Greater Noida: Defending champion Sebastian Vettel set the pace for Sunday`s Indian Grand Prix by emerging the fastest driver in both the practice sessions as Red Bull put up an impressive show, here on Friday.
Ferrari`s Fernando Alonso pushed hard in the intense second practice session but the two Red Bull cars came out on top in the end.
Sahara Force India`s Nico Hulkenberg was struggling initially but made a move upward when he clocked 1:27.233 to be eighth. The German was 14th in FP1.
Paul Di Resta was 11th in the second Sahara Force India car, just head of Sergio Perez, who did not take part in FP1 due to fever.
Vettel set the fastest lap in 1 minute 26.221 seconds and was followed by team-mate Mark Webber, who was behind by just 0.118 second. It was an impressive show by Webber as he improved his FP1 timing by almost two seconds.
Vettel, the winner of the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, had clocked 1:27.61 in the FP1 while Webber (1:28.175) was fifth.
Alonso, who gave a stiff competition to Vettel in the entire one-and-a-half hour afternoon session, clocked his fastest lap in 1 minute 26.820 seconds to be third. He was in the same position in FP1 too.
McLaren`s Jenson Button had begun well but he was outpaced by Mercedes` Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikonnen of Lotus.
Rosberg, who is coming into the race after two consecutive retirements, was fourth with a timing of 1:27.022. This was after Raikonnen had set the fastest timing and about 30 minutes were left in the session.
It was followed by a tight battle between Vettel and Alonso as they kept outpacing each other. Both of them were stunned by Webber, who clocked 1:26.339 to lead the field but Vettel`s following scorching lap in 1:26.221 minutes could not be improved upon by anyone.
Hamilton improved his FP1 timing marginally (1:27.131) to be sixth and was followed by teammate Jenson Button (1:27.182).
Romain Grosjean (1:27.397) was ninth, while Bruno Senna took the 10th place. Both of them worked their way up in the mid of the session.
India`s Narain Karthikeyan was 22nd with his best timing of 1:32.125 in his slow HRT car.
Sebastian Vettel 1.26.221; Mark Webber 1.26.339; Fernando Alonso 1.26.820; Nico Rosberg 1.27.022; Kimi Raikkonen 1.27.030; Lewis Hamilton 1.27.131; Jenson Button 1.27.182; Nico Huelkenberg 1.27.233; Romain grosjean 1.27.397; Bruno Senna 1.27.738; Bruno Senna 1.37.738; Paul di resta 1.28.004; Sergio Perez 1.28.178; Sergio Perez 1.28.178; Michael Schumacher 1.28.222; Daniel Ricciardo 1.28.239; Felipe Massa 1.28.296; Kamui Kobayashi 1.28.455; Pastor Maldonado 1.28.596; Jean-Eric Vergne 1.29.167; Heikki Kovalainen 1.29.320; Vitaly Petrov 1.29.606; Pedro de la Rosa 1.30.950; Timo Glock 1.31.113; Narain Karthikeyan 1.31.372; Charles PIC 1.31.493.