Button fastest as Vettel sits out second practice

2011 Turkish GP second practice

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Istanbul, 2011

Jenson Button put McLaren on top of the time sheets in the second practice session in Istanbul.

His best lap of 1’26.456 was just two tenths of a second slower than last year’s pole position time.

Nico Rosberg showed good pace for Mercedes, lapping within a tenth of a second of Button to go second.

Their team mates, Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, were third and fourth. Schumacher avoided damaging his car in a lurid high-speed spin after he appeared to be caught by surprise when a Force India appeared alongside him at turn 11.

Mark Webber was fifth fastest for Red Bull but team mate Sebastian Vettel missed the entire session following his crash in first practice.

Felipe Massa was sixth fastest for Ferrari. But team mate Fernando Alonso struggled after going fastest in the first session.

An hydraulic problem delayed his running to begin with, then when he returned to the track he stopped twice. First he spun at turn six, then got the car going again, only to park up on the way in to the pits. He was pushed to his garage and later re-joined the session.

Pastor Maldonado also had problems, losing control of his car twice, as he had in first practice.

The Williams driver spun at turn eight early in the session, then in the last quarter of an hour he lost the car again and went into the carrier.

Team mate Rubens Barrichello’s session came to an early end with KERS problems.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’26.456 26
2 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’26.521 0.065 29
3 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’27.033 0.577 31
4 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’27.063 0.607 21
5 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’27.149 0.693 31
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’27.340 0.884 37
7 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’27.517 1.061 37
8 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’27.725 1.269 37
9 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’27.844 1.388 32
10 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’28.052 1.596 37
11 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’28.069 1.613 27
12 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.153 1.697 36
13 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 1’28.475 2.019 35
14 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’28.765 2.309 32
15 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’28.828 2.372 19
16 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’28.946 2.490 20
17 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’29.409 2.953 39
18 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’29.637 3.181 27
19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’30.281 3.825 37
20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’31.035 4.579 28
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’31.221 4.765 22
22 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’31.320 4.864 29
23 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’31.989 5.533 30
24 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault No time 0

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

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    Image © McLaren

    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    108 comments on “Button fastest as Vettel sits out second practice”

    1. Button fastest.. that’s something i want to see more of

      1. That’s something rare.

    2. I know you can’t read too much into the times but Webber is a bit the pace to what I expected. Lets hope Red Bull finally don’t have the best car.

      The one thing that would make this weekend perfect for the championship is a Vettel retirement.

      1. That would definitely even up the championship!

      2. Webber set his fastest time +0.693 slower Button while on the Harder tyres. Button set his fastest time on softs. Therefore I would say that Red Bull still faster as it is well known the hard tyre is at least 1s per lap slower.

        1. Redbull are so fast out of the block that they can immediately go straight to their race set up programme, while others are chasing speed.

    3. Looks like Mark’s got a good chance as ever to beat Sebastian this weekend. Vettel’s crash in FP1, no running in FP2 and Mark’s better track record at Instanbul all play into his hands, can he deliver but, hope so :D

      1. Gwenouille
        6th May 2011, 22:27

        Well, they can be pretty close in Istanbul. Too close in fact !

    4. Nothing going well for Williams :(!

      The HRT are damn close to the Virgins now :O!

      1. Problem with Williams is they clearly don’t have a drivee capable.

        Maldonado looks like he’s lost and Rubens is…well Rubens.

        1. Rubens is a twice runner-up and 11 times winner.

          1. my grandad fought in WW2 but he is a liability behind the wheel these days

            1. moondoggy
              7th May 2011, 8:27


          2. Yeah runner-up…behind Schumacher and later Button, being english in an english team. As if he ever had a chance! lol

            1. He didn’t have a chance because those two champions were faster than him.

            2. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
              6th May 2011, 16:08

              Not to be pedantic, but actually Vettel was runner-up to Button in 09, not Rubens. Barrichello came WDC runner-up to Schumi in 2002 and 2004.

        2. I agree, Rubens couldn’t win even with a car that was 3 seconds per lap faster than the rest. He should take his old pal Schumacher and retire.

          1. He didn’t have a chance because those two champions were faster than him

            And he confirmed he understood the message.

            1. Yeah, he got “the message” in the first place as he was 38 points behind his teammate after 6 races. Not championship winning pace in anyone’s book.

            2. Icemangrins
              6th May 2011, 16:14

              blah blah blah

            3. Yeah, he got “the message” in the first place as he was 38 points behind his teammate after 6 races. Not championship winning pace in anyone’s book.

              Which was pretty unlucky though. Makes you wonder what would have happened if Rubens had won the first two races of the 2002 season. Well, nevermind that.

              Rubens couldn’t win even with a car that was 3 seconds per lap faster than the rest.

              “3 second per lap faster than the rest” – yeah, I can make up things too.

