September 6th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber finished the second practice session at Monza first and second for Red Bull, followed by the Lotus pair of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean.
During FP1 this morning, it looked like Red Bull did not have the pace to challenge Mercedes and Ferrari, but the order was reversed in FP2, indicating once again that practice times are not always a reliable indicator of form. Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time in FP2, six tenths of a second faster than his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber, who was a whisker faster than the two Lotus drivers.
Raikkonen and Grosjean found themselves in the rather unusual situation of having identical lap times. Raikkonen set the time first, and is therefore ahead of Grosjean in the session results, but the times themselves were identical to the thousandth of a second. Identical lap times are unusual, but not unheard of in Formula One. What is even more unusual about this situation is that the two drivers were driving different specifications of the same car. Lotus have brought a longer wheelbase to Monza, which Raikkonen is using, while Grosjean drives the normal wheelbase car.
Right from the beginning of FP2, it was clear that the drivers were pushing a little harder than they had been in FP1. Quite a few drivers ran wide in various parts of the track, including the Lesmo corners and the Ascari curves. Fernando Alonso had a spectacular moment of oversteer in the second Lesmo corner later in the session, showing quick reactions to prevent his Ferrari from spinning.
As Monza is the fastest circuit on the F1 calendar, top speeds during the session are of interest. The four fastest cars were all powered by Ferrari engines - Daniel Ricciardo's Toro Rosso followed by Massa's Ferrari, Vergne in the other Toro Rosso and Fernando Alonso in the other Ferrari - and the remainder of the top six were Mercedes-powered. The fastest driver through the speed trap was Daniel Ricciardo at 339 km/h, which is the fastest speed recorded in any Formula One session so far in 2013. It is likely that it will be beaten tomorrow, as most of the drivers will use new engines for qualifying and the race.
Felipe Massa suffered a gearbox failure late in the session, that left him cruising back to the pits with limited ability to change gear. It was the second gearbox failure of the day, after Nico Hulkenberg found himself stuck in third gear in his Sauber in FP1.
Full results from FP2:
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:24.453||39|
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:25.076||0.623||39|
|11||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:25.830||1.377||40|
|13||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.028||1.575||37|
|21||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:27.771||3.318||38|