi twenty-first and Max Chilton missed the session due to steering issues which saw him finish twenty-second.