Vettel quickest but question marks remain

Vettel quickest but question marks remain

12 May 2012 – Sebastian Vettel moved atop the timesheets in final practice for the Spanish Grand Prix but it remains to be seen how much fuel his rivals were carrying on Saturday morning. In a mixed up and very warm session, Pastor Maldonado and Kamui Kobayashi completed the top three for Williams and Sauber.

On what is Catalonia’s hottest day of 2012 by far, ambient temperatures are already in the mid 20s and expected to hit the dizzying heights of 32°C (90°F) this afternoon. Although a number of empty seats remained in the grandstands for this final hour of practice, traffic continues to build up on the outside of the Circuit de Catalunya.

Once again, the session itself was generally incident-free, although there was a potentially significant moment for the weekend when Romain Grosjean was forced to stop at Turn 10 with a fuel pressure problem. Although both the Frenchman and his Lotus – which showed highly encouraging pace yesterday – were able to return to the pits, his mechanics were unable to rectify the problem on time.

Charles Pic posted the first lap time for Marussia, but it was Mercedes and Nico Rosberg on top as soon as the yellow-marked Soft tyres were rolled out. Incidentally, Pirelli has brought non-consecutive compounds to this race, meaning the yellow Softs and silver Hards are the choices for the first time this season.

Tyre management is an absolutely crucial factor again this weekend
Following a minor delay of his own, Vettel duly seized the top spot with his best effort of 1:23.168. However, a combination of factors could be disguising the true pace; not only are many believed to have run only on heavy fuel, but Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren was held up by traffic at the RACC Chicane on its final run.

With Maldonado and Kobayashi in the top three, Mark Webber was fourth in the second Red Bull from Sergio Pérez, who was fastest for some time before confirming that both Saubers ended up inside the leading quintet. Local favourite Alonso led the second half of the top ten from Jean-Éric Vergne, previous Barcelona winners Jenson Button and Kimi Räikkönen and Chinese Grand Prix victor Nico Rosberg.

In the dying moments of the session, Timo Glock appeared to experience a loose left-rear wheel and was given no option but to pull his Marussia into the pit lane exit.


Spanish Grand Prix qualifying begins at 2pm local time (BST +1) and can also be followed through the GPUpdate.net Live Report

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Friday 27 March 2015

  2. Márquez on top again in third practice 18:49

    Márquez on top again in third practice

    MotoGP World Champion Marc Márquez made it a clean sweep so far in Qatar as he topped the third practice session for the first…

    MotoGP
  3. 18:07

    Latest F1 photos: Friday at Sepang

    F1
  4. Armand steps up to FR3.5 with Pons 16:49

    Armand steps up to FR3.5 with Pons

    Philo Paz Armand will make his Formula Renault 3.5 debut at Pons Racing this year alongside the already confirmed Roberto…

    FR 3.5
  5. Palmer to make practice debut in China 15:58

    Palmer to make practice debut in China

    Reigning GP2 Champion Jolyon Palmer will make his Formula 1 weekend debut for Lotus at the next round of the championship in…

    F1
  6. Márquez quickest in second Qatar session 15:53

    Márquez quickest in second Qatar session

    MotoGP Champion Marc Márquez continued to set the pace during second practice for this weekend's first round of the year in…

    MotoGP
  7. Wilson joins Andretti for Indianapolis rounds 15:17

    Wilson joins Andretti for Indianapolis rounds

    Justin Wilson will race for Andretti Autosport at this year's Indianapolis 500 and at the preceding round of the championship on…

    Indy
  8. Fernley: Mid-season revival for Force India 13:30

    Fernley: Mid-season revival for Force India

    Force India Deputy Team Principal Robert Fernley says that it won't be until the middle of the 2015 campaign until the squad…

    F1
  9. Renault issues threat to quit Formula 1 12:05

    Renault issues threat to quit Formula 1

    Renault Managing Director Cyril Abiteboul says that the French company could pull out of Formula 1 - with Red Bull's Christian…

    F1
  10. Vettel not happy with Friday performance 11:54

    Vettel not happy with Friday performance

    Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel says he was not happy with his own performance during practice for this weekend's Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  11. Alonso upbeat about McLaren progress 11:10

    Alonso upbeat about McLaren progress

    Fernando Alonso says he is pleased with the progress McLaren has made as he returned to action during Friday practice for the…

    F1
  12. Stevens pleased to be within 107 percent 10:22

    Stevens pleased to be within 107 percent

    Manor Marussia driver Will Stevens says he was pleased to be within the 107 percent mark of the fastest time in both practice…

    F1
  13. Red Bull drivers note improvements 09:50

    Red Bull drivers note improvements

    Red Bull pair Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo expressed their optimism over improvements made to the RB11 following Friday's…

    F1
  14. Bottas confident over back injury 09:43

    Bottas confident over back injury

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas says he is sure that he won't be bothered by the back pain which forced him out of the…

    F1
  15. Hamilton surprised by Ferrari practice pace 09:02

    Hamilton surprised by Ferrari practice pace

    Lewis Hamilton says he was surprised by the pace Ferrari displayed on the opening day of practice for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  16. 07:39

