Hamilton leads McLaren one-two in damp second practice

2011 Korean GP second practice

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Korea, 2011
Button was second quickest behind his team mate

Lewis Hamilton was the quickest driver in a damp second practice session in Korea.

He led a McLaren one-two with team mate Jenson Button ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

In marked contrast to the first session of the day, the second hour-and-a-half of practice began with a flurry of cars out on the track setting times.

With the track considerably drier than it was during the morning session, the drivers were quickly setting considerably faster laps.

The McLaren drivers quickly took up the top two places on the times and remained there. Button was fastest to begin with before Hamilton took over at the top.

For much of the session the pair were a clear two seconds faster than anyone else.

As the track conditions improved Jaime Alguersuari took to the track on slick tyres. But has he left the pit lane he was hit by Nico Rosberg, who ran wide at turn one onto the racing line.

Rosberg pulled over with his front wing folded under his front wheel, while Alguersuari drove back to the pits, fuming at the inadequacies of the circuit’s pit lane exit.

As the track continued to dry, drivers were faced with the choice of worn intermediate tyres or gambling on slicks. Both presented problems. Several drivers spun at turn four on worn tyres, including Bruno Senna and both Ferraris.

The other Toro Rosso of Buemi took on a set of super softs and had a spin. Button also tried them out but couldn’t generate any heat in them on the slippery surface.

As the session ended, no-one had been able to improve on their time on intermediate tyres, leaving the McLarens on top.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGap
13Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’50.82826
24Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’50.9320.10419
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’52.6461.81830
45Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’52.7741.94625
52Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’53.0492.22127
619Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’53.4022.57425
76Felipe MassaFerrari1’53.7072.87924
88Nico RosbergMercedes1’53.9143.08618
918Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’53.9483.12027
1015Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’53.9573.12932
1110Vitaly PetrovRenault1’54.2003.37226
1214Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’54.3923.56426
1311Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’54.8314.00330
147Michael SchumacherMercedes1’54.9654.13721
159Bruno SennaRenault1’55.1874.35928
1617Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’55.2034.37524
1716Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’55.5444.71623
1812Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’56.0675.23922
1920Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’56.6695.84120
2021Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’57.1736.34519
2124Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’58.2697.44125
2225Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’59.4588.63026
2322Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’59.9589.13019
2423Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth2’00.1659.33720

2011 Korean Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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25 comments on “Hamilton leads McLaren one-two in damp second practice”

  1. I guess they should really make that pit exit like they origiinally planned it, even if it means having a bigger pitlane time loss (bet the teams argued agains that).

    Hamilton really looks like being in bussiness. Driving quite aptly in the morning in the wet. Then being fastest in FP2 and when we saw him going through telemetry in the garage he looked fine as well.
    In general it seems the McLarens are a genuine candidate for pole position and a win this weekend. Shame they did not manage that earlier in the season, but its a good sign for next year as well.

    1. why would the teams object to a longer pit lane? the relative time loss is zero since everyone has to do it. teams like Sauber would actually prefer a longer pit lane since they have fewer pit stops. but in general i think teams dont really care how long it is. it will effect their strategy but this applies to all teams so there is no advantage.

    2. It may be good for this weekend, but are Red Bull so much slower because they’re starting to try parts for next year?

  2. Alguersuari drove back to the pits, fuming at the inadequacies of the circuit’s pit lane exit.

    I’m bemused as to why they didn’t change this for 2011. The original plan for the pit exit had the cars circling the run-off area for the first turn, and then rejoining after the second corner. Yes, it was long, but there was also no speed regulation. Dropping the pit exit onto the racing line for one of the heaviest braking zones on the circuit just seems as dangerous as it is stupid.

    1. @Prisoner-Monkeys It is very annoying in a virtual environment. They really ought to have been more creative with it and stick with the plan of looping around the run-off. The argument for put-lane loss time doesn’t really add up either. I know some teams do pit more than others on any given weekend but you could argue the damage has been done with having to pit in the first place.

    2. Haha, I hadn’t even noticed it! In F1 2010 it’s how it was planned, finishing at T2, and I thought it was like this! Now, reading these comments and watching videos I see the cars come out at T1, which is more dangerous as T2 is less tight, so cars can easily stay on the inside, something impossible at T1.

  3. Does Schumacher stands a chance in case we have a wet race?

    Please, don’t wake me up!

    1. Yes, absolutely

    2. Yes he is the rainmaster

  4. STR looked promising in Japan based on the practice sessions but had a bit of a nightmare in the race. I hope they manage to score some good points this weekend as there looking competitive enough.

    Who knows?!

    1. They had to ditch there newest improved diffusor in Japan when it turned out the new setup cracked the exhausts.
      This time they seem to be having that sorted, so the update should stay on their car, helping them to stay competative all weekend.

