F1 2013

The blonde assassin strikes – Belgium FP2

Sebastian Vettel proved his off-season hair-dying experiments had not shifted his mind from its racing focus as he set the fastest time in the second free practice session for Sunday’s Belgium Grand Prix. He led team mate Mark Webber to a dominant Red Bull 1-2, as the Milton Keynes-based cars bested their nearest rival by 0.8 seconds.

In contrast to the morning session, FP2 was held in warm and sunny conditions throughout – enabling the teams to work through their preparation programs that were so badly affected by the earlier rain.

Things didn’t go according to plan for Caterham however when Giedo Van Der Garde crashed his car on the exit of the second part of the Stavelot corner – and Red Bull also experienced a scare when Vettel was forced to abandon a race simulation run when a right rear puncture sparked renewed speculation over the state of the Pirelli tyres this weekend.

It was a bad afternoon for the leading British drivers as both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button spent the session wrestling with setup maladies. Button complained his erstwhile-troublesome McLaren MP4/28 was a ‘different car’ to the one he drove in FP1, in the words of Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, while Hamilton protested his own Mercedes was ‘all over the place’.

Jean Eric Vergne and Romain Grosjean put on notable performances in front of the many French fans who travelled across the border to witness them in action, with both men getting the upper hand over their team mates.


1 Vettel Red Bull 1:49:331
2 Webber Red Bull +0.059
3 Grosjean Lotus +0.818
4 Massa Ferrari +0.833
5 Vergne Toro Rosso +0.922
6 Raikkonen Lotus +0.987
7 Alonso Ferrari +1.179
8 Perez McLaren +1.205
9 Rosberg Mercedes +1.270
10 Di Resta Force India +1.280
11 Sutil Force India +1.298
12 Hamilton Mercedes +1.420
13 Hulkenberg Sauber +1.641
14 Maldonado Williams +1.660
15 Button McLaren +1.864
16 Ricciardo Toro Rosso +2.116
17 Bottas Williams +2.237
18 Gutierrez Sauber +2.313
19 Van Der Garde Caterham +3.826
20 Pic Caterham +3.920
21 Bianchi Marussia +4.151
22 Chilton Marussia +5.087

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