The notoriously unpredictable and variable Pirelli tyres mixed up the order in FP2 at the Shanghai circuit this morning as Felipe Massa claimed the top spot from the resurgent Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen.
The Brazilian Ferrari driver clocked a laptime of 1:35:340, some 0.4 quicker than team-mate Fernando Alonso who was 3rd fastest. Morning pace-setter Nico Rosberg again had the legs of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, but was only 4th in the afternoon as the F1W04’s seemingly struggled to find the same kind of pace on the softer tyre as they had enjoyed on the medium compound. Mark Webber was again the highest-placed Red Bull as he set 5th fastest time with a 1:36:092, ahead of Jenson Button’s McLaren and the second Mercedes of Hamilton. The 2008 World Champion complained of the difference between the medium and soft compound Pirelli’s, claiming they had ‘never behaved like this [before].’ His time was 0.6 slower than team-mate Rosberg.
Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta were 8th and 9th for Force India, with Vettel languishing way off his own team-mate in 10th after a series of lock-ups. Sergio Perez overcame an early-session spin to take 11th ahead of Lotus’ Romain Grosjean.
The Sauber duo of Gutierrez and Hulkenberg were embroiled in a tussle for laptime with the Williams and Toro Rosso teams, while Jules Bianchi once again was best of the new teams; his British team-mate Max Chilton was less fortunate, stopping out on track twice with an oil sensor problem that limited his running.
|5||Mark WEBBER||Red Bull||1:36:092|
|8||Adrian SUTIL||Force India||1:36:514|
|9||Paul DI RESTA||Force India||1:36:595|
|10||Sebastian VETTEL||Red Bull||1:36:791|
|14||Daniel RICCIARDO||Toro Rosso||1:37:206|
|15||Jean Eric VERGNE||Toro Rosso||1:38:127|
|20||Giedo VAN DER GARDE||Caterham||1:39:271|