July 5th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Sebastian Vettel led the way in the second Free Practice session for Sunday's German Grand Prix, closely followed by Mercedes' Nico Rosberg with the second Red Bull of Mark Webber in third place.
The session ran smoothly, with no car failures or major driver errors. Only Jules BIanchi did not complete a full practice programme, as the Frenchman has been struggling with illness throughout the day and elected to stop partway through the session. He was nonetheless quicker than his Marussia team-mate, Max Chilton.
Fernando Alonso finally managed to get in some practice time, after his morning session was over almost before it began due to an ECU failure. Ferrari sorted out the problem in the break between sessions and Alonso covered 39 laps in FP2, setting the sixth fastest time, just three thousandths of a second faster than team-mate Felipe Massa.
The passive drag reduction device that was run on Romain Grosjean's car in the morning session was nowhere to be seen this afternoon, confirming the expectation that it would not be used in the race.
The only obvious piece of bodywork that did not belong on a 2013 Formula 1 car was a white bulge on the left side of the engine cover of one of the Williams cars. It's not clear what the part is, but it could be that Williams were testing aerodynamic parts that are relevant to the new turbo engine formula to be introduced in 2014.
As usual, FP2 was about tyres - evaluation of the difference in pace between the compounds, and assessment of expected tyre wear.
The soft compound tyre seems between eight tenths and a second faster than the medium compound tyre, which makes the soft tyre the obvious choice for qualifying.
The good news for all of the teams is the durability and reliability of the tyres - both compounds are lasting well and providing consistent lap times over quite long stints. It is therefore possible that some teams could attempt to finish Sunday's race on just one pitstop.
The order at the front is much as expected. Red Bull and Mercedes are very quick on low and high fuel, and are closely followed by Lotus and Ferrari.
The battle for the final top ten qualifying positions tomorrow will be between McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso, with Sauber and Williams trailing the midfield ahead of back-markers Caterham and Marussia.
Full results from FP2:
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:30.416||39|
|3||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:30.683||0.267||41|
|10||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:31.797||1.381||40|
|11||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:31.824||1.408||34|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:33.804||3.388||40|