Practice Two - Hamilton leads McLaren one-two 14 Oct 2011
McLaren stamped their authority on the second practice session here in Korea on Friday afternoon, as an initially wet track slowly dried out but was never quite good enough to enable late improvements as drivers switched adventurously to the super-soft Pirellis.
Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button battled for superiority right from the start and shared the honours before Hamilton settled the issue with a lap of 1m 50.828s. Button was only 0.104s slower, however, with 1m 50.932s.
The fascinating thing about the session was the gap to Sebastian Vettel - he was 1.818s adrift of Hamilton, after taking his Red Bull round in 1m 52.646s to pip Ferraris Fernando Alonsos 1m 52.774s. Differing fuel loads most logically explain such a difference.
Mark Webber was fifth for Red Bull on 1m 53.049s, chased by Jaime Alguersuari on 1m 53.402s for Toro Rosso, Felipe Massa on 1m 53.707s for Ferrari and Nico Rosberg on 1m 53.914s for Mercedes.
Rosberg did not complete the session, after running into the side of Alguersuari as the Toro Rosso was released from the pit late exit just as the Mercedes arrived at the corner. The resultant collision left Rosberg to ski as far as Turn Two on his front wing, which had become lodged beneath his right-front wheel, while Alguersuari was able to return to the pits for bodywork repairs. Warning lights are expected to be used on the pit straight for the remainder of the weekend to alert drivers to cars leaving the pits.
Stewards investigated the incident, but decided to take no further action against Rosberg, citing the German's good record in Formula One and "extenuating circumstances involving the Pit Exit, the wet track and the telemetry which indicated the Driver of Car 8 [Rosberg] was on full braking from the time where he apparently noticed Car 19 [Alguersuari]. Rosberg was, however, fined 10,000, 5,000 of it suspended, for failing to report to the stewards in a timely fashion.
Behind them, Sebastien Buemi was ninth for Toro Rosso on 1m 53.948s and Paul di Resta continued his strong form for Force India with 1m 53.957s. Vitaly Petrov improved late to 1m 54.200s for Renault, to run ahead of Adrian Sutil in the second Force India who recorded 1m 54.392s. Rubens Barrichello moved up to 13th with 1m 54.831s for Williams, while the morning sessions hero, Michael Schumacher, could only manage 14th with 1m 54.965s.
Renaults Bruno Senna was one of many drivers to spin during a tricky session, the Brazilian taking 15th on 1m 55.187s ahead of Sergio Perez on 1m 55.203s in the lead Sauber and the Mexicans team mate Kamui Kobayashi, on 1m 55.544s.
Pastor Maldonado was 18th for Williams with 1m 56.067s, with Heikki Kovalainen again putting Lotus within spitting distance with 1m 56.669s. His partner, Jarno Trulli, was next up on 1m 57.173s, as Timo Glock regained Virgin honours from team mate Jerome DAmbrosio, 1m 58.269s to 1m 59.458s. Daniel Ricciardo was HRTs faster runner with 1m 59.958s, leaving Tonio Liuzzi as the only runner not below the 2m mark with 2m 00.165s.
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