Button stays on top at Suzuka

2011 Japanese GP second practice

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Button was quickest in both sessions on Friday

Jenson Button was fastest again in the second practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Three different cars occupied the top three places with Fernando Alonso second for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull.

Mark Webber was fourth fastest ahead of Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher was struggling with rear tyre grip towards the end of the session and had an off-track moment at the first corner.

Several incidents during the session made life difficult for drivers trying to set laps on the soft tyres.

One of the first drivers to go off was Bruno Senna, who lost control of his Renault at turn one.

He skidded across the tarmac run-off and into the gravel on the outside of the corner. Fortunately he kept the engine running and was able to continue.

Rubens Barrichello was not so lucky when he lost control of his car at the entry to Degner. He touched the grass on the way into the corner and spun into the barrier.

It was a double blow for Williams as Pastor Maldonado pulled over at the corner shortly afterwards with an apparently technical problem.

The most lurid moment of the session came when Kamui Kobayashi lost control of his car at 300kph going through 130R. Impressively he wrestled the Sauber away from the barrier at the inside of the corner and continued without damage.

Kobayashi had two other moments during the session, twice running wide at the Spoon Curve.

Vitantonio Liuzzi logged just four laps in his only practice session of the day before his HRT came to a stop.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’31.901 32
2 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’32.075 0.174 33
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’32.095 0.194 35
4 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’32.147 0.246 28
5 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’32.448 0.547 34
6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’32.710 0.809 26
7 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’32.982 1.081 27
8 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’33.245 1.344 26
9 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’33.446 1.545 36
10 18 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’33.681 1.780 33
11 19 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’33.705 1.804 25
12 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’33.790 1.889 36
13 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’34.393 2.492 35
14 9 Bruno Senna Renault 1’34.557 2.656 27
15 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’34.601 2.700 33
16 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.038 4.137 33
17 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1’36.225 4.324 35
18 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’37.123 5.222 14
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’37.440 5.539 30
20 25 Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1’38.093 6.192 30
21 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1’38.387 6.486 16
22 22 Daniel Ricciardo HRT-Cosworth 1’38.763 6.862 36
23 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1’39.800 7.899 24
24 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1’42.480 10.579 4

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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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26 comments on “Button stays on top at Suzuka”

  1. I’m not usually a betting man, but I’d be willing put money on Lewis taking pole tomorrow. That or…Vettel, of course

    1. @mwoerne on what evidence? Lewis has been slower than button in both sessions, and as Ted Kravitz was saying this morning in 1st practise, his head is definitely not in the right place this weekend. He was insinuating that at one point, Lewis was almost in tears because of all the flaming he is getting.

    2. I hope so! He needs to do something to get his form back – pole would be a massive booster for Lewis

  2. A season where the race results resembled this years FP1 and FP2 results would be my ideal.

    1. But it that long-run pace of the Red Bulls is the true picture, that’s really unlikely.

  3. Jenson may be the fastest but it’s a bit discerning that the RBs are 1sec+ faster on the heaviest fuel load… McLaren will have to rein their lap times in on the heavy fuel load settings. They may be better of running the richest fuel mix to run the fuel down and then switch to lean towards the end of the race – but that depends on what position they will be in qualifying and during the start of the race. and of course RB would be looking to do the same with their fuel mixtures.

  4. I’m not usually a betting man, but I’d be willing put money on Lewis taking pole tomorrow. That or…Vettel, of course

    1. I think Seb is gonna take it (again) :(

      1. I think so as well but strangely there seems to be more of a battle here.

  5. Sound to me like Kobayashi is trying to rag as much out of the car as possible for his home race, hope he has a good one. Would like to see a video of him rescuing the car.

    1. @AndrewTanner It would make my year if Kobayashi and Sauber have another fantastic race here and score some solid points. I think it’s going to be tricky, but if anyone deserves to have a bit of good luck in these final few races it’s Sauber and Kobayashi. Especially considering what the Japanese people have faced this year.

      1. They have been rather quiet recently so I would also welcome some decent points. @magnificentgeoffrey

    2. I am fully with you there Andrew! I had a look, but couldn’t find any footage so far.

  6. the midfield battle gonna be interesting tomorrow and hope that mclaren maintains its pace enough to beat vettel.

  7. Should say Mark Webber fourth fastest ahead of Massa, Schumacher :)

  8. Mercedes really are in no man’s land. But I hope and guess it will be thight between Nico and Michael.

    1. Interestingly Mercedes’ heavy fuel load pace is similiar to that of McLaren’s at the moment.

      1. Okay, how do you know exactly on what fuel load they’re running?

        1. If you’re lapping in the 1.36-1.37 range, you’re definitely on high fuel load. What he means is that the pace in whatever heavy configuration load they tried is similar.

        2. Was following the FP2 commentary. They all seemed to do a longer pit with about 18mins of the session to go, then when they all came back out again no one were beating their fastest times, in fact, similiar to what Stefanauss said, they were lapping in the 1.38s and 1.39s – so they would’ve been simulating their heavy fuel loads.

  9. Ferrari looks not bad as always. but I expect they will struggle as always…

    1. it looks not bad because it’s in the hand of fernando
      qualifying tomorrow:
      5- Alonso

      and always we will see a grate start from alonso & a bad start from Webber

      1. Well, I expect it either but Webber would repass him easily.

        1. Think we will see a grid like Signapore. I’ll go for

          1. Vettel
          2. Webber
          3. Button
          4. Hamilton
          5. Alonso

  10. I was watching the timing during the longer runs, and Red Bull are absolutely dominant through sector 1.

    Its hard to tell how much fuel all of the teams were running, but Red Bull (particularly Webber’s) long distance pace was very impressive.

  11. Button is absolutely giving 100% for the championship.Mercedes is finding some pace in the fast flowing tracks.Seems like quali will be fun tomorrow.

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