• Japanese Grand Prix - FP2

Vettel fastest in crash-ridden FP2

ESPN Staff
October 11, 2013
© Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of the second practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, as the Suzuka circuit bit back with accidents cutting three drivers' sessions short.

Vettel set a 1:33.852 on his low-fuel lap on medium tyres, 0.168s faster than team-mate Mark Webber in second place and 0.262s faster than Nico Rosberg in third. FP1 pacesetter Lewis Hamilton was sixth fastest but failed to hook up a clean lap

Pastor Maldonado, Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen all ended their sessions early after being caught out by the Suzuka circuit. Maldonado was the first to go after just six laps as he carried too much speed into Degner 2 and buried the nose of his Williams in the same barrier that decimated Jules Bianchi's Marussia in FP1. The damage to the Williams did not look quite as bad as the written off Marussia, but the incident did severely limit Maldonado's running.

Perez had the biggest shunt of the session after putting a wheel on the artificial grass at the entrance to Spoon and sliding sideways into the barrier. The accident left the right-hand side of the McLaren needing some tender loving care before Saturday, but Perez himself was fine after a quick visit to the medical centre.

Raikkonen's spin caused less damage but was no less spectacular as he lost the rear of his Lotus on the entry to the high-speed Dunlop corner. He managed to slow the Lotus before hitting the barriers but then beached the car in the gravel, putting an end to the session. He still set the fourth fastest time, just 0.350s slower than Vettel, but missed out on a lot of long running with just 17 laps to his name.

Fernando Alonso also had a spin on his medium tyre run but managed to keep the car going. He lost the rear of his Ferrari after clouting the kerb at Degner 1 but managed to control the car moving backwards to avoid the gravel trap. However, his single set of medium tyres were left in a nasty state for his low-fuel run, which accounts for his tenth place finish in the standings, 1.235s off the pace.

Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button were faster than Alonso, with the Toro Rosso driver particularly impressive, just 0.621s off the pace of Vettel. Outside the top ten, Sauber looked reasonably competitive while Force India and Williams continued to struggle for pace at the rear of the midfield.

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