Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber headed the timesheets with another Red Bull formation 1-2 in the second practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, leaving themselves with a hefty margin of almost eight-tenths of a second to Renault’s Robert Kubica, who was third-quickest.

Friday Practice - Sebastian Vettel The battle for top honours was restricted to the Red Bull drivers alone, with Vettel hitting the top of the timing screens after 20 minutes of the session had elapsed, and pretty much remaining there for the remaining 70 minutes of the session, only briefly pipped by Mark Webber when the Australian switched a soft-tyre run slightly before Vettel did.

The opening session crash for Lewis Hamilton significantly impacted on his ability to have any meaningful running in the second session, with the 2008 World Champion losing much of the session while mechanics worked feverishly to repair his damaged McLaren. With just eight minutes of the session remaining, the Briton finally took to the track, with a best time over two seconds adrift.

By contrast, team-mate Jenson Button enjoyed a more productive second session, completing almost thirty laps with a best time that put the defending champion into sixth-quickest at the end of the session.

Ferrari improved its pace after a rather lacklustre morning session, with Fernando Alonso just heading team-mate Felipe Massa for fourth-quickest overall, although the Ferrari duo is still some way off the pace of the leading Red Bull pair.

Another team improving its pace is Renault, which finished up with both drivers inside the top ten, with Vitaly Petrov finishing up seventh-quickest and just half a second slower than team-mate Kubica, who was third-quickest once again.

Friday Practice - Michael Schumacher Michael Schumacher made it back-to-back sessions being quicker than Mercedes GP team-mate Nico Rosberg, with the 41-year-old finishing up eighth-quickest and relieved to avoid a repeat of Lewis Hamilton’s barrier-bending shunt at the Degner Curves after he also ran wide into the gravel at high speed.

Completing the top ten pacesetters were Adrian Sutil and Nico Hülkenberg, who finished quicker than his Williams team-mate Rubens Barrichello after the Brazilian veteran was forced to return to the pits with a suspected engine malady.


2010 Japanese GP Practice 2 Session Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault 1:31.465 31
2. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault + 0.395 29
3. Robert Kubica POL Renault + 0.735 32
4. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari + 0.897 34
5. Felipe Massa BRA Ferrari + 1.054 35
6. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes + 1.068 28
7. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault + 1.238 32
8. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP + 1.366 27
9. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes + 1.377 26
10. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Williams Cosworth + 1.386 26
11. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP + 1.415 26
12. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari + 2.006 31
13. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes + 2.016 8
14. Rubens Barrichello BRA Williams Cosworth + 2.099 16
15. Nick Heidfeld DEU Sauber Ferrari + 2.232 33
16. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari + 2.540 32
17. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari + 2.590 37
18. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA Force India Mercedes + 2.845 33
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Cosworth + 4.630 37
20. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Cosworth + 4.868 33
21. Lucas di Grassi BRA Virgin Racing Cosworth + 5.165 28
22. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth + 5.369 28
23. Bruno Senna BRA HRT Cosworth + 5.887 33
24. Sakon Yamamoto JPN HRT Cosworth + 6.366 34

[Original images via GP Update]

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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.