Massa moves ahead in second practice
12 April 2013 – Ferrari driver Felipe Massa topped the timesheets in Friday's second practice session at Shanghai, delivering a fastest effort of 1:35.340 on the Soft tyre compound. The Brazilian held an advantage of 0.152 seconds over Lotus rival Kimi Räikkönen as the chequered flag fell, while team-mate Fernando Alonso wound up third.
After a morning dominated by the Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, the Soft rubber, appearing for the first time this season, signalled a slight change to the order. Mark Webber was the first man to trial the compound after the early phase of Prime tyre runs and moved comfortably clear with a time of 1:36.092. Nico Rosberg was the next man to react, clocking a 1:35.819 and duly taking the lead.
However, with the track continually improving and tyre graining at an all-time high, Massa chose the ideal time of the session to embark upon his qualifying simulation. With just under 40 minutes remaining, he produced a 1:35.340 and remained ahead despite later improvements from Räikkönen and Alonso. Rosberg and Webber fell down to fourth and fifth in the process, highlighting the circuit's progression.
Jenson Button, whose McLaren suffered a late front-left tyre delamination, ended the session one second adrift of Massa, with former team-mate Lewis Hamilton in close company. Force India drivers Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta finished eighth and ninth places, while Sebastian Vettel completed the top ten.
Marussia's Jules Bianchi ensured that his team continued to lead the fight at the rear-end of the field, but team-mate Max Chilton suffered two costly stoppages and was resigned to just five laps. This helped the Caterham duo of Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic to sandwich their chief rivals.
Although there were a number of off-track excursions, including Sergio Pérez's wild spin at Turn 7, Pirelli's new-for-2013 tyre compounds again produced the biggest talking point. The Soft rubber lasted just one lap on most runs, while numerous drivers voiced their frustrations at the severe drop-off on higher fuel stints. The field has just one more practice session to get on top of the issues tomorrow morning.
Saturday's third and final practice session at Shanghai gets underway at 11am local time (GMT +8) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net Live Report