Vettel Tops Friday Times In Spain
by Mark Gero
VALENCIA, Spain- Despite having won the Grand Prix of Europe for the last two years, Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time at this track in Friday practice with a recorded 1:39:334 in preparation for Sunday's race at this street circuit.
But Vettel was not at his game all day. The first practice session's best time was Pastor Maldonado, who triumphed at the "other Spanish track" at Barcelona just a few weeks ago, and now has found his rhythm once again. The Venezuelan set his best time with a 1:40:890, in comparison to Vettel's 1:40:973 in his Red Bull . Mark Webber and Jenson Button were the next fastest, with only three tenths being the gap among the top nine cars.
Many cars in this opening session were involved in driving along the run-off areas, mainly in turns 2 and 12 in which Button, Lewis Hamilton, Vettel, Felipe Massa, Michael Schumacher Maldonado and Nico Rosberg were all involved.
However, in the final session of the day, Vettel topped the fastest time, while as in the opening session, more than nine cars were only gapped by one second between them. Many of the drivers' fastest times depended on how the lap was set and how the fuel load was. But some drivers who had set the best times on the soft tires earlier were running medium compounds later on.
But considering that the final session was nearly incident free, only Sauber's Kamui Kobyaschi gave the fans a little excitement by spinning in turn 17, only to recover and place a time just outside the top ten. But home hero Pedro De La Rosa went one better, as the HRT driver had a rare shunt in the team's sister car, but emerged unhurt.