Red Bull’s title-chasing Sebastian Vettel laid down a marker for the 2012 Formula 1 Airtel Indian Grand Prix when he was quickest in both free practice sessions at Buddh International Circuit on October 26.
That makes four straight sessions that the 25-year-old German has topped here: while Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren and Felipe Massa’s Ferrari were first in the corresponding Friday sessions last year, Vettel took over in third practice and was the first driver to be on pole.
Vettel of course went on to win the inaugural race at the Buddh International Circuit and looks ominously keen to repeat that achievement.
On October 26 morning he set a best time of 1 min 27.619 seconds and improved to 1:27.619 in the second 90-minute session in the afternoon.
“The track improvement was quite big today, it was dusty to start and improved lap by lap, so I wouldn’t be surprised if tomorrow the order is different, but we’ve had worse Fridays, so I am
happy,” said Vettel, who is working towards a fourth straight victory after winning in Singapore, Japan and Korea.
Even worse news for the opposition was that Mark Webber was just a tenth slower than his Red Bull teammate as the team’s late-season resurgence continued. They finished the second session over half a second clear of the field, led by Vettel's closest title rival Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari in tnird place.
Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa, recently re-signed for 2013 with the Maranello team, had an eventful second session with a couple of half-spins and finished in a lowly 15th spot. That left Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg to claim fourth position two-tenths behind Alonso. Kimi Raikkonen, third in the World Championship for Lotus, slotted into fifth ahead of McLaren duo Hamilton and Jenson Button.