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Practice Two - Button edges out Rosberg in Istanbul 06 May 2011

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26 looks at FanVision.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Turkish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Friday, 6 May 2011 Alonso spins, recovers, but then crawls back to the pit lane with apparent technical issues The sun beats down on the currently sole running Red Bull of Webber Di Resta looks to be outperforming his team mate Maldonado suffers a series of spins through Turn Eight

Jenson Button headed the second practice session at Istanbul Park on Friday afternoon, after the rain had dried up and left conditions cool but dry.

The 2009 champion lapped in 1m 26.456s, 0.065s ahead of Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and 0.577s ahead of McLaren team mate Lewis Hamilton; the latter duo lapped in 1m 26.521s and 1m 27.033s respectively. Michael Schumacher had another spin, but was close to Hamilton with 1m 26.063s, as Mercedes’ form carried over from China.

So where were Red Bull? Mark Webber focused mainly on long distance running but was fifth on 1m 27.149s, while team mate Sebastian Vettel sat out the entire session as his RB7 was rebuilt after this morning’s costly error.

Felipe Massa was again the faster Ferrari driver with 1m 27.340s, but Fernando Alonso had a tough time, first with a half spin and then with a mechanical problem immediately afterwards which brought him to a halt in the entry to the pit lane. He was 11th on 1m 28.069s.

Vitaly Petrov was the faster of the Renault drivers with 1m 27.517s for seventh, with Nick Heidfeld only 13th on 1m 28.475s. Between them, Paul di Resta continued his great form at Force India with 1m 27.725s for eighth ahead of Sauber’s Sergio Perez on 1m 27.844s, Adrian Sutil on 1m 28.052s for Force India, and Alonso.

Behind the Spaniard, and 12th overall, came Sebastien Buemi on 1m 28.153s, and Toro Rosso team mate Jaime Alguersuari was 14th on 1m 28.765s. Pastor Maldonado was again off the road a lot, finally crashing his Williams into the outer wall on the exit to Turn Eight, having recorded a best of 1m 28.828s. Team mate Rubens Barrichello was 16th on 1m 28.946s.

Lotus continued their upward trend with Jarno Trulli 17th on 1m 29.409s ahead of Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi’s on 1m 29.637s and team mate Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 30.281s.

Virgin vaulted ahead of the HRTs, but that relief was tempered when Jerome D’Ambrosio went faster in the standard car than Timo Glock did in the heavily upgraded MVR-02, 1m 31.035s to 1m 31.221s. At HRT, Narain Karthikeyan consistently outpaced partner Tonio Liuzzi this time, 1m 31.320s to 1m 31.989s.

Besides Schumacher and Maldonado, Alonso, Hamilton, Liuzzi, Karthikeyan, Alguersuari, Perez, Barrichello and Massa also found themselves exceeding the limits of grip on occasion.

How much some of the day’s performances were influenced by the fact that it was a Friday, and how much of a mountain Vettel has given himself to climb, remains to be seen.

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