      1. Thanks for the info on the updates @BasCB

  5. I have sleep deprivation of epic proportions so lazily this is mainly a copy/paste botch-job of some of my comments from the live session:

    As the track conditions improved Jaime Alguersuari took to the track on slick tyres. But has he left the pit lane he was hit by Nico Rosberg, who ran wide at turn one onto the racing line.

    Incidents revolving around pit exits are something I’ve been highly concerned about from a safety standpoint on many occasions during the last few years.

    There are so many occurances of drivers making overtaking moves down main straight where their trajectory takes them straight across the white lines of pit exit at max speed.

    Even during the previous race at Suzuka it happened when Hamilton passed Massa down the pit straight. What if a driver was exiting the pit lane at just the wrong time, even if it’s highly unlikely and drivers get radio’d this information?

    The fact the overtaking driver frequently crosses the white line on pit lane exit is quite worrying in the instance that another driver is exiting the pits, as more often than not they stay close to white line and at several tracks they pretty much come out of nowhere with massive speed differential between cars.

    Contributors during the live session mentioned that the Monaco pit exit is compromised in addition to other tracks such as the Nurburgring and Barcelona which also feature far from ideal pit exits.

    The notorious incident between Schumacher and Barrichello in Hungary last year is another prime example of the overtaking driver being squeezed on the inside line and literally driving straight across the pit exit past a blind wall.

    As things stand I reckon that a serious accident involving the a driver exiting the pit lane and an overtaking driver approaching at vastly greater speed is simply a question of when rather than if.

    But what could be done to minimise the risk, or should anything be done at all? Modifications to the pit exits of classic tracks which have been the same for decades are surely out of the question and any other changes that immediately spring to mind seem like weak counter-measures at best.

    Personally I think that this is just one of those risk factors that is accepted as part of racing, but it doesn’t help me feeling like something is being overlooked and the lack of an incident involving an overtaking driver and a pit lane exit is currently being taken for granted.

    Here’s to hoping such an incident doesn’t occur.

    1. crossing the white line when you are not exiting the pitlane is allowed. they are the best drivers in the world and are aware of the risks when doing so. its much more dangerous driving on public roads than it is for them these days. an F1 car is about the safest place one can be. you cannot eliminate all risk, and frankly i dont think the drivers or the fans would want to. otherwise they would be playing/watching chess or curling.

    2. The Monaco pit exit was modified a few years ago for just this reason – cars now exit up the hill after Sainte Devote.

      I agree about this risk on many circuits – it seems bizarre to prevent traffic on one side of the line from crossing it (those leaving the pits) whilst allowing other cars to cross it willy-nilly at high speed.

  6. Any information on Pirelli enforced camber limits for this weekend, considering the aggressive choice of compounds and relatively new, unused green track?

    Does this race potentially mark a return of blistering concerns/issues given the high top speeds and long straights? As far as I can remember the track temperatures are similar to Spa.

    Or could it be the opposite with drivers unable to establish sufficient tyre temperature and struggling massively for grip? Such an outcome would be catastrophic.

    Button’s radio message towards the end of the session suggested that gaining temperature on his option tyres was practically impossible in the damp conditions at the end of the session.

    This potentially provides some insight into the reasoning behind Pirelli’s aggressive choice of compounds for this weekend as sufficient tyre temperature is paramount to performance and thus the reduction of excessive tyre slip and wear.

    Could the drivers suffer similar woes even after the track has dried up? I doubt it, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely. The Korean track surface is pretty much an unknown quantity.

  7. Was Algersuari actually fuming? I mean, rant on the radio or something like that?

  8. Just got some news, seems they did agree on a stop gap solution for the pitlane (from @sarahholtf1 on twitter):

    News just in from Alguersuari. He says a blue light will be used for the rest of weekend to indicate when a car is leaving the pits

    Not sure that really solves much, but its at least something.

  9. Maybe they should put the blue light on Lewis’ helmet during qualy so Filipe can see him ;)

    1. and ….. transfer the light to Filipe for the race to be fair !

  10. Mclaren look impressive, but can’t read too much into times, nevertheless, i think in a dry qualifying, Mclaren (Hamilton) should have enough pace to put it on pole by 2/3 tenths

  11. ferrari proved a preconfiguration of the 2012 car front wing

    1. That’s the right approach for the remaining of the season. Nothing to grab anymore in 2011, let’s get ready for 2012.

  12. i want to see lewis back to his best.hopefully i’ll see that tomorrow and on sunday.

    1. Tyre management might be his weakest link – if he can get that right he should be in good shape. If it’s a battle between the two McLarens on a high tyre wearing track, I’d have to put my money on Jenson on having the higher race pace towards the end of the stints. If Lewis counters with a faster out laps he may have to be careful of not over doing his tyres.

      Alonso might be a surprise as well given his form in Suzuka – it seemed he looked after his tyres better than Vettel.

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