Vettel comfortably quickest in second Texas practice
16 November 2012 – Sebastian Vettel could not be knocked off the top spot on Friday, recovering from a water leak to lead Mark Webber in a Red Bull one-two. The debut of Austin’s Circuit of the Americas marked the first F1 visit to America for over five years, as Fernando Alonso ended the day seven tenths of a second slower than his title rival.
F1 last visited the United States with the Indianapolis race of 2007, but the title is yet to be decided in the country since Keke Rosberg picked up the crown in Las Vegas 30 years ago. Whether or not Vettel does the honours this weekend remains to be seen but, should he win the race, the crown will be his if Alonso finishes fifth or lower for Ferrari.
The shiny new surface continued to catch out various drivers, including Vettel, and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was one driver to suffer a spin. Turn 1 is proving to be a popular hunting ground for fans, but it is Turn 19 where most cars have run wide. In the latest session, Jean-Éric Vergne and Heikki Kovalainen made contact which left the Toro Rosso with a broken front wing as the Caterham driver – not realising his issue before he reached the pit lane entry – was forced to complete an entire lap with a punctured Option tyre.
No driver is expected to discover an idea car setup before qualifying, with this brand-new track adopting parts of established F1 circuits such as Silverstone and Hockenheim. Although fuel loads remain unknown, it is unlikely that the gap to Vettel will be closed up rapidly
Third and final practice commences at 9am local time (GMT -6) on Saturday and can also be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report