Sebastian Vettel Ends Mercedes Threat At The Nurburgring

By jamesharris
Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

The afternoon practice session at the Nurburgring continued to successfully dispel the sport’s Pirelli concerns after Silverstone, but this could be due to the Nurburgring being a little kinder to the tires, so I guess the big question will be if they can hold up throughout the course of a race.

I’d hate to be a driver at this bizarre point of Formula 1 — what happened to Pirelli’s new compound tested in Montreal and why are they still not on the cars? Considering they are so delicate, I find it hard to believe the issue hasn’t been rushed ahead for safety reasons.

After a dominate Mercedes battled at the front in the morning practice session, Sebastian Vettel decided enough was enough and planted his Red Bull firmly on top of the second practice session time sheet.

The World Champion’s teammate Mark Webber also managed to usurp the Mercedes reign at the top, both Red Bull’s managing to banish the comfortable one-second gap the Mercedes had enjoyed in morning practice.

So, nothing really new with the car’s performances apart from Ferrari’s recent dip in form and Lotus’ new found grip.

As expected, not the best performance from Fernando Alonso, but after only managing two laps in the first session due to an electrical fault, he completed a good stint of 39 laps.

Lewis Hamilton couldn’t get his car to hook up in the afternoon, only managing to improve his morning time by four tenths of a second. Teammate and Silverstone winner Nico Rosberg ended up splitting the Red Bulls.

It will be an interesting race regarding tire wear — if any problems arise, surely Pirelli will have to be questioned regarding their future in F1.


1. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull-Renault 1m 30.416s

2. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 30.651s

3. Mark Webber – Red Bull-Renault 1m 30.683s

4. Romain Grosjean – Lotus-Renault 1m 30.843s

5. Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus-Renault 1m 30.848s

6. Fernando Alonso – Scuderia-Ferrari 1m 31.056s

7. Felipe Massa – Scuderia-Ferrari 1m 31.059s

8. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 31.304s

9. Jenson Button – McLaren-Mercedes 1m 31.568s

10. Paul di Resta – Force India-Mercedes 1m 31.797s

11. Adrian Sutil – Force India-Mercedes 1m 31.824s

12. Daniel Ricciardo – Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 31.855s

13. Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 32.055s

14. Sergio Perez – McLaren-Mercedes 1m 32.086s

15. Nico Hulkenberg – Sauber-Ferrari 1m 32.495s

16. Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber-Ferrari 1m 32.762s

17. Valtteri Bottas – Williams-Renault 1m 32.879s

18. Pastor Maldonado – Williams-Renault 1m 32.880s

19. Charles Pic – Caterham-Renault 1m 33.695s

20. Giedo van der Garde – Caterham-Renault 1m 33.804s

21. Jules Bianchi – Marussia-Cosworth 1m 34.017s

22. Max Chilton – Marussia-Cosworth 1m 34.667s


James Harris is a NASCAR writer for

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