Vettel stays on top in second practice

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Sebastian Vettel headed practice at Suzuka for the second time today as Red Bull extended their margin over their rivals.

Mark Webber ended the second session fastest ahead of Robert Kubica, who survived a high-speed spin in his Renault.

The two Ferrari drivers were fourth and fifth, but almost a full second slower than the flying RB6s around Suzuka.

Jenson Button was not far behind. But Lewis Hamilton was only able to set a handful of laps in the last ten minutes of the session after his car had been repaired.

The Degner curve almost claimed another driver in the second session – Michael Schumacher skirted disaster when he got onto the kerbs and into the gravel, but stayed out of the barriers.

He ended the session eighth behind Vitaly Petrov and ahead of a trio of German drivers: Adrian Sutil, Nico Hulkenberg and Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton’s last effort was good enough for 13th behind home hero Kamui Kobayashi.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’31.46532
26Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’31.8600.39529
311Robert KubicaRenault1’32.2000.73532
48Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’32.3620.89734
57Felipe MassaFerrari1’32.5191.05435
61Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’32.5331.06828
712Vitaly PetrovRenault1’32.7031.23832
83Michael SchumacherMercedes1’32.8311.36627
914Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’32.8421.37726
1010Nico HulkenbergWilliams-Cosworth1’32.8511.38626
114Nico RosbergMercedes1’32.8801.41526
1223Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’33.4712.00631
132Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.4812.0168
149Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’33.5642.09916
1522Nick HeidfeldSauber-Ferrari1’33.6972.23233
1616Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’34.0052.54032
1717Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’34.0552.59037
1815Vitantonio LiuzziForce India-Mercedes1’34.3102.84533
1919Heikki KovalainenLotus-Cosworth1’36.0954.63037
2018Jarno TrulliLotus-Cosworth1’36.3334.86833
2125Lucas di GrassiVirgin-Cosworth1’36.6305.16528
2224Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’36.8345.36928
2321Bruno SennaHRT-Cosworth1’37.3525.88733
2420Sakon YamamotoHRT-Cosworth1’37.8316.36634

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    62 comments on “Vettel stays on top in second practice”

    1. One more HUngary beckons us….
      If Vettel keeps his head in his place, this win is his for the taking.

      1. Vettel will fumble and Webber will be there for the taking…

        1. Sounds excellent

        2. Replicating the Hungary podium here would be interesting for the championship. Unless you support McLaren!

      2. It’s going to rain tomorrow, the story could be totally different than today.

    2. if it is gonna be another Hungary…. its gonna be boring manz…

      Not that I am against RBR… but I mean if the Vettel and webber are going to run away from the rest…

      1. they probably will start 1 2 unless they make a mistake in quali. But their race pace is usually not as good, so hopefully we will have some action.

        1. Would like to see RBR on first row and then lose it up to the first corners :p

          1. There race pace is better these days, anyway if they start from the front and stay there for a lap I see no problems for them.

            Without a flex wing there running in traffic seems to be better.

            1. Flex wing or not flex wing, it’s clear that RB6 is very aerodynamic and when it goes first it works perfectly. The car doesn’t work in his best when it’s just behind another car.

              So again, pole and start is very important for them to win.

          2. @ Apostolos

            If that happens the Newey & Horner will shoot themselves in their head.

        2. Do not give up hope yet. If qualifying will be wet, it might still spring a few suprises!

      2. Come on. The prospect of Vettel vs. Webber for a full race distance is mouth watering.

        1. You are joking right? Snore fest’

        2. Agreed, especially after them kissing at the Turkish Grand Prix every time a commentator points out one is gaining on the other the first thoughts without exception ‘omg they’re gonna crash!!11!’.

          Having said that, the thing that surprises me most about this season so far isn’t just that the WDC is so exciting, it’s that F1 seems to be more interesting throughout the field.

          Kobayashi at Sauber,
          Barichello at Williams,
          Kubica (sometimes even Petrov) at Renault,
          Sutil at Force India,
          Kovalainen at Lotus even before he became a fireman.

        3. I agree, and what will make is even more fascinating is if Wibber can get off the line properly and beat Vettel to the first corner. Let’s see whether Sebcrashtian can overtake someone for once, shall we?

        4. Daniel : Provided Webber is ahead of Vettel coz if Vettel is behind Webber, he is gonna do the same what he did to Button while overtaking.