              Also: who else should take Rubens’ place? There is nobody better available for Williams. Barrichello ain’t going nowhere, deal with it.

            4. Also: who else should take Rubens’ place? There is nobody better available for Williams. Barrichello ain’t going nowhere, deal with it.

              Even if I don’t really like Rubens, I agree. He was pretty good last year, so he should improve this year.

          2. Agree, Rubens has now had the fastest car in two teams (Ferrari and Brawn) and didn’t do anything with it.

            1. he probably concentrated too much on beating The Stig first, and now he is too busy celebrating to care about F1.

            2. Yet all he did was beat Ben Collins…oh the shame.

    5. Anyone know why Kobayashi is below Trulli?

      Also disproves any notions that HRT have overtaken Virgin here.

      1. He was slower mate…

        1. From what I’ve read he lost time with a hydraulic leak. When he went back out he was doing runs with heavy fuel loads.

      2. and at the same time suggests that HRT are indeed gaining a fair bit of ground on Virgin… lol

      3. Well, given that the slower of the HRT drivers is only a few tenths beind the Virgins, I would say they did catch up.

    6. Is this the first session when Narain has finished ahead of Liuzzi..

      and i think the virgins did their last laps on fumes to avoid the embarrasment of being behind HRT esp after having brought a significant upgrade package..

    7. HRT definetly made a leap forward in performance…its a bit embaressing for Virgin for them to be so close and weirdly Glock had the full upgrade package but was 0.2secs slower than D’ambrosio who had a few bits and pieces

      Go Mark! :)

      1. the-muffin-man
        6th May 2011, 14:20

        Looks like Virgin need to upgrade from the Sinclair Spectrums they are using. I wonder if they know the Commodore 64 has been relaunched!!

    8. Hope Vettel wins. RedBull really deserve this championship.

      1. It’s a reply to Riise who dreams for a Vettel DNF.

        1. Why should RedBull deserve the championship already? they deserved it last year, but now we’re only 3 races in, how can you make that statement? nobody deserves anything yet.

          1. I know it’s a little bit premature to make this statement but I don’t think I’m wrong. From what I see, RedBull came with the ultimate car, and the only way the other teams are going to beat them is by copying their design (just like last year when they copied the EBD). So since RedBull were the most ingenious I think they deserve it the most.

    9. SilverArrowStefBill (@silverarrowstefbill)
      6th May 2011, 13:58

      At last McLaren shows good pace but do not forget Mercedes GP because they look really fast and good. Vettel has very big idea for hiself and that crush today was a prove of that. You can see it also on the podium in Chinese GP on his face that was disappointed. Come on Vettel, in that sport are also some driver much better than you ( Hamilton, Button, Alonso etc)

      1. I really don’t see how the thought of himself being mediocre would help Vettel progress in his career. Maybe that’s the difference between champions and other drivers – they set high standards for themselves and try to reach them. It’s normal for a World Champ to be disappointed for not winning (although he wasn’t all that gloomy on the podium), I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how Hamilton or Alonso feel when they finish second.

      2. This sniping at Vettel is really tiresome. These are professional sportsmen, you can’t expect them to look happy when they’ve been beaten.

        1. Nice one Keith.

          But its a shame that you dont get as protective when its Lewis Hamilton on the receiving end nearly all of the time.

          Also I find it quite sad that when Lewis made a similar error in practice in Suzuka 2010 – he got crucified by the press. Whereas with Sebastian….you get Keith jumping out quick to defend.

          Keith may I remind you of your own words: “These are professional sportsmen, you can’t expect them to look happy when they’ve been beaten”.

          -Would you say the same in Lewis’ case (not so much being beaten, but dissapointed for a bad result or error)?
          I talk about Lewis because there seems to be many snide comments in the press about him being moody after a bad result.

          BTW….I dont blame vettel, Lewis or any other driver if they make an error (especially during practices) as all these guys push to find the performance of their cars and sometimes that may result in shunts.

          1. I don’t care who it is, I think a bit of honest emotion and human reaction from any of the drivers is good to see.

        2. I think its perfectly normal for him to feel glum about it. He binned himself after having a moment the lap before.

          And he did it gathering nothing more than a bit of experience on the intermediate tyres they might well end up not using for the next few races, while it made him sit out the session where there was a lot to learn.

      3. Oh yes because you wouldn’t at all look disappointed if somebody came around and stole the big shiny trophy and a big bag of money right in front of you?

        1. Stefanos Vasilis McLaren-Mercedes
          6th May 2011, 14:55

          I don’t think Vettel is thinking money when he is in a race. Also second place isn’t bad possition, especially when he had two pit stops and the others had three.

