Vettel takes the lead in American FP2

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F1 Grand Prix, GP United States, Circuit of The Americasus

Sebastian Vettel topped second practice and proved fastest of the first day of running in the United States Grand Prix weekend. A single tenth slower is his Red Bull team mate Mark Webber, followed by Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and new Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen.

Different to FP1, the second free practice session did get underway at the scheduled time with Kovalainen notably out early to get acquainted with the Lotus E21. The others weren't exactly messing about either as both Mercedes cars soon started longer runs early on while Button and then Vettel took the top of the timesheet just 10 minutes into the session.

30 minutes into the session, as several drivers change to the medium tyres, Vettel tops the timesheet, half a second ahead of Webber. The times obviously tumbled and it took around another 30 minutes before both Red Bulls were again ahead on top of the timesheet. On his 6th lap on medium tyres, Vettel posts a 1:37.305, little more than a tenth ahead of Webber. Rosberg and Hamilton are third and fourth at a time when most start to think about race simulations.

Many teams split strategies, and Mark Webber interestingly proved the consistency of the harder tyre, going equally as quick on his last lap as on his second one. His teammate, Sebastian Vettel lapped around a second slower, signalling that the hard tyre may well be used for a very long stint on Sunday, creating interesting possibilities for those choosing to start on them.

8 minutes from the end of the session, Chilton is off the track in turn 20 after he lost the front brakes. Once at a stand still, the brakes immediately caught fire albeit without further consequence. What followed however was a display of bad marshalling, as the crane somehow failed to get the car out of the way quickly. It actually took 8 minutes in total, making it appear that either the crane got beached into the gravel itself or that the driver lacked experience to drive it.

Once the car got cleared and the yellows were gone, the session was virtually done with just 2 minutes left on the clock. No important timesheet changes happened however, leaving Vettel to be the fastest man of the day.

Results

Pos.No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:37.305-35
22Mark WebberRed Bull Racing-Renault1:37.4200.11537
39Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:37.7850.48038
410Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:37.9580.65338
57Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1:38.0730.76841
612Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:38.2290.92440
711Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1:38.2540.94940
88Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:38.2550.95033
95Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:38.2690.96434
103Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:38.4611.15633
1115Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1:38.7191.41431
124Felipe MassaFerrari1:38.9381.63337
136Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes1:38.9411.63631
1419Daniel RicciardoSTR-Ferrari1:39.2461.94128
1514Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1:39.4102.10534
1617Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1:39.5122.20737
1718Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Ferrari1:39.5792.27436
1816Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1:39.7842.47933
1920Charles PicCaterham-Renault1:40.3763.07139
2021Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1:40.5633.25835
2123Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1:46.2268.92131
2222Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1:47.0099.70420