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Practice Two - McLaren keep Red Bull honest in Malaysia 08 Apr 2011

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 8 April 2011 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari 150 Italia.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 8 April 2011 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 8 April 2011 Lotus Renault GP R31 brake detail.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 8 April 2011 Rubens Barrichello (BRA) Williams FW33.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 8 April 2011

Mark Webber continued to set the pace for Red Bull as practice resumed in Sepang on Friday afternoon, but this time his margin over McLaren was much smaller. The Australian lapped his RB7 in 1m 36.876s, but Jenson Button took the fastest times in the first two sectors on a lap of 1m 36.881s that left him just 0.005s adrift.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton was a further 0.129s behind on 1m 37.010s, with Sebastian Vettel fourth on 1m 37.090s after spending all morning doing KERS work on sets of Pirelli’s hard tyres.

Mercedes and Ferrari were once again disappointed with their pace. Michael Schumacher headed the pursuit for the former with 1m 38.088s from Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on 1m 38.089s and Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes on 1m 38.565s. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was an unhappy ninth with 1m 38.583s. Between him and Rosberg, Nick Heidfeld did a good job to put his Renault R31 eighth on 1m 38.570s. He missed a lot of the session, as did team mate Vitaly Petrov, as the team investigated what they now believe to have been front-suspension upright failures this morning rather than brake problems as first suspected.

Jaime Alguersuari was 10th for Toro Rosso on 1m 38.846s, ahead of Pastor Maldonado, who at one point displaced Hamilton from first place. The Venezuelan lapped his Williams FW33 in 1m 38.968s then went from hero to zero by crashing lightly into an advertising hoarding while coming into the pits, but later got going again.

Team mate Rubens Barrichello was right behind him on 1m 39.187s, ahead of Petrov on 1m 39.267s, the Saubers of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez on 1m 39.398s and 1m 39.603s, and the Force Indias of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil. The Scottish rookie again did a good job to lap in 1m 39.625s despite the valuable track time he lost to Nico Hulkenberg this morning, while the German had a costly off at one stage and could not better 1m 39.809s.

Sebastien Buemi took his Toro Rosso round in 1m 40.115s after sitting out the morning session, then Timo Glock pleased Virgin no end with 1m 40.866s which was a second better than Jarno Trulli’s best of 1m 41.890s for Lotus. The Italian’s team mate, Heikki Kovalainen, was only 23rd on 1m 44.886s, and they were separated by the improving HRTs of Narain Karthikeyan on 1m 43.197s and Tonio Liuzzi on 1m 43.991s. The Italian’s car stopped out on the circuit at Turn Nine at one stage, but he was able to bang in one quick lap once it had been recovered.

Jerome D’Ambrosio did not run, after his front suspension clevis pin failure this morning.

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