Jenson Button, McLaren, Suzuka, 2011

Button stays on top at Suzuka

2011 Japanese GP second practice

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Suzuka, 2011
Button was quickest in both sessions on Friday

Jenson Button was fastest again in the second practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Three different cars occupied the top three places with Fernando Alonso second for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull.

Mark Webber was fourth fastest ahead of Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher was struggling with rear tyre grip towards the end of the session and had an off-track moment at the first corner.

Several incidents during the session made life difficult for drivers trying to set laps on the soft tyres.

One of the first drivers to go off was Bruno Senna, who lost control of his Renault at turn one.

He skidded across the tarmac run-off and into the gravel on the outside of the corner. Fortunately he kept the engine running and was able to continue.

Rubens Barrichello was not so lucky when he lost control of his car at the entry to Degner. He touched the grass on the way into the corner and spun into the barrier.

It was a double blow for Williams as Pastor Maldonado pulled over at the corner shortly afterwards with an apparently technical problem.

The most lurid moment of the session came when Kamui Kobayashi lost control of his car at 300kph going through 130R. Impressively he wrestled the Sauber away from the barrier at the inside of the corner and continued without damage.

Kobayashi had two other moments during the session, twice running wide at the Spoon Curve.

Vitantonio Liuzzi logged just four laps in his only practice session of the day before his HRT came to a stop.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGapLaps
14Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’31.90132
25Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’32.0750.17433
31Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’32.0950.19435
42Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’32.1470.24628
56Felipe MassaFerrari1’32.4480.54734
67Michael SchumacherMercedes1’32.7100.80926
78Nico RosbergMercedes1’32.9821.08127
83Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.2451.34426
910Vitaly PetrovRenault1’33.4461.54536
1018Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’33.6811.78033
1119Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’33.7051.80425
1214Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1’33.7901.88936
1317Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’34.3932.49235
149Bruno SennaRenault1’34.5572.65627
1515Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’34.6012.70033
1616Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’36.0384.13733
1720Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’36.2254.32435
1811Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’37.1235.22214
1924Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’37.4405.53930
2025Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’38.0936.19230
2112Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’38.3876.48616
2222Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’38.7636.86236
2321Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’39.8007.89924
2423Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’42.48010.5794

2011 F1 season


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Keith Collantine
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26 comments on “Button stays on top at Suzuka”

  1. I’m not usually a betting man, but I’d be willing put money on Lewis taking pole tomorrow. That or…Vettel, of course

    1. @mwoerne on what evidence? Lewis has been slower than button in both sessions, and as Ted Kravitz was saying this morning in 1st practise, his head is definitely not in the right place this weekend. He was insinuating that at one point, Lewis was almost in tears because of all the flaming he is getting.

    2. I hope so! He needs to do something to get his form back – pole would be a massive booster for Lewis

  2. A season where the race results resembled this years FP1 and FP2 results would be my ideal.

    1. But it that long-run pace of the Red Bulls is the true picture, that’s really unlikely.

  3. Jenson may be the fastest but it’s a bit discerning that the RBs are 1sec+ faster on the heaviest fuel load… McLaren will have to rein their lap times in on the heavy fuel load settings. They may be better of running the richest fuel mix to run the fuel down and then switch to lean towards the end of the race – but that depends on what position they will be in qualifying and during the start of the race. and of course RB would be looking to do the same with their fuel mixtures.

  4. I’m not usually a betting man, but I’d be willing put money on Lewis taking pole tomorrow. That or…Vettel, of course

    1. I think Seb is gonna take it (again) :(

      1. I think so as well but strangely there seems to be more of a battle here.

  5. Sound to me like Kobayashi is trying to rag as much out of the car as possible for his home race, hope he has a good one. Would like to see a video of him rescuing the car.

    1. @AndrewTanner It would make my year if Kobayashi and Sauber have another fantastic race here and score some solid points. I think it’s going to be tricky, but if anyone deserves to have a bit of good luck in these final few races it’s Sauber and Kobayashi. Especially considering what the Japanese people have faced this year.

      1. They have been rather quiet recently so I would also welcome some decent points. @magnificentgeoffrey

    2. I am fully with you there Andrew! I had a look, but couldn’t find any footage so far.

  6. the midfield battle gonna be interesting tomorrow and hope that mclaren maintains its pace enough to beat vettel.

  7. Should say Mark Webber fourth fastest ahead of Massa, Schumacher :)

  8. Mercedes really are in no man’s land. But I hope and guess it will be thight between Nico and Michael.

    1. Interestingly Mercedes’ heavy fuel load pace is similiar to that of McLaren’s at the moment.

      1. Okay, how do you know exactly on what fuel load they’re running?

        1. If you’re lapping in the 1.36-1.37 range, you’re definitely on high fuel load. What he means is that the pace in whatever heavy configuration load they tried is similar.

        2. Was following the FP2 commentary. They all seemed to do a longer pit with about 18mins of the session to go, then when they all came back out again no one were beating their fastest times, in fact, similiar to what Stefanauss said, they were lapping in the 1.38s and 1.39s – so they would’ve been simulating their heavy fuel loads.

  9. Ferrari looks not bad as always. but I expect they will struggle as always…

    1. it looks not bad because it’s in the hand of fernando
      qualifying tomorrow:
      1-Vettel
      2-Hamilton
      3-Button
      4-Webber
      5- Alonso

      and always we will see a grate start from alonso & a bad start from Webber

      1. Well, I expect it either but Webber would repass him easily.

        1. Think we will see a grid like Signapore. I’ll go for

          1. Vettel
          2. Webber
          3. Button
          4. Hamilton
          5. Alonso

  10. I was watching the timing during the longer runs, and Red Bull are absolutely dominant through sector 1.

    Its hard to tell how much fuel all of the teams were running, but Red Bull (particularly Webber’s) long distance pace was very impressive.

  11. Button is absolutely giving 100% for the championship.Mercedes is finding some pace in the fast flowing tracks.Seems like quali will be fun tomorrow.

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