    3. I know Sutil is a bit of “Suzuka-specialist” and that it is only FP2, but surely Liuzzi won’t be in a Force India seat next season.

      1. Liuzzi 1.5 sec slower than sutil at 18th place OMG. If I was FI I would have given the drive to Resta, as there is more probability him scoring point than Liuzzi.

    4. The only advantage wew can see is that this track offers something to overtake , so we can see people getting closer once the race unfolds. Hopw tyre degradation is an issue with teams and we see one Canada type race here too.

      1. To add on to above, the fastest S1 time after Red BUlls is of Alonso and he can still gain .3 secs in S2 and S3 ( taking Kubica as benchmark) if not better. But if he still finds this timw, it is almost impossible for him to get the rest of the difference that is huge , .5 secs .
        Its Vettel on pole

        PS: Vettel is losing time in S3

        1. In Singapore the RBs showed a similar advantage in FP sessions, but Alonso was able to close the gap during qualifying. I do not think he can do it again, but if he qualifies third, he could try and jump one of the RBs at the start, and try his best to keep one of them behind for the rest of the race. Seems harder than Hungary because this track is a little bit more overtaking friendly.

    5. So, what were we saying about Petrov being a second and a half slower than Kubica?

      1. I will remind you after the qualifying session, Mr. Monkeys ;)

      2. Jarred Walmsley
        9th October 2010, 1:17

        I thought we were talking about Luizzi and Sutil :D

    6. tyre wear is never an issue, they are too durable, hence they make for dull racing, montreal was awesome in the 1st half of the race, after that they held together and it was more of the same…… has been the case all year sadly

    7. Remember at Singapore, Vettel was faster 1.1sec than Alonso FP2 and 0.65sec FP3. but Alonso got pole. so who knows?

      1. I hope that is true… I really like when RBR when they were not winning…

        You guys may call me whatever, but I always support the teams that have been around for a long time such as Williams, Ferrari, McLaren… etc etc. Cos I know they would be around for a long time… but the newer teams such as RBR… when the going get tough, will they be another Honda?

        1. Hondo is a completely different kettle of fish. They are a car company and when their business is struggling, no car company can justify wasting money racing.

          On top of everything else, Hondo didn’t win many races for all the investment. The same can’t be said of Red Bull Racing.

          1. I think you find with Honda engines Mclaren and williams did rather well.

            1. Nearly 20 years ago. No doubt AK is talking about their last distinct forray into F1.

          2. I think a problem with modern companies, like Mercedes, is that money has to equal results… or they leave…

            Whereas teams like Williams would continue with a cardboard box on wheels if it was their only option left…

            1. Williams is a racing team, Mercedes a car-company. Williams is nothing without racing, Mercedes races in order to sell more cars.

    8. Practice is practice, and it’s hard to read what everybody is doing, unless you’re actually around to see what the teams are doing.

      Having said that, to me HAM or VET for pole seems logic, if HAM feels comfortably enough with the update – which he probably will, since he likes an instable rear end (of the car).

      But if there’s one guy who can pull off a ‘singapore’, it is Alonso.

      And then, there might be rain, which could change it all.

      Wow, what a great weekend this will be!

      1. I share the same level of excitement as you do about this weekend. If it doesn’t rain, my money is on Vettel, however, if we have a little bit of rain in either quali or the race, my money is on Lewis. Alonso should make the podium, but I do not think he can pull another ‘Singapiore’ on this track.

        1. I do hope its either McLaren or Ferrari to win the race…

        2. A bit of rain like in Malaysia, do you mean?

          1. No like in China or Australia :)

            1. Oh you mean good (flukey) strategy calls, then.

            2. Do you imagine he rolled a dice or something?

              He made the call and he made it work and that deserves respect.

            3. Hmmm, maybe someone should start a topic on improving commenting on this site 8)

            4. He did roll the dice in Melbourne because he didn’t really have a choice as he was struggling on his inters and losing position. Thereafter, ‘making it work’ really didn’t involve anything more than ‘keeping it on the road’.

              China was less of a dice roll as I think most of the field blundered, and left Button, Rosberg and Kubica on the good strategy.

              I think Webber’s two strategy calls and drives were more impressive, i.e. Hungary and Singapore as he had do a lot on track to make it work.

