F1 Nurburgring FP2 Results & Report: Webber In Control, Button has Difficulties


What Happens When It’s Still (Shockingly) Dry

9:43am EST — Mark Webber (1:31.711) was fastest in the Friday afternoon session for the 2011 German Grand Prix weekend, leading Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, and Michael Schumacher as the top five in the cool conditions at Nurburgring. Though rain appeared to threaten and a few drops fell, the session remained dry throughout. Many drivers coul dhave used some extra rallying skills as they took an excursion off track at Turn 5, though none were particularly damaged. Daniel Ricciardo lost an engine early in the session, while Sebastien Buemi did not set a time after an incident in the first session. Jenson Button was unable to go faster than eleventh after a mechanical issue ended his session early.

Alonso (1:31.894) was the fastest man in the cool but dry Friday morning practice, leading Webber, Vettel, Massa, and Hamilton as the fastest five in that mainly uneventful session. Most teams had their drivers out for long runs and lots of laps with rain forecast to fall periodically throughout the weekend and dry running something of a foreign operation in the recent part of the season. Though a couple of drivers had excursions through the gravel (with Schumacher going so far as to wave at the fans as he continued on), only Buemi got his car stuck. At the end of the session, the Swiss driver got a wheel into the dirt and bounced his was across some tarmac and grass and into a gravel trap.

The sun seemed to be shining through the clouds occasionally for the start of the second ninety minute session, with Perez looking to lead everyone out, but allowing d’Ambrosio to actually be the first onto the track after the Mexican driver crossed the line before the light went green. As per usual, the first time in the afternoon session came quite quickly. Perez (1:42.634) set it just five minutes into the session, though he soon dropped to sixth as nine other drivers set times immediately thereafter. Just a few mintues later, Alonso (1:32.990) went to the top with his first timed lap. Hamilton and Vettel had gone second and third, respectively, as Ricciardo pulled off the track with a blown engine.

Just ten minutes in, only Buemi, Barrichello, Petrov, and di Resta had not set times. Alonso led Hamilton, Vettel, Heidfeld, Alguersuari, Kobayashi, Perez, Rosberg, Schumacher, and Maldonado as the fastest ten. Meanwhile, Mercedes radioed Rosberg to let him know that they’ve lost the telemetry and GPS data from his car, but to continue on driving. They soon had GPS back. Quickly, the order at the top looked just like the final times form the morning session, with Alonso leading Webber, Vettel, Massa, and Hamilton as the top five, fifteen minutes into practice. Alonso was back out for his first run on the softer tires, twenty minutes into the session, as Kobayashi slid into sixth fastest.

Though he was on those softer tires, Alonso did not better his time, one third of the way through the session. He still led Webber and Vettel, with Petrov, Massa, Hamilton, Perez, Kobayashi, Heidfeld, and Sutil the fastest ten. Buemi, despite three laps, had not posted a timed lap. Five minutes later, Massa (1:32.772) took the fastest lap from Alonso by two tenths while using the developmental soft tires. He proceeded to go faster yet on his next lap, just as Alonso did on those tires during his run on them in the morning session.

Word soon came from Toro Rosso that Buemi would not be setting a time in this session, having reported a misfire between sixteen and eighteen thousand RPM. Meanwhile, clouds had darkened the sky considerably and Petrov was terribly worried about rain, though the radar indicated that it would arrive only as early as the final fifteen minutes of the session. Williams also tweeted, “Light rain in the air reported on radio although it isn’t forecast to rain just yet.” Alonso also indicated that it had begun to rain lightly, though he had just switched to the softer tires.

Halfway through the session, Massa (1:32.466) still led, with Alonso, Webber, Petrov, Vettel, Hamilton, Alguersuari, Kobayashi, perez, and Sutil the fastest ten. Most drivers were back in the garage for halfway adjustments as Barrichello had a moment of his own, with a minor trip through the grass and back onto the track. Alonso (1:31.879) next went to the top of the timesheets, taking nearly six tenths off Massa’s time and almost matching his time from the morning session. Hamilton moved up to third on the softer tire. Though Alonso looked to improve his time on the second hot lap on those softer tires, he destroyed his time with a small trip through the gravel. Next to go fastest was Webber (1:31.770), just over a tenth faster than the Ferrari, while Schumacher went fourth fastest and di Resta moving well up to sixth from seventeenth. Webber improved his own time on the second hot lap on the soft tires, but by less than a tenth.

Webber still led with a third of the session remaining, followed by Alonso, Massa, Schumacher, Rosberg, Hamilton, Sutil, di Resta, Petrov, and Vettel in tenth. The German had some issues on his first timed lap on the softer tires, then set a personal best in the first sector on his next lap. Vettel went third fastest on that lap, just after Rosberg had a fast trip through the gravel. Button was down in seventeenth, but moved up to ninth on his first soft tire lap. Soon thereafter, Glock had his own rallying excursion through the grass and gravel while most of the field headed toward their garages with twenty-five minutes remaining.

Though it had appeared that rain was about to spoil the end of the session with the mad dive for the garages, most drivers were back out with twenty minutes to go. Five minutes later, word came that Button, who had not used his KERS on his single quicker run, would not return to the track as he had a mechanical (though not KERS, according to the team) issue. Meanwhile, Webber still led Alonso, with Vettel, Massa, Schumacher, Rosberg, Hamilton, Petrov, Sutil, and the beleaguered Button completing the top ten. Only Petrov, Heidfeld, and Buemi were in the garage with him with fifteen minutes to go. Alonso did have a possibly fast lap disturbed as he attempted to pass Schumacher when the German did not leave room, forcing Alonso to the grass to continue on.

The order had not changed five minutes later, though Alonso had not come in when the team indicated he would on the radio. He did so on the next lap, for a new set of the harder tires in the final minutes of the second practice. Hamilton also pitted in the final moments, getting a new set of the softer tire. In the end, the top five remained in the same order and with the same times, setting off for some practice starts after the checkered flag flew.

Final Times for FP2, 2011 German Grand Prix:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:31.711 34
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:31.879 +0.168 38
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:32.084 +0.373 28
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:32.354 +0.643 36
5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:32.411 +0.700 31
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:32.557 +0.846 32
7. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:32.724 +1.013 28
8. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:33.098 +1.387 17
9. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:33.138 +1.427 22
10. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:33.211 +1.500 34
11. Jenson Button McLaren 1:33.225 +1.514 17
12. Paul di Resta Force India 1:33.299 +1.588 34
13. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:34.113 +2.402 34
14. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:34.344 +2.633 34
15. Jaime Alguersurai Toro Rosso 1:34.487 +2.776 37
16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:34.491 +2.780 35
17. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:34.996 +3.285 35
18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:35.753 +4.042 42
19. Timo Glock Virgin Racing 1:36.940 +5.229 32
20. Karun Chandhok Lotus 1:37.248 +5.537 33
21. Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin Racing 1:37.313 +5.602 33
22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT 1:38.145 +6.434 31
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1:40.737 +9.026 5
24. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso no time no time 3
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2 Comments

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