F1 Brazil FP2 Results & Full Report: Title Rivals Top Practice, Red Bull in Front

What Happens When It’s Deja Vu All Over Again

1:42pm EST — Sebastian Vettel was again fastest in the second practice session for the 2020 Brazilian Grand Prix, the only driver of the weekend to post a time under 1:12s, with his 1:11.968 lap time. He, also again, led teammate Mark Webber, though Fernando Alonso was third fastest, with Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, who stopped about two-thirds of the way through the session with a clutch issue rounding out the fastest five. The sessions could be very helpful or a waste of rubber as heavy rain was forecast to wash off the rubber laid down Friday, before the Saturday practice and qualifying sessions, which also had the possibility of rain, along with Sunday’s race.

Vettel was fastest (1:12.328) in the first practice session Friday, leading teammate and title rival Webber, Hamilton, Button, and Kubica as the fastest five. Vettel’s time was set about two-thirds through a generally uneventful session. The first half hour was marked by a lack of traffic, but Vettel and Hamilton dueled via lap time for a portion. The real dram was in the last ten minutes, though not from lap times. Petrov lost his Renault heavily into a tire barrier after over-compensating for a serious wiggle, causing extensive damage. Alonso, who ended the session thirteenth fastest, stopped on the side of the track in the final seconds with a suspected (and anticipated) engine failure, while Kobayashi also lost his Sauber at the same turn as Petrov, though a bit later and without hitting the tire barrier. Jerome D’Ambrosio was in for Lucas di Grassi for just the first Friday session again, while HRT had announced Thursday that Christian Klien would replace Sakon Yamamoto for the entire weekend.

Christian Klien was the first driver out in the heat at Brazil in the second session. di Grassi and Kobayashi were the next out, with the Red Bulls following. Other drivers joined them soon thereafter. In a change of events from the first session, Klien’s first time was a 1:19.965, with Kobayashi taking the fastest lap, then Klien taking it back. Petrov’s car was not yet finished, with Renault tweeting, “Vitaly’s car had an issue with the rear wing causing his spin off the track in PF1. His car should be ready soon to take part in FP2.” Just ten minutes into the session, fifteen drivers had posted timed laps, with Hamilton (1:13.603) leading Heidfeld, Kubica, Hulkenberg, Button, Kobayashi, Alguersuari, Liuzzi, Buemi, and Trulli as the top ten around that time. Button soon joined his teammate at the top as the times were getting quite fast a furious, with fifteen drivers on the track and only Webber, Vettel, Alonso, Rosberg, Massa, and Petrov not having set a time just thirteen minutes into the session. Hamilton kept bettering his own time whilse Schumacher displaced Button for second fastest, then Kubica took over for the German, still seven tenths slower than Hamilton.

Things seemed to settle down a bit fifteen minutes into FP2, with Hamilton leading Kubica, Heidfeld, Schumacher, and Button. Neither Red Bull nor Ferrari drivers had posted a time, with both Alonso and Massa on the track and on the harder tires. Petrov had yet to leave the garage, though he was expected to do so. Massa went straight to fifth on his first timed lap, with Alonso jumping to ninth on his. He was second fastest on his next lap, until Webber came form no time to fastest of all (1:12.923) about twenty minutes into the hour and a half session. Massa also displaced Alonso to be third fastest. At this point, Webber led Hamilton, Massa, Alonso, and Schumacher as the fastest five, with the top nine covered by a second and tenth fastest Barrichello 1.2s slower than Webber. He kept getting faster on two consecutive laps, dropping nearly four tenths off that first time and continuing to post fastest of all sectors.

Vettel was fourth fastest on his first lap, then second fastest on his second while Webber kept improving his time, showing a bit of the team discord off the track on it. Vettel kept getting closer, but not quite there, though the inability to know who was running what sort of set-up and fuel load each (and all of the other drivers) were running made any sort of true conclusions from the practice sessions. One third of the way through the session, with the possibility of rain approaching and decidedly falling on Saturday and Sunday, Webber still led Vettel, Hamilton, Massa, and Alonso as the top five, with Schumacher, Kubica, Heidfeld, Button, and Rosberg rounding out the top ten. Fourteen drivers were on track.

