European Grand Prix 2012: Vettel tops timesheets in second practice

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel sets the pace in Friday's second practice session for the European Grand Prix in Valencia

sebastian vettel
Sebastian Vettel set the pace in FP2 Photo: Getty Images, courtesy of Red Bull Racing

sebastian vettel

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel set the pace in second practice for Sunday’s European Grand Prix in Valencia after Pastor Maldonado had topped the timesheets in the first session.

Vettel, last year’s winner at the Valencia Street Circuit, posted a time of 1m39.334s, 0.131s ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi as five different teams filled the first five places.

Force India’s Paul Di Resta was sixth behind Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher and Williams’ Bruno Senna.

sebastian vettel

Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel won last year’s race in Valencia (Getty Images/Red Bull Racing)

“The car feels good, I’m reasonably happy with the balance but we still have some fine-tuning to do,” said Vettel.

“We have to see what the rest of the weekend brings, the temperature was a bit cooler than what it is supposed to be tomorrow and on Sunday, but I hope we can produce the same performance for the next two days.

“We have tried some new parts on the car, but the lap times have not really allowed us to have a fair conclusion of them yet. It was important to have a clean practice today and I’m happy with what we did.”

After cloud cover had kept track temperatures down in morning practice, the second session gave a clearer indication of how Sunday’s race is likely to pan out as the sun came out and the heat intensified.

lewis hamilton

Lewis Hamilton endured a frustrating session, finishing 14th-quickest at the Valencia Street Circuit (Vodafone McLaren Mercedes)

Jenson Button, who had posted the fourth-quickest time in the first session, was 12th, while Lewis Hamilton was 14th in the other McLaren.

The second session was disrupted by a crash when HRT’s Pedro de la Rosa hit the barriers after clipping the kerbs at Turn 13, causing significant damage to front-left of the car.

European Grand Prix 2012: Second practice times

1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:39.334 33 laps

2 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:39.465 0.131 32 laps

3 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:39.595 0.261 20 laps

4 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:39.601 0.267 27 laps

5 Bruno Senna Williams 1:39.644 0.310 34 laps

6 Paul di Resta Force India 1:39.700 0.366 32 laps

7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:39.733 0.399 34 laps

8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:39.868 0.534 33 laps

9 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:39.901 0.567 30 laps

10 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.926 0.592 32 laps

11 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:39.945 0.611 34 laps

12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:39.990 0.656 33 laps

13 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:40.075 0.741 29 laps

14 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:40.147 0.813 25 laps

15 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:40.244 0.910 35 laps

16 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:40.511 1.177 29 laps

17 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:40.963 1.629 20 laps

18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:41.121 1.787 32 laps

19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:41.197 1.863 38 laps

20 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:41.263 1.929 29 laps

21 Timo Glock Marussia 1:42.424 3.090 21 laps

22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:42.958 3.624 30 laps

23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:44.201 4.867 33 laps

24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:44.260 4.926 12 laps

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