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Practice Two - Vettel leads tight Valencia field 22 Jun 2012

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8,
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Practice, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 22 June 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Practice, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 22 June 2012 Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Williams FW34.
Formula One World Championship, Rd8, European Grand Prix, Practice, Valencia, Spain, Friday, 22 June 2012 Pedro de la Rosa buries his HRT in to the tyre wall at Turn 14 but thankfully the Spaniard emerges apparently unscathed

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel topped a Friday free practice session for the first time this season, when he lapped the Valencia track on Friday afternoon in 1m 39.334s. Yet again, however, the times were extremely close, with one second covering the first 15 cars.

Vettel was pursued by fellow countryman Nico Hulkenberg who wheeled his Force €ndia to 1m 39.465s, then Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 39.595s for Sauber, Michael Schumacher on 1m 39.601s for Mercedes, Bruno Senna on 1m 39.644s for Williams, Paul di Resta on 1m 39.700s for Force €ndia, Fernando Alonso on 1m 39.733s for Ferrari, Romain Grosjean on 1m 39.868s for Lotus, Mark Webber on 1m 39.901s for Red Bull, Nico Rosberg on 1m 39.926s for Mercedes, Kimi Raikkonen on 1m 39.945s for Lotus and Jenson Button on 1m 39.990s for McLaren.

Pastor Maldonado was 13th on 1m 40.075s for Williams, Lewis Hamilton 14th on 1m 40.147s for McLaren and Felipe Massa 15th on 1m 40.244s for Ferrari.

Much depended on the time at which the lap was set and the fuel load, however, because some set their best time on the soft-compound Pirellis early on then reverted to race running on the mediums.

Behind this lot, Sergio Perez recovered from a spun in Turn 17 to push his Sauber round in 1m 40.511s, while Caterham's optimism continued as Vitaly Petrov used the new floor and a new front wing to achieve 1m 41.963s.

Daniel Ricciardo was 18th for Toro Rosso with 1m 41.121s, from Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 41.197s in the other Caterham and team mate Jean-Eric Vergne on 1m 41.263s. Frenchman Vergne was then chased by Marussia's Timo Glock on 1m 42.424s and his partner Charles Pic on 1m 42.958s.

At the back, Narain Karthikeyan lapped his HRT in 1m 44.201s, while team mate Pedro de la Rosa had a rare shunt in the sister car after posting 1m 44.260s.

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