Suzuka Practice 2: Webber fastest, Schumacher crashes

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB8. Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday 5 October 2012.

Mark Webber fastest on day one at Suzuka in the Red Bull RB8

Oct.5 (GP247) Mark Webber ended the first day of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend fastest of all, topping the timing screens at the end of the afternoon second free practice session which was packed with