GP Austria, prove libere venerdì–19/06/2015
Austrian GP: Sebastian Vettel fastest for Ferrari before problems
Sebastian Vettel topped second practice for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, but then suffered further gearbox problems on his Ferrari.
Vettel had only completed four laps in the morning session due to a mechanical failure, and he spent the second part of practice two parked in the garage as well.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton led the way when the field was on the slower soft-compound Pirelli tyres in the early part of the session, a tenth-and-a-half clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
But Hamilton was unable to improve when he bolted on the super-soft tyres later in the session thanks to some off-track moments on his quick laps, one at Turn 1 and one when he ran wide after losing the rear through the final double right-hander.
Team-mate Rosberg did manage to improve after his first attempt to do so was undermined by a brief wide moment at the end of the lap, taking top spot for a while before Vettel pipped him by just 11 thousandths of a second.
Raikkonen found over four tenths on the quicker rubber to take third place ahead of Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, who had a late off-track trip through the gravel at Turn 3 after a lock-up on entry.
This meant that Hamilton was shuffled down to fifth place, 0.537s off the pace, in the final reckoning just ahead of Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Though Vettel had held the edge during the fast laps, he missed much of the long-run section of practice after being ordered to return to the garage with a gearbox problem soon after going out on heavier fuel.
Romain Grosjean made it two Lotuses in the top seven, followed by Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen.
Felipe Nasr and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz, who had a trip through the gravel at Turn 5 but was able to rejoin and continue.
Daniil Kvyat could not carry over his form from the morning and ended up 12th ahead of Marcus Ericsson.
Williams pairing Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who locked out the front row in Austria in 2014, kept a low profile during the session – as is often the case for a team that usually only unleashes its real pace on Saturday.
This left the pair down in 14th and 15th places, ahead of the two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, who sandwiched Daniel Ricciardo and also completed very limited running.
As always, Manor drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi brought up the rear, albeit with Stevens only 2.922s off the pace on this relatively short circuit.
|6||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m10.160s||0.560s||49|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m10.356s||0.756s||48|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m10.585s||0.985s||46|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m10.631s||1.031s||50|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m10.686s||1.086s||48|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.676s||2.076s||38|
Austrian GP: Nico Rosberg sets pace, Sebastian Vettel has problems
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg topped the opening free practice session for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix, while Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari stopped early and was last.
The 29-year-old took the initiative early in the session, when the field was running on its first set of soft-compound Pirelli that must be discarded after 30 minutes, setting a best time of 1m10.401s to put himself 1.1 seconds ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
While the fastest times overall are usually set in the final hour of the 90-minute session when drivers use their second set of tyres, pacesetter Rosberg did not improve.
But his time was good enough to stay fastest, because while Hamilton closed to 0.308s off Rosberg, a wide moment in the final corner and a big lock-up at Turn 1 prevented him from challenging his team-mate.
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who had been third on first-run times, did not return to the track until late in the session and was able to retake his position as best-of-the-rest behind the two Mercedes drivers.
Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest four Williams at the head of of a gaggle of cars, with just four tenths of a second covering positions fourth through to 10th.
Felipe Nasr was fifth fastest, capitalising on some clear track as both Sauber drivers headed out on their second sets of rubber earlier than most.
That put him ahead of Red Bull pairing Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo, with Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen eighth fastest despite a lairy moment in the final corner earlier in his run that led him to describe the car over the radio as "unbelievably hard to drive".
Felipe Massa was ninth fastest after a brief scare shortly before the 30-minute mark when he was released from the Williams pit box just as Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene crossed from the pitwall.
Arrivabene jumped out of the way, while Massa stopped short of where the Ferrari boass had been, with the pair later sharing a joke about the moment.
Sergio Perez, who briefly ran as high as fourth on his second set of tyres, rounded out the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz, Pastor Maldonado and Force India team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
Jolyon Palmer was the only non-race driver to participate, after taking over Romain Grosjean’s Lotus.
He was less than half-a-tenth off Maldonado in 14th place and ahead of Ericsson.
Jenson Button was 16th fastest, while McLaren-Honda team-mate Fernando Alonso was one place behind after losing much of the session.
The Spaniard was ordered to shut down his engine at the end of his installation lap as he returned to the pits, staying in the garage until the closing stages when he completed a further nine laps and at least posted a serious laptime.
That was more than fellow world champion Vettel managed for Ferrari, as the German ground to a halt on his fifth lap with what is believed to be a gearbox problem.
Although his car was returned to the pits, he was unable to return to the track and ended up behind Manor drivers Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi after being unable to set a serious laptime.
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.642s||1.241s||31|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m11.724s||1.323s||29|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m11.825s||1.424s||38|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m11.905s||1.504s||37|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m11.948s||1.547s||32|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m12.031s||1.630s||36|