Jenson Button has taken to the top of the timesheets in the second practice session of this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, with the former World Champion enjoying the better weather conditions to go fastest ahead of Nico Rosberg and McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, while Fernando Alonso – quickest in the first session – finished a distant 11th-fastest.
The first ever wet practice session this morning providing plenty of thrills and spills, and none more so that Sebastian Vettel, who destroyed his Red Bull against the Turn 8 barriers after taking too much exit kerb during the first session. The damage to his RB7 proved too great for him to achieve any running in this session, leaving him well behind his rivals when it comes to setting up his car for tomorrow afternoon’s qualifying session.
Despite this race actually occurring on the Asian continent, most teams regard this event as the start of the European F1 season, and many bring significant updates on their cars to try out in real conditions.
Ferrari is a case in point, arriving with a battery of new parts after its own difficult start to the championship season. And while Felipe Massa clocked up 37 laps en route to sixth-fastest, team-mate Alonso suffered a spin at Turn 6 before slowing at pit entry with an hydraulics problem. After some time in the pits, he was able to rejoin before the end of the session, but could not achieve any better than midfield on the timesheets.
At the pointy end of the field, Button led the way from Rosberg and Hamilton, although Rosberg was actually fastest for much of the session. Fourth-fastest and just 0.1 seconds slower than Hamilton was Michael Schumacher, who ensured that the top-four spots on the timesheets were occupied by Mercedes-powered cars.
With Vettel out of action, Red Bull’s running in this session was left up to Mark Webber, with last year’s pole-sitter finishing the 90-minute session in fifth place, who finished ahead of Massa.
The top ten was completed by Vitaly Petrov, Paul di Resta, Sergio Pérez and Adrian Sutil.
At the back of the field, it would seem that Virgin Racing’s upgrades have made little difference to their overall competitiveness, with HRT seemingly closing the gap this weekend. Narain Karthikeyan finished the session just 0.1 seconds slower than Timo Glock.
And Williams’ woes seemingly can’t get much worse, with Pastor Maldonado enjoying his third spin of the day, clipping the Turn 8 crash barriers.
2011 Turkish Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:
|1.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||1:26.456||26|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP W02||+ 0.065||29|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||+ 0.577||31|
|4.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP W02||+ 0.607||21|
|5.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Renault RB7||+ 0.693||31|
|6.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 0.884||37|
|7.||Vitaly Petrov||Renault R31||+ 1.061||37|
|8.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 1.269||37|
|9.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 1.388||32|
|10.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 1.596||37|
|11.||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 1.613||27|
|12.||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 1.697||36|
|13.||Nick Heidfeld||Renault R31||+ 2.019||35|
|14.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 2.309||32|
|15.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 2.372||19|
|16.||Rubens Barrichello||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 2.490||20|
|17.||Jarno Trulli||Lotus Renault T128||+ 2.953||39|
|18.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 3.181||27|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus Renault T128||+ 3.825||37|
|20.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 4.579||28|
|21.||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 4.765||22|
|22.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 4.864||29|
|23.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 5.533||30|
|24.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Renault RB7||no time||0|
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