Australian GP: Vettel again op top during second practice session at Albert Park
By Berthold Bouman
Sebastian Vettel made no bones about it, he is still the strongest Formula One driver as he was once again on top of the second practice session for round one of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne.
The German triple World Champion set a time of 1m25.908s, three-tenths of a second faster than the time he set in the morning. This time Vettel was joined by Mark Webber who took second place for Red Bull, but the Australian was 0.264s slower than his team mate.
Again, Mercedes had an encouraging afternoon, this time Nico Rosberg was third, but again reliability problems for Mercedes, at the end of the session the German had to stop his car on the track with a gearbox problem. Lewis Hamilton was seventh this afternoon, after he had spun at Turn 3 — according to Mercedes, due to damage of the floor of the car.
Nico Rosberg third for Mercedes – Photo: Mercedes-Benz
Kimi Raikkonen was fast again, he took fourth place, but was almost half-a-second slower than Vettel. Romain Grosjean in the second Lotus was quick too, he took fifth place after completing 30 laps.
Ferrari was a bit further down the order compared to this morning, this time it was Fernando Alonso who was faster than Felipe Massa, as the Spaniard took sixth place, while his Brazilian colleague took eighth place this afternoon.
Adrian Sutil again proved Vijay Mallya has taken the right call to re-sign the German for 2013, he was ninth after completing 30 laps at the Albert Park Circuit, Paul di Resta was 12th, but he was a full second slower than Sutil, who seems to feel more comfortable in the Force India VJM06.
Nico Hulkenberg was in tenth place, but was actually slower than this morning, when he scored 12th place. Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez was fifteenth, and improved on the time he set this morning.
Fernando Alonso at Albert Park – Ferrari
McLaren slid even further down the order compared to this morning, Jenson Button was 11th, and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez was 13th, and it indeed looks like McLaren is struggling to get some speed in the MP4-28.
The second Australian driver on the 2013 grid, Daniel Ricciardo, was a full second quicker than this morning, and he took 14th place for Toro Rosso. Jean-Eric Vergne was this time 17th, still three seconds slower than pace-setter Vettel.
Also Williams dropped down the order, this morning they were 14th and 15th, this afternoon Pastor Maldonado was 16th, while Finnish rookie Valtteri Bottas was 18th after completing 38 laps.
Jules Bianchi was once again the quickest Marussia driver, he was 19th, while his team mate Max Chilton was 21st.
Charles Pic was the fastest Caterham driver as he took 20th place, while Dutchman Giedo van der Garde was struggling to keep up with the Frenchman, and again finished in 22nd and last position. Unfortunately, van der Garde spun at Turn 3, and that was the end of his afternoon, he only completed 11 laps.
Australian GP Results (Opens in new window)