          1. I know but just imagine that feeling. Added to that that he did not win the race. They are ultimate competitors they would all be very disappointed if they were in his shoes. If not they wouldn’t be world champion material. When you have the fastest car on the track and starting from pole and don’t win you just know that you have done something wrong. THAT must be disappointing.
            I was simply using the money argument so that we can all relate to it. Who wouldn’t be angry if they just lost out on winning a million quid, more maybe? Who know the prize money actually? I would like to know how much the drivers get for winning a race.

            1. Good point above there, maybe Keith can do a piece about the prize money ?

      4. Yeah, Alonso and Hamilton were so much better than Vettel in Malaysia. And Alonso and Button were also way better than Vettel in the other 2 races.

      5. Stefanos Vasilis McLaren-Mercedes
        6th May 2011, 14:51

        If Vettel is not in the pole position he cannot “fight” for the win. In the other races he had Webber to protect him, in Chinese GP he hasn’t him so the McLarens had none in front of them and they easily ovetake, both of them, Vettel. It’s a prove that Vettel is a “pole position driver”, he is not a fighter.

        1. In the other races he had Webber to protect him

          From 5th and 10th place?

          1. Stefanos Vasilis McLaren-Mercedes
            6th May 2011, 15:01

            I said at the start of those races Webber was close to Vettel and Mclaren has another enemy to beat. In China had only Vettel. In Australia Webber started third and in Malaisia also started third.

    10. Mclaren and Mercedes is quite close, Redbull seems little cautious…It should be interesting fight. it would be much more interesting if Ferrari could get it there.

      1. I must be in the minority but I find 2 team championships a lot more enjoyable than when more teams are capable of winning.

    11. Pastor Maldonado also had problems, losing control of his car twice, as he had in first practice.

      Anybody else notice a theme emerging here?

      1. I did! :-)
        He’s so far the most disappointing of all rookies this year.

        1. Didn’t expect much more from a Chavez protegé

      2. A bit Petrov like? Or just plain rookie behaviour.

        My guess is, that with Pastor knowing the track pretty well, he thought he could take a bit more risks here.

        1. Maybe it will take Pastor a few years to get into like he did with GP2.

          1. Hope he has plenty of money then !

    12. Good pace from the Mercedez, let’s hope they have real pace. I’m a big Schumi’s fan but I have to admit Rosberg is starting getting my respect with this year performaces vs the Schumster, hope Michael beats him this year though (and by a lot of points).

      1. Won’t happen, be realistic.
        Rosberg has consistently been the faster of the two since last season.
        Schumacher’s 42. Nothing he can do or change physically, to become faster again. He’s as trained and prepared as he can be.

        Then the car. Both drivers have been involved in the car’s development from A-Z. And still Rosberg is consistenly quicker than him. Even if MGP would develop this car into a race winner, I don’t see any reason why that would make Schumacher faster than Rosberg.

        Rosberg simply is a great driver in the prime of his life.
        Schumacher is obviously also a great driver, but he’s past the prime of his life. The difference? Half a second. And that indicates how good Schumacher really is. Any other driver at his age would probably be further back.

        1. I’m quietly confident that Schumacher will ‘eventually’ end the season in a better position than Rosberg, and he perhaps will also win a very spectacular and memorable race before the end.

          There is no doubt that the difference between Schumacher-42 and Rosberg is more or less 0.3, 0.4 tenths, and 0.005 tenths whenever Schumacher manages to put in a perfect lap.

          However, the BIG difference amongst the two is their racecraft, the experience, the raw skill and the massive intelligence during the race (such as being opportunistic, taking advantage of a situation).

          And as the season seems to be this year, I think what you do on the race day will be much more important than what you are capable of doing in qualifying.

    13. Well… Coulthard was english in an english team, and was always behind Mika so thats rubbish.

      1. the-muffin-man
        6th May 2011, 14:48

        English! – I can hear the sound of Scotsmen sharpening their swords!!

        1. British man in a British team, the flag symbol on the leaderboards says so! ;)

      2. Coulthard was english

        I wouldn’t say that to his face…

        Guess why he has a Scottish saltire on his helmet?

        1. Well… he speaks English, the Monarch is English and the currency is Pound Sterling :)

          Im not from europe, but I never understand the difference between english & scottish. Isnt it like being from california & new york, youre both Americans, right?

          1. Haven’t you ever seen Braveheart? ;-)

          2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10

            before some scot goes biting your head off!!

          3. California and New York are states, England and Scotland are countries.

          4. Im not from europe, but I never understand the difference between english & scottish.

            Just use the term “British” :P

          5. Come on Anthony, you know people from California, Texas and New York City, refer to themselves as Californians, Texans and New Yorkers first. Love of country, no doubt; love of state, absolutely!!

          6. There are 3 seperate countries that make up Great Britain, England, Scotland and Wales, and when you add in Northen Ireland you get the UK.