The middle sector of the session was decidedly about set-up, with times not particularly changing as clouds began to fill in the sky in Brazil. Button moved up to fifth fastest. At the halfway point, the top five remained unchanged, with Button in fifth and Alonso sixth, a second slower than Webber’s fastest time. Meanwhile, Massa had a slide off the circuit at Subida do Lago, but continued on unscathed. The drivers continued banking laps and not improving the positions, if only marginally improving their times. Webber remained about six hundredths slower on his fastest lap time than Vettel’s from the first practice. Kovalainen added a bit of drama to the session, scraping the bargeboard down the circuit and using the escape surface to regain the track before continuing on.

Around the thirty minutes remaining mark, only Schumacher, Heidfeld, Liuzzi, Buemi, Senna, di Grassi, and Klien were on the track. Heidfeld has taken that opportunity to post the fifth fastest time as drivers began returning to the track. Massa displaced Hamilton in third on his first lap back and on the super softs. Soon thereafter, he stopped on track just after the pit out, nearly where Alonso stopped in the early session. He radioed that he went over kerb, causing a problem with the clutch, which put the car into neutral. Webber began the trend of posting fastest sectors again, as Kubica followed him, though both lifted to keep their respective positions. The times began coming back down, with Hamilton then Alonso going faster than the stopped Massa. Webber remained just of a half seconds quicker than his teammate, but Alonso was just one hundredth slower than Vettel, Hamilton another five hundredths slower than Alonso.

Ferrari, meanwhile, was tweeting that Massa’s issue “looks an hydraulic problem but we need to wait until the car is back to be more precise.” Alonso, on the options, then went past Vettel, only .256 slower than Webber’s fastest time. Vettel, though, was fastest of all in the first sector, a personal best in sector two, and straight to the top with a 1:11.968 on the softer tire. With fifteen minutes left to go, Vettel led Webber, Alonso, Hamilton, the stopped Massa, Kubica, Button, Heidfeld, Schumacher, and Rosberg as the top ten. Trulli was the fastest of hte new teams, leading teammate Kovalainen by just under two tenths, di Grassi, Senna, Klien, and Glock, who was nearly 4.2s slower than Vettel. Alonso wouldn’t be doing much of anything about the Red Bull’s times, as he “left the pits for the last run on high fuel,” while they also explained that, “Felipe had a clutch issue but we do not know yet if the cause was hydraulic, electric or something else.”

Everyone but Vettel, di Grassi, Glock, and, of course, Massa were on the track with less than eight minutes to go. Ferrari was not the only team doing a final heavy run with most of the times considerably slower than their fastest times. All drivers but Massa were gathering possibly unusable data as the final minutes ticked down, with heavy rain forecast to wash off the rubber laid down Friday, before the Saturday practice and qualifying sessions, which also had the possibility of rain, as does Sunday’s race. Again, Kobayashi provided some drama at the end of the session, coming from behind a Lotus to slide sideways across the circuit, but not off the track nor into anyone. Schumacher looked to have clipped Alguersuari’s front wing whilst attempting a pass from the outside either just after or just before the flag waived.

Final Times from FP2 for the 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix:

Driver Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel 1:11.968 28
2. Mark Webber 1:12.072 +.104 34
3. Fernando Alonso 1:12.328 +.360 36
4. Lewis Hamilton 1:12.656 +.688 33
5. Felipe Masa 1:12.677 +.709 19
6. Robert Kubica 1:12.882 +.914 37
7. Jenson Button 1:13.206 +1.238 33
8. Nick Heidfeld 1:13.222 +1.254 40
9. Nico Rosberg 1:13.333 +1.365 34
10. Michael Schumacher 1:13.346 +1.378 36
11. Rubens Barrichello 1:13.520 +1.552 37
12. Kamui Kobayashi 1:13.610 +1.642 41
13. Nico Hulkenberg 1:13.725 +1.757 39
14. Adrian Sutil 1:13.741 +1.773 32
15. Vitaly Petrov 1:13.818 +1.850 26
16. Tonio Liuzzi 1:14.045 +2.077 37
17. Sebastien Buemi 1:14.304 +2.336 33
18. Jaime Alguersuari 1:14.578 +2.610 37
19. Jarno Trulli 1:14.984 +3.016 47
20. Heikki Kovalainen 1:15.101 +3.133 43
21. Lucas di Grassi 1:15.433 +3.465 35
22. Bruno Senna 1:16.070 +4.102 42
23. Christian Klien 1:16.082 +4.114 38
24. Timo Glock 1:16.150 +4.182 35

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