Formula 1 News

Vettel dominates day one in India

Red Bulls dominance uncontested in the second session. Fernando Alonso clocked third best time half slower than second best Webber.
Friday, October 26, 2012

GREATER NOIDA, India, Oct 26, 2012 (AFP) - Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel topped both practice sessions at the Indian Grand Prix Friday as he bids for his fourth win in a row -- and a historic third straight drivers title.

The Red Bull driver, 25, who seized the championship lead at the last race in South Korea and is seeking to become Formula One's youngest triple champion, scorched a fastest lap of one minute and 26.221 seconds in the second session.

He finished ahead of his Australian team-mate Mark Webber with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, the long-time championship leader now supplanted by Vettel, third fastest.

Germany's Nico Rosberg was fourth in the leading Mercedes car ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and the two McLarens of Britons Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.

Nico Hulkenberg was eighth for Force India ahead of Frenchman Romain Grosjean in the second Lotus and Brazilian Bruno Senna for Williams.

On a bright, dry day with a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, the conditions were near-perfect as Vettel continued his irresistible form in Asia by topping the first session from Button, and staying ahead of the pack in the second.

Wins in Singapore, Japan and South Korea have lifted Vettel to a narrow, six-point lead in the standings but with strong momentum and growing belief that the German can seal the title over the last four races.

Both Alonso and Hamilton, who will leave McLaren for Mercedes next year, also impressed with heavy fuel loads, but there is widespread sentiment that Red Bull are back in the groove that brought them title doubles in 2010 and 2011.

Below the times for the session:

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:26.221 35
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:26.339 0.118 33
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:26.820 0.599 34
4 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:27.022 0.801 38
5 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:27.030 0.809 40
6 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:27.131 0.910 38
7 3 Jenson Button McLaren 1:27.182 0.961 24
8 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:27.233 1.012 37
9 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:27.397 1.176 36
10 19 Bruno Senna Williams 1:27.738 1.517 36
11 11 Paul di Resta Force India 1:28.004 1.783 32
12 15 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:28.178 1.957 39
13 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:28.222 2.001 37
14 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:28.239 2.018 37
15 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:28.296 2.075 23
16 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:28.455 2.234 40
17 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:28.596 2.375 38
18 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:29.167 2.946 35
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:29.320 3.099 43
20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:29.606 3.385 22
21 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:30.950 4.729 37
22 24 Timo Glock Marussia 1:31.113 4.892 35
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:31.372 5.151 20
24 25 Charles Pic Marussia 1:31.493 5.272 31

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