            1. sorry to be pedantic, but the UK is england, scotland and wales, GB is eng, sco, wal and northern island, and the british islses consists of eng, sco, wal, n. ire and ROI

            2. No, Jim is correct. Great Britain is England, Scotland and Wales. The UK is ‘The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’. You are right about The British Isles though.

          7. Anthony – You’re using ‘English’ when you mean to say ‘British’

          8. in sport, some adopt a British tag and some adopt a scottish/english tag. depends where your allegiances lie?

            1. My passport says ‘British’ and that suits me fine – there isn’t a British football team and therefore I can’t be expected to support one :-)

          9. Technically the Queen is half-Scottish half-German, so…

      3. *Scottish in an English team.

      4. ouch! big mistake there :-)

      5. Coulthard is Scottish, he never won anything so he will remain that, if he would have won a title then he would be British.


    14. Webber set his fastest time +0.693 to Button while on the Harder tyres. Button set his on softs. Therefore I would say that Red Bull still have 2-3 tenths as it is well known the soft tyre is at least 1s per lap faster.

      1. Is this true Keith?

        1. My mistake Webber was on the softer tyres! However like scarlet says you can’t really read much into testing times!

          1. But you were prepared to read into them when you didn’t know you were wrong…

      2. That’s assuming both cars had the same amount of fuel and were using similar engine settings, unlikely.

        1. JuanFanger
          6th May 2011, 16:25

          So you’re thinking the Red Bull is probably more like a second quicker?

      3. Wasn’t Buttons time set quite a few laps earlier though?
        With the track having been wet this morning it will have improved considerably with passing time.

    15. This is not qualifying


        1. *epic music*
          (assuming you made a reference to ‘300’)

    16. Looking fine so far. I still expect Vettel to pull a stunning lap out of the bag tomorrow afternoon, but McLaren show they are in with a good chance of fighting for pole and race victory and it looks like Ferrari and Mercedes are not too far off.

      Virgin is learning its major update, so I expect them to improve come Saturday. And it looks like the HRT update does what it was supposed to do, namely get them withing fighting distance.

    17. gnvour (@)
      6th May 2011, 16:27

      And it looks like the HRT update does what it was supposed to do

      unlike Ferrari’s which remains a mystery (to us anyway) whether the updates work at all or not..

    18. I hope this is a race loaded with strategy, mistakes, boldness on the part of drivers, rain and luck. That mixture should lead to an interesting race.

    19. djdaveyp87
      6th May 2011, 18:04

      I hope the “carrier” was ok! Only kidding Keith, there’s a typo, should be barrier I’m sure!

      1. Changed it, thanks.

    20. Heidfeld disappointing again. He was the wrong choice and a distinctly avarage driver.

      Also, it’s “Red Bull”—two words. “Redbull” isn’t a word.

      1. I don’t think that Heidfeld would have been any more disappointed with his times than Alonso was.

    21. The HRTs are faster than Vettel!!!

    22. Another schoolboy error by Alonso ?

      1. Another schoolboy error by Alonso ?

        I used to play soccer and suchlike at school, but never had the opportunity to drive F1 cars when I was there. Which school did you go to?

        1. So logically he must be saying as Alonso made school boy error, he shouldn’t be driving in F1?

    23. Gosh! This forum is becoming more & more like a typical football fan forum. So much hot air and ‘expert’ predictions on here y’all sound like Eddie Jordan.

      No-one is faster than anyone else until they cross the finish line in 1st place. There are so many variables in F1 today, it is impossible to make a prediction, except, you could be forgiven for thinking that perhaps Lotus was not going to win this time out. Anyone remember the Monaco GP in the turbo era, when everyone started running out of fuel on the last 2 laps and it was a non favoured runner that eventually won.

      If some of you moaners and gripers and character assassins ever got to meet any of these drivers, you would probably be gobsmacked at how nice they all are – however, when there are millions of bucks involved, the driver is at the sharp end of a very blunt weapon – no Mr Nice Guy then, they always finish last.

      Give them a break and enjoy the sport for it’s complexities, and remember, we ain’t talking football teams here.

    24. So much hot air and ‘expert’ predictions on here y’all sound like Eddie Jordan.

      Looooooolllllll Ah ah ah! thats a good one…true though!
      Well said!

    25. Great pace by Mclaren. Do we think, come quali, they will be able to take turn 8 flat, and if so what other cars? I reckon that Redbull, like last year will be the only car…..bloddy Newey..

    26. KERS problems? Williams? Never! They need to sort it out, Lotus are only 0.5s behind them.

      I can see them writing this year off extremely early, like Mercedes last year to focus on 2012. They will need all the time they can get with all the changes they have going on at the top.

      1. Williams will be top ten in qualifying. The updates that they have brought to this race are working very well. Don’t pay too much attention to practice times.

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