      2. It really looks like it doesn’t it, unlike last year’s when it was basically all about where Button would finish.

        This weekend we could see a good race, outside chance of rain but maybe a wet qualifying and maybe see one or two competitors effectively drop out of the championship.

        I think the most interesting factor will be Webber; he doesn’t have to win, but he has to avoid his rivals beating him, which was on the cards in Singapore. Anything less than 3rd in Suzuka will be some kind of blow for him.

    9. Could someone help me please. BBC says that it would be even worse for McLaren if it rains for quali. But I don’t understand. Surely it would be worse if it was dry because the other teams have gathered so much more dry weather data. Would rain not level the playing field somewhat?

      1. McLaren probably don’t have enough data to optimise their setup with their new updates due to the loss of time running in dry conditions. The other teams have got lots of data for a baseline setup. This is my guess.

    10. I hope all the 2nd up to the 5th placers to step up & even up the competition – so we can have another thrilling match on the next 3 races! :)

    11. Still to early to say, but going on FP1 & 2 its fast turning into a 3 horse race.

    12. I hate missing the FP sessions, but I hate losing sleep even more.

      So where are we? Hamilton looks alright but has been set back, hopefully Button’s data will help him catch up. Button himself is quietly getting on with the job, I seriously doubt he’s a second off the Red Bulls on ultimate pace.

      The Red Bulls themselves are showing their promise and enjoying the kind of advantage we expected to. But again, this will probably change when it matters.

      Alonso looks far off on paper, but it’s practice. Even 7/10s isn’t a comfort zone when you’re dealing with him. Expect to see him challenging for the front row too with Hamilton and the Red Bulls.

      The way things are, if the Red Bulls are greater than 3/10s faster in Q3, it will be their race to lose. Their rivals should be aiming to be under that.

      1. That pretty much summs it up, good job for not even haven seen the session ;-)

    13. One thing i’m a bit surprised is this year…Red bull haven’t been that Great in the Wet as they were in Last year in Rain and in Cold Weather….
      Does anyone know why is that…..there’s no doubt Vettel and webber are pretty Good in Rain…..

      1. Apparently the RB5’s dominance in the wet was actually just an accident. They ran it in some kind of simulator and found to their amazement the car was suited to the wet. The changes to this year’s car must have disturbed that.

        1. In pre season testing teams complained of both types of wet weather tyre falling apart very quickly. One theory earlier on in the season was that Red Bull had so much downforce that it simply overworked and overheated the tyres in the wet compared to other teams.

          1. I’ll buy that, because if you think about it what happens in the wet is that the mechanical grip goes out the window, which should place all that much more importance on aerodynamic downforce, which the RB6 has in spades. It would seem on paper that the RB6 should be even MORE dominant in the wet, not less. So that explanation makes some amount of sense. Any technical experts out there that can comment on that?

            1. wouldn’t they be better on wet tires with more downforce? more downforce would give more grip and less sliding across the surface of the road to damage the tires? or am I thinking along the wrong lines here…

            2. In the wet, I gather that a team will soften up the suspension and raise the ride height so the car can roll in the turns and squat on accelleration, which gives me the impression that maximizing mechanical grip is crucial in the wet, even at the expense of maintaining the correct aerodynamic attitude. But my only race engineering knowledge is from what the bald guy with glasses in the Lotus garage tells me in the game.

    14. It wasn’t only the RB5…but the previous cars were strong too….including torro rosso….
      U Need more downforce in Wets…well they’ve got enough….so what else do they need….?

    15. Normally Teams who have issue in the wets with tyres is that they can’t get heat into their tyres….can’t believe it can be an issue for them….

    16. Nice to see that Schumacher is keeping his nose clean but he needs to perform on Saturday & more importantly on Sunday. It will be a very difficult weekend for Hamilton given the fact he had very little time on track.

      1. He’s typically been terrible in qualifying, but usually makes up some places in the race (especially on his starts). Qualifying in the wet could see him do well though, so maybe he’ll have a decent race here.

        1. He does make up some good places on the start, agree with you but during the race he struggle a lot with his pace especially in the latter part,

    17. Kubica’s performance will decide the championship!

      If he keeps his Renault there, he’ll make things difficult to Alonso, Hamilton and Button (in that order). He’ll be racing for Red Bull on sunday.

      It’ll be interesting.

      1. Yep. The championship spoiler!

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