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    F1
  17. Hamilton moves ahead in second practice 07:34

    Hamilton moves ahead in second practice

    Lewis Hamilton recovered from his morning technical woes to set the standard during second practice for the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  18. Williams given suspended fine over tyres 07:01

    Williams given suspended fine over tyres

    Williams has been given a suspended fine of €10,000 after a tyre breach in Malaysian Grand Prix practice. All drivers are…

    F1
  19. 05:54

    Follow second practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  20. Marciello pleased with F1 practice debut 05:52

    Marciello pleased with F1 practice debut

    Sauber reserve driver Raffaele Marciello was in high spirits after making his Formula 1 practice debut at the Malaysian Grand…

    F1
  21. Hamilton's engine allocation unaffected 05:12

    Hamilton's engine allocation unaffected

    Mercedes has said that Lewis Hamilton's engine allocation will not be affected by the problem he suffered during first practice…

    F1
  22. Stoner to make racing return at Suzuka 8hr 04:50

    Stoner to make racing return at Suzuka 8hr

    Casey Stoner will come out of retirement to contest this year's Suzuka 8hr race with Honda. The two-time MotoGP World…

    MotoGP
  23. 03:45

    Malaysian Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    F1
  24. Rosberg tops FP1 as Hamilton hits trouble 03:37

    Rosberg tops FP1 as Hamilton hits trouble

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg topped opening practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, while team-mate and reigning World Champion…

    F1
  25. 01:51

    Follow first practice for the Malaysian GP!

    F1
  26. Sepang boss wants young Malaysian in F1 01:20

    Sepang boss wants young Malaysian in F1

    The boss of the Sepang circuit says that the future of the Malaysian Grand Prix would be boosted if a young driver from the…

    F1
  27. Video of the Day: Hamilton's Sepang preview 01:04

    Video of the Day: Hamilton's Sepang preview

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton previews this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.

    F1
  28. Thursday 26 March 2015

  29. Video: Dealing with the heat at Sepang 19:14

    Video: Dealing with the heat at Sepang

    Fred Fernando, of Ferrari medical partner Medex, talks about tackling the heat and humidity at Sepang.

    F1
  30. Márquez sets pace in opening Qatar session 17:55

    Márquez sets pace in opening Qatar session

    Reigning double World Champion Marc Márquez set the pace as the new MotoGP season began under the lights at Losail in…

    MotoGP
  31. Ex-tester Frijns joins Blancpain Series 14:37

    Ex-tester Frijns joins Blancpain Series

    Former Formula 1 test driver Robin Frijns has switched to endurance racing for 2015 after signing a deal to race for the WRT…

    Misc
  32. Amberg joins Lazarus for GP2 campaign 14:10

    Amberg joins Lazarus for GP2 campaign

    Zoël Amberg will make his GP2 Series debut next month after penning a deal to race for Lazarus. Amberg has spent the last…

    GP2
  33. Hamilton: Red Bull equalisation call 'funny' 13:55

    Hamilton: Red Bull equalisation call 'funny'

    Lewis Hamilton says Christian Horner's call for the FIA to rein in Mercedes is "funny", considering the success his Red Bull…

    F1
  34. IndyCar season preview: Five key questions 13:21

    IndyCar season preview: Five key questions

    When the green flag drops on the streets of St. Petersburg on Sunday, it will have been almost seven months since the last…

    Indy
  35. 12:31

    Latest F1 photos: Thursday at Sepang

    F1
  36. Manor Marussia fires up car at Sepang 12:28

    Manor Marussia fires up car at Sepang

    Manor Marussia has fired up its car for the first time ahead of this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix. The outfit made the…

    F1
  37. Sepang circuit boss wants late-season slot 11:43

    Sepang circuit boss wants late-season slot

    Malaysian Grand Prix boss Razlan Razali is hopeful that Sepang will extend its stay on the Formula 1 calendar, and has set his…

    F1
  38. Kobayashi joins Toyota's WEC effort 10:46

    Kobayashi joins Toyota's WEC effort

    Former Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi has joined Toyota's World Endurance Championship squad as its official test and reserve…

    LM
  39. Rosberg: Unfair to say we're further ahead 10:41

    Rosberg: Unfair to say we're further ahead

    Nico Rosberg says it is unfair to suggest that Mercedes has increased its advantage over the rest of the Formula 1 field this…

    F1
  40. Williams signs Sutil as reserve driver 10:03

    Williams signs Sutil as reserve driver

    Williams has announced Adrian Sutil as its official reserve driver for the 2015 campaign. The German, who lost his Sauber…

    F1
  41. Bottas makes car changes to aid back 09:14

    Bottas makes car changes to aid back

    Valtteri Bottas says he has changed the seat and pedal positions in his Williams in a bid to prevent a repeat of the back issue…

    F1
  42. Alonso says steering 'locked' for testing crash 08:19

    Alonso says steering 'locked' for testing crash

    McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso has gone against the team's official explanation of his testing crash, revealing that he…

    F1
more news