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Vettel show continues in Practice 2 at F1 Indian GP

October 25, 2013 18:23 IST

Vettel show continues in Practice 2 at F1 Indian GP

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Raja Sen sums up the action in Friday’s second practice session of the Indian Formula One GP 

Sebastian Vettel was fastest.

Those four words might as well be tattooed across the hearts of Indian Formula One fans, because not just did Vettel dominate for the last two years running, but he dominated earlier this morning as well.

Second practice was, unsurprisingly, no different, even though the driver complained of KERS trouble -- not that it stopped him from being a second ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. The German wunderkind clearly loves Delhi, and the circuit -- even if not the city, which refuses to show up to the stadium -- loves him right back.

The bulletproof German was the only driver to breach the 1’26 barrier, setting the blisteringly quick time of 1’25.7. Teammate Mark Webber brought the second Red Bull close, 0.289 seconds off Vettel’s pace, similar to the times in First Practice. Romain Grosjean, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Jenson Button rounded off the top ten, with Button 1.250 seconds off Vettel’s pace.


Image: Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Infiniti Red Bull Racing prepares to drive during practice at Buddh International Circuit on Friday
Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

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It will take a highly dramatic turn of events to stop Vettel from taking pole

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At this rate, it’ll take a highly dramatic turn of events to stop Vettel from taking pole and the race -- and he only needs a fifth place to be World Champion 2013.

Raikkonen, it must be said, did look closer to the front than his eighth place suggests, setting his fastest time despite careening off in turn ten on the soft tyres.

Several other drivers complained that the front-left tyre was losing grip far too quickly, especially the soft compound tyre. It was a relatively uneventful session, with the top ten runners completing 35-40 laps apiece, and the pecking order looking mostly set for tomorrow’s Qualifying. I’m predicting Red Bull, then Lotus, then Mercedes, then Ferrari. 


Image: Kimi Raikkonen of Finland and Lotus drives during practice on Friday
Photographs: Clive Mason/Getty Images

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The Indian Grand Prix is looking dismally dead

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The fact that one particular tyre is degrading quick, however, should mean another race of gap-management and less flat-out racing. Which may not be the most exciting prospect for those Indian racing fans who actually show up. (Which might be some 30-odd people. As of this afternoon, the attendance is even lower. The Indian Grand Prix is looking dismally dead on arrival this year, and the organisers might as well open up the floodgates and make it a free-for-all.)

So are we in for one of the year’s more exciting races?

Well, it is a good circuit and those first four corners should provide a treat at the start, but unless the drivers bring in the chaos, there aren’t likely to be many thrills. Buckle up and get set -- to slow down!


Image: Jean-Eric Vergne of France and Scuderia Toro Rosso signs autographs for the handful of fans at the at Buddh International Circuit
Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images
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