F1 Turkey: McLarens Top Both Friday Practice 1 and 2, Hamilton then Button

What Happens When It’s Still Friday

8:37am EST — A McLaren led both Friday practice sessions for the Turkish Grand Prix, though Lewis Hamilton led the first and Jenson Button beat him (and his first session time) in the second session.  Most improved between the two session were Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber, who went from mid field in the first to second and fifth fastest, respectively, in the second session.  Webber’s second session was marred by a mechanical failure at the end which resulted in no crash, but a pantomime with the marshals after backing it down the escape road.  The Renaults and Mercedes were both in the top five or ten for both sessions and Heikki Kovalainen in his Lotus again led the charge of the new teams.

Practice 1:
Lewis Hamilton led a McLaren 1-2 in the first practice for the Turkish Grand Prix, though it was really the Hamilton show, as he led his teammate and the rest of the field by nearly a second and more.  Mercedes powered to the top four runners, with Schumacher and Rosberg third and fourth, respectively, though it is, as always, difficult to intuit too much from Friday practices, particularly with many teams bringing updates and changes.  The Mercedes longer-wheelbase car currently back in the garage should favor the returning Schumacher.  Then came the Renault-powered teams, with Vettel finishing the top five.  Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov were close together at the end of the session in sixth and seventh, with Webber bookending the Renault team drivers.  Alonso finished the session ninth fastest, with Adrian Sutil rounding out the top ten, and Kamui Kobayshi showing some improved pace from the Sauber.  The top eleven runners were within two seconds of Hamilton’s fastest pace.

Neither Ferrari was in top form,as had become usual (except Monaco, of course) during practice sessions for the 2010 season, with Alonso ninth and Massa thirteenth fastest.  Of the new teams, it was again Heikki Kovalainen and Lotus setting the fastest time, with Jarno Trulli nearly a full second behind his teammate.  Despite the fact that multiple drivers made use of the run-off areas in multiple places, the only serious incident occurred for Sutil in Turn 8 near the very end of the session.  He backed into the barriers and ripped off his front wing and nose.  It was unclear if he would get to run in the second practice later.  Bruno Senna was also replaced by HRT reserve driver Sakon Yamamoto for the session while teammate Karun Chandhok had a throttle issue, but still managed thirteen laps.

Practice 1 Times:

Driver Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton 1:28.653 20
2. Jenson Button 1:29.615 +0.962 21
3. Michael Schumacher 1:29.750 +1.097 24
4. Nico Rosberg 1:29.855 +1.202 25
5. Sebastian Vettel 1:29.867 +1.214 30
6. Robert Kubica 1:30.061 +1.408 23
7. Vitaly Petrov 1:30.065 +1.412 24
8. Mark Webber 1:30.097 +1.444 26
9. Fernando Alonso 1:30.294 +1.641 20
10. Adrian Sutil 1:30.601 +1.848 17
11. Kamui Kobayashi 1:30.615 +1.962 20
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi 1:30.853 +2.200 21
13. Felipe Massa 1:30.867 +2.214 22
14. Sebastien Buemi 1:31.011 +2.358 24
15. Pedro de la Rosa 1:31.238 +2.585 18
16. Nico Hulkenberg 1:31.355 +2.702 23
17. Rubens Barrichello 1:31.464 +2.811 19
18. Jaime Alguersuari 1:31.735 +3.082 27
19. Heikki Kovalainen 1:32.161 +3.508 24
20. Jarno Trulli 1:34.990 +4.337 23
21. Karun Chandhok 1:35.876 +6.223 13
22. Lucas di Grassi 1:35.137 +6.484 21
23. Timo Glock 1:35.583 +6.930 15
24. Sakon Yamamoto 1:36.137 +7.484 26

Practice 2:
McLaren again led the practice session, but with Button fastest and Hamilton fourth fastest.  Between them were the Red Bulls of Webber and Vettel in second and third, respectively, despite a late failure on Webber’s car.  Alonso finished out the top five, with Rosberg just outpacing Schumacher in the last ten minutes of a pretty standard Friday session, marked only by repeated offs at Turn 8 that took advantage of the run-off area there.

