Jenson Button 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.

Alonso receives help from the marshals 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 Maldonado spins at Turn 8difference 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:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 1:26.456 26
2. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 0.065 29
3. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 + 0.577 31
4. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 0.607 21
5. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.693 31
6. Felipe Massa BRZ Ferrari F150° Italia + 0.884 37
7. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault R31 + 1.061 37
8. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 1.269 37
9. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C30 + 1.388 32
10. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 1.596 37
11. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari F150° Italia + 1.613 27
12. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 1.697 36
13. Nick Heidfeld DEU Renault R31 + 2.019 35
14. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 2.309 32
15. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Cosworth FW33 + 2.372 19
16. Rubens Barrichello BRZ Williams Cosworth FW33 + 2.490 20
17. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Renault T128 + 2.953 39
18. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C30 + 3.181 27
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Renault T128 + 3.825 37
20. Jérôme d’Ambrosio BEL Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 4.579 28
21. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 4.765 22
22. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 4.864 29
23. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 5.533 30
24. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault RB7 no time 0

[Images via Formula1.com, LAT, 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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