• Italian Grand Prix - FP2

Vettel sets blistering FP2 pace

ESPN Staff
September 6, 2013
Sebastian Vettel was comfortably quickest in FP2 © Getty Images
Related Links

Sebastian Vettel was the class of the field in FP2 at Monza as he finished Friday practice for the Italian Grand Prix over 0.6s clear of the rest of the field.

While it was Lewis Hamilton who had set the pace in FP1, Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber went quickest early on in the afternoon session and Vettel consolidated his advantage on medium tyres with a time of 1:24.453. Nobody else was able to get below the 1m25s mark, although the Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean were just 0.04s slower than Webber.

Despite running chassis with different wheelbases at Monza - Raikkonen with the updated E21 - both drivers set identical lap times of 1:25.116, but Raikkonen was classified above his team-mate having been the first of the two to set the time. He had a scare during the session as he allowed his car to run too wide exiting the Parabolica and slewed wide on the gravel at high speed but was able to rejoin the track without damage.

Hamilton and Fernando Alonso remained closely matched as they had been in FP1, but on this occasion it was Alonso who was just 0.01s quicker than the Mercedes. However, both were nearly 0.9s off the pace set by Vettel, and Alonso ran very wide at the second Lesmo late in the session but kept the car out of the barriers.

Nico Rosberg was the only other driver within a second of the Red Bull, just ahead of Felipe Massa who had his long run late in the session interrupted by a gearbox problem as he got stuck in third gear and didn't return to the track in the final 15 minutes.

The McLarens of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten, and although they were a second off Vettel the team will take some satisfaction from being within a tenth of the Mercedes duo. Paul di Resta was 11th fastest in the highest-placed Force India, ahead of Esteban Gutierrez who showed a flash of pace in the Sauber.

Far from celebrating his new contract with Red Bull for 2014, Daniel Ricciardo was one of the slowest of the midfield runners in 17th and over 0.3s off Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne.