Jenson Button was quickest again in practice for the Japanese Grand Prix

Jenson Button has enjoyed a clean sweep in Friday practice, once again claiming top honours on the timesheets after going quickest in the second free practice session for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. The McLaren driver was also quickest in this morning’s opening practice session.

The former World Champion used his softer Pirelli tyres to post a rapid 1:31.901 to outpace Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, while the Red Bull pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber rounded out the top-four.

As expected, the Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull driver traded blows in the first half of the session as the team continued to run on the harder Pirelli tyres, before the grid switched to the softer rubber as the Suzuka circuit continued to offer more grip.Barrichello crashed his Williams at the Degner curves

But before the teams switched over, the field was reduced to 22 cars with the elimination of both Williams cars, the team continuing its wretched season as Pastor Maldonado pulled off with another technical gremlin, while the under-pressure Rubens Barrichello binned his FW33 in the barriers.

Jarno Trulli was forced to quit the 90-minute session early when technical issues hit his Lotus, and the likes of Kamui Kobayashi, Bruno Senna and Michael Schumacher all had wild off-track moments, but were able to keep going.

As the soft-tyre running wore on, it was becoming apparent that the Ferraris and McLarens were rapid on shorter runs, while the Red Bulls were showing excellent pace on longer stints.

Felipe Massa finished the session fifth-fastest and half-a-second adrift of Button’s outright pace, while Michael Schumacher was sixth-fastest, impressively lapping his Mercedes within a second of Button’s best lap-time.

The top-ten was completed by Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Vitaly Petrov and Sébastien Buemi.

 

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2011 Japanese Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Laps
1. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 1:31.901 32
2. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari F150° Italia + 0.174 33
3. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.194 35
4. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.246 28
5. Felipe Massa BRZ Ferrari F150° Italia + 0.547 34
6. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 0.809 26
7. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 1.081 27
8. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 + 1.344 26
9. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault R31 + 1.545 36
10. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 1.780 33
11. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 1.804 25
12. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 1.889 36
13. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C30 + 2.492 35
14. Bruno Senna BRZ Renault R31 + 2.656 27
15. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 2.700 33
16. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C30 + 4.137 33
17. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Renault T128 + 4.324 35
18. Rubens Barrichello BRZ Williams Cosworth FW33 + 5.222 14
19. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 5.539 30
20. Jérôme d’Ambrosio BEL Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 6.192 30
21. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Cosworth FW33 + 6.486 16
22. Daniel Ricciardo AUS HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 6.862 36
23. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Renault T128 + 7.899 24
24. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 10.579 4

[Image via FOM and Sutton Images]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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