SEBASTIAN VETTEL ON TOP IN FP2
Vettel upped the ante in his bid to win his maiden German Grand Prix after setting the pace in Friday’s second practice session.
The triple world champion, who has never won in front of his home crowd, ended the day on top of the timesheets.
Vettel finished two tenths ahead of British Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg with Lewis Hamilton in eighth after the Mercedes driver set the best time in Friday morning’s first practice session.
Fernando Alonso failed to post a time on Friday morning after an electrical fault with his Ferrari. But the Spaniard returned to the track, with the sixth best time of the afternoon.
Jenson Button, pointless from the last two races completed 37 laps around the Nurburgring but was 1.1 seconds down on Vettel’s best time.
Despite fears of a boycott there were no signs of the tyre debacle that marred last Sunday’s British Grand Prix.
Following the announcement of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association on Thursday night that they would boycott the race at the Nurburgring if there was any repeat of the catastrophic tyre failures which marred the British Grand Prix, all eyes were on the tyres.
But Pirelli’s revised rear construction, which sports bullet proof Kevlar technology, was up to the job in the opening session.
Pirelli motorsport chief, Paul Hembery, was the most sought out man in the paddock this morning. And after laying the blame at the door of the team for the Silverstone fiasco, Hembery did concede partial responsibility for the six blow-outs after failing to outlaw the of putting the rear tyres on the opposite way round.
‘I have to say last weekend was our responsibility,’ said Hembery. ‘We allowed the teams to invert the tyres when we shouldn’t have done.’
Hembery claimed to have been surprised by the strike threat by the GPDA, adding: ‘It was a little bit surprising given the meeting we had with them to go through it.
‘At the end of the day we have to make sure we don’t have any issues like we had at Silverstone. That’s the bottom line.
‘So we tried to explain the situation, what’s happened, where we’ve been this season, the different evolutions.
‘Maybe it’s not always clear to them what goes on. There’s a lot of dynamic involved in the sport, different teams, different interests. ‘We also explained the changes here and the changes going forward, which we believe are in completely the right direction for them.’
The practice of swapping the rear tyres has now been banned while stringent new rules regarding tyre pressures and camber angles have also been introduced.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m30.416s 39 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m30.651s + 0.235s 38 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m30.683s + 0.267s 41 4. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m30.843s + 0.427s 32 5. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m30.848s + 0.432s 27 6. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m31.056s + 0.640s 39 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m31.059s + 0.643s 41 8. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m31.304s + 0.888s 35 9. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m31.568s + 1.152s 37 10. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m31.797s + 1.381s 40 11. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m31.824s + 1.408s 34 12. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m31.855s + 1.439s 42 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m32.055s + 1.639s 39 14. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m32.086s + 1.670s 36 15. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.495s + 2.079s 39 16. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m32.762s + 2.346s 44 17. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m32.879s + 2.463s 35 18. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m32.880s + 2.464s 36 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m33.695s + 3.279s 38 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m33.804s + 3.388s 40 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m34.017s + 3.601s 10 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m34.667s + 4.251s 39