Skip to main content

Vettel outpaces home hero Alonso in Spanish Grand Prix showdown

May 10, 2013 -- Updated 1803 GMT (0203 HKT)
Sebastian Vettel leads teammate Mark Webber during practice sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
Sebastian Vettel leads teammate Mark Webber during practice sessions for the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sebastian Vettel edges Fernando Alonso in second free practice in Spain
  • Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber third fastest in afternoon runs
  • Vettel leading title race in bid for fourth straight championships
  • Alonso fastest in wetter morning session at Circuit de Catalunya

(CNN) -- Sebastian Vettel and home hero Fernando Alonso shared the honors in the opening practice sessions Friday for the Spanish Grand Prix Friday in Barcelona.

Vettel edged Ferrari's Alonso to claim his third straight Formula One crown last season and the pace of his Red Bull saw the German quickest in drying conditions in the afternoon session at the Catalunya circuit.

But Alonso, who had put on a show for his fanatical supporters to post the fastest time in the wet of the morning, was just 0.017 seconds slower than his arch rival in the second runs.

"The signs from today are very positive," he told the official F1 website.

Alonso is desperate to deliver a home win in Spain for the first time since 2006 but Vettel is a formidable obstacle off the back of his two victories already this season.

Engines on, Formula 1 returns!
Who is the greatest F1 driver ever?
Red Bull Show Run

His Red Bull teammate Mark Webber was third fastest in second practice, with just 0.083 seconds separating the top three.

Read: Alonso aims to reign in Spain

All the teams have come to Spain after a three-week break since Bahrain with upgrades to their cars and Vettel is cautiously optimistic his team will continue to set the pace.

"We have some new parts here but the days of big, big upgrades don't really happen now with the regulations how they are," he said.

"This afternoon was fairly conclusive, but this morning wasn't really much good with the weather.

"It's hard to say much about the harder tire, I think the number of pit stops will be the same here in this race as at the last few."

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen, the closest challenger to Vettel in this year's title race, was fourth fastest in his Lotus ahead of Brazilian Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari.

Britain's Lewis Hamilton spun his Mercedes early in the second session but claimed sixth fastest ahead of his teammate Nico Rosberg.

Two-time world champion Alonso braved the testing morning weather to clock the best lap of one minute 25.252 seconds with teammate Massa setting the second quickest time.

Saturday will see final qualifying for the fifth round of the F1 season, with grid position considered crucial on the Spanish circuit.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1113 GMT (1913 HKT)
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0108 GMT (0908 HKT)
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1730 GMT (0130 HKT)
The Williams team welcomes the biggest rule changes to Formula One cars for a generation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1916 GMT (0316 HKT)
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 1216 GMT (2016 HKT)
Formula One is taking another step in its techno evolution this season, which could be more unpredictable than it has been for a long time.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1736 GMT (0136 HKT)
Jann Mardenborough on the similarities and differences between driving a race on a video game and driving a real F1 car.
February 22, 2014 -- Updated 1226 GMT (2026 HKT)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin watches the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics on February 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ RIA-NOVOSTI/ POOL/ MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV (Photo credit should read MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
How Russian president Vladimir Putin helped turn a muddy hole in the ground into a $400 million futuristic grand prix track in Sochi.
February 21, 2014 -- Updated 0013 GMT (0813 HKT)
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Formula One racing director Bernie Ecclestone talk during a ceremony of signing of an agreement to bring Formula One racing to Sochi for a Grand Prix Russia to be held in 2014, the same year the Black Sea resort hosts the Winter Olympics in Sochi on October 14, 2010. Putin, whose backing was crucial in Sochi winning the right to host the Games, is due in the city on Thursday to sign an agreement for work to begin on the construction of a new 200 million dollar circuit. AFP PHOTO/ ALEXANDER NEMENOV (Photo credit should read ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Vilified by the the international community for his government's attitude on gay rights, Russian president Vladimir Putin has found an ally.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1613 GMT (0013 HKT)
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is bidding for a fifth consecutive drivers' championship in 2014.
He is Formula One's undisputed No. 1, and next season Sebastian Vettel will have proof of that fact emblazoned on his Red Bull.
December 4, 2013 -- Updated 1633 GMT (0033 HKT)
A new era of F1 looms large on the horizon in 2014, but what do the new rules mean for how we watch the sport? Get up to speed here.
October 17, 2013 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Explore our interactive of one of F1's most important and complicated pieces of kit.
ADVERTISEMENT