The session was relatively uneventful early on, with the drivers setting laps and having some minor off-track excursions on what seemed to be a greener-than-usual Istanbul circuit.  With twenty minutes in, the McLarens were still leading, though Button had closed the gap to his teammate, only two tenths slower rather than the nearly full second at the end of the first practice session.  Over at Red Bull, Webber was running sixth fastest, and “We’re changing a water pipe on Randy Mandy. Purely a precautionary change,” according to the team Twitter.  “Randy Mandy” just happens to be the name for Vettel’s new chassis, the team having determined that there was some flaw in his chassis that could have been causing his slower pace as compared to Webber recently.

Just under the hour to go mark, and Hamilton still led the timesheets, with Button, Vettel, Webber, and Kubica the fastest five, a half second between first and fifth.  Sutil finally headed out, having lost over a half hour to the repairs brought on by his practice 1 shunt.  All the runners, barring Hamilton, had improved the overall times from the first session.  Nico Hulkenberg, quietly running in thirteenth, had a “hydraulic leak on the Hulk’s car[that] stalled his session temporarily,” with fifty minutes left, according to the Williams Twitter account.

At the halfway mark, most of the drivers were in the garage for changes, though Trulli was stuck “with a damaged 3rd gear,” according to Mike Gascoyne on Twitter.  Massa had an uneventful off at Turn 8 around the same time, as both Ferrari’s were only in the top fifteen lap times.  At the top, Schumacher had displaced Kubica as fifth fastest.  Just after halfway, Vettel showed Randy mandy’s speed by displacing Hamilton at the top, beating both his practice 2 time to that point and his practice 1 time as well.  Vettel was soon supplanted by Button, as Alonso moved up from fourteenth to fourth on soft tires.  After having been sent out of soft tires as well, Massa was caught out again at Turn 8 with a half hour left.  He and the car were fine though the tires were destroyed.  Meanwhile, Webber had also moved up, taking over second fastest from Vettel.

With a half hour left in the session, Button led Webber, Vettel, Hamilton, and Alonso as the fastest five, with Schumacher in sixth the only other runner in the 1:28s.  Vettel’s water pressure dropped, possibly a cause of the previous water pipe change, or that change did not fix what it was meant to.  The fastest five remained unchanged with ten minutes left in the session and only eight drivers not out on the circuit.  With only five minutes left, Webber had backed (quite literally) his Red Bull off the circuit and down and escape road after an undetermined failure that could be engine or gearbox related.  He then spent what must have been a frustrating few minutes in a Laurel and Hardy sketch to get the marshals to secure the car and keep it from drifting backwards.  Webber still kept his second fastest position at the end of the session, though the men in the Red Bull garage looked quite worried.

Practice 2 Times:

Driver Time Gap Laps
1. Jenson Button 1:28.280 30
2. Mark Webber 1:28.378 +.098 24
3. Sebastian Vettel 1:28.590 +.310 27
4. Lewis Hamilton 1:28.672 +.392 32
5. Fernando Alonso 1:28.725 +.445 30
6. Nico Rosberg 1:28.914 +.634 22
7. Michael Schumacher 1:28.974 +.694 22
8. Robert Kubica 1:29.225 +.945 34
9. Vitaly Petrov 1:29.501 +1.221 36
10. Felipe Massa 1:29.620 +1.340 26
11. Adrian Sutil 1:29.629 +1.349 16
12. Nico Hulkenberg 1:29.987 +1.707 17
13. Kamui Kobayashi 1:30.053 +1.773 34
14. Pedro de la Rosa 1:30.176 +1.896 34
15. Sebastien Buemi 1:30.3886 +2.106 32
16. Vitantonio Liuzzi 1:30.627 +2.347 28
17. Rubens Barrichello 1:30.766 +2.486 32
18. Jaime Alguersuari 1:30.933 +3.653 37
19. Heikki Kovalainen 1:31.610 +3.330 37
20. Lucas di Grassi 1:33.013 +4.733 28
21. Jarno Trulli 1:33.081 +4.801 11
22. Timo Glock 1:33.312 +5.032 29
23. Bruno Senna 1:33.420 +5.140 35
24. Karun Chandhok 1:33.740 +5.460

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the information given

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