Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Practice Two - Button keeps McLaren ahead in Japan 07 Oct 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 7 October 2011 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, 7 October 2011 Renault's Senna loses control and drifts through a gravel trap Barrichello runs wide and clips the grass

McLaren’s Jenson Button continued to lead the field, after a change in track conditions towards the end rendered Friday afternoon’s hour and a half-long second practice session at Suzuka somewhat inconclusive.

After the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had set the pace after displacing the McLarens before being overcome by Mark Webber’s Red Bull, Button put on a set of soft-compound Pirellis and lapped in 1m 31.901s, which left him 0.174s faster than Alonso’s similarly equipped best of 1m 32.075s and Sebastian Vettel’s third-fastest 1m 32.095s.

Webber remained close, with 1m 32.147s, while Massa ended fifth on 1m 32.448s ahead of the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher on 1m 32.710s and Nico Rosberg, on 1m 32.982s.

Lewis Hamilton in the second McLaren had a frustrating time. He equalled Button’s best first sector time, but could never put the rest of the lap together as a drop in track temperature, from an initial 38 to 29 degrees Celsius, left the surface very slippery.

Kamui Kobayashi demonstrated just how bad it was when he got his Sauber very sideways in 130R, before gathering it all up and carrying on as if nothing had happened. His afternoon ended with 16th place on 1m 36.038s.

Vitaly Petrov continued to give Renault encouragement with ninth-best time of 1m 33.446s, chased by Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso on 1m 33.681s, team mate Jaime Alguersuari on 1m 33.705s, Adrian Sutil on 1m 33.790s for Force India, Sergio Perez’s Sauber on 1m 34.393s, Bruno Senna’s Renault on 1m 34.557s and Paul di Resta’s Force India on 1m 34.601s. Senna had a spin in Turn One, but managed to get going again.

It was another rough session for Williams; Rubens Barrichello crashed at the hairpin, and Pastor Maldonado rolled to a halt. They were classified 17th and 21st respectively, on 1m 37.123s and 1m 38.387s. Ahead of the Brazilian was Heikki Kovalainen on 17th for Lotus on 1m 36.225s, while the Virgins of Timo Glock (1m 37.440s) and Jerome D’Ambrosio (1m 38.093s) separated him from his team mate.

Daniel Ricciardo was the faster HRT again on 1m 38.763s after team-mate Tonio Liuzzi’s car stopped out on the track leaving the Italian 24th on 1m 42.480s. In between them, an unhappy Jarno Trulli posted 1m 39.800s in the second Lotus.

For tickets and travel to 2011 Formula One races, click here.
For Formula One and F1 team merchandise, click here.