New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

2013 Chinese GP: Practice 2

2013-04-12 10:34

MASSA TOPS IN SECOND PRACTICE: Ferrari’s Felipe Massa trumps team mate Fernando Alonso during the second practice session in China. Image – AFP

SHANGHAI, China - Ferrari driver Felipe Massa set the fastest time during the second practice session for the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix, earning praise from his team for an "incredible" performance.

Massa set a best time of 1min35.340 around the Shanghai International Circuit, putting him 0.15sec ahead of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen, with Ferrari team mate Fernando Alonso third.

Massa's strong performance surprised even Ferrari, with engineer Rob Smedley telling him over his pit-to-car radio "the pace is not good, it's incredible".


Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, who won the 2012 Chinese race, was fourth-fastest and Red Bull's Mark Webber fifth. Webber, who is feuding with team mate Sebastian Vettel, will doubtless take some pleasure in seeing the triple World champion down in 10th.

McLaren driver Jenson Button was sixth and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton seventh, both among many complaining of swift tyre  degradation. The edges of the main straight were carpeted in 'marbles' of shorn rubber and the softer of the two compounds was barely lasting two laps before the times began to drop away.

Raikkonen complained over his radio that the soft tyre would not work in the race, promising up a series of early pit stops on race day (pril 14) as the race leaders will start on softs because they need to use them in qualifying.

Force India pair Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta were eighth and ninth-fastest.

The main casualty of the session was Marussia driver Max Chilton, whose car stopped very early, probably with a fuel-pressure problem. It was later re-started but soon stopped again.

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas also missed the first half of the second session because of an unspecified mechanical failure.

2013 Chinese Grand Prix: Second practice times
1 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min35.340
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min35.492
3 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min35.755
4 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min35.819
5 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min36.092
6 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min36.432
7 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min36.496
8 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India1min36.514
9 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min36.595
10 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min36.791
11 Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 1min36.940
12 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min36.963
13 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min37.103
14 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min37.206
15 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min38.127
16 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min38.185
17 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber 1min38.211
18 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min38.276
19 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 1min38.725
20 Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham 1min39.271
21 Charles Pic (France) Caterham 1min39.814
22 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min43.227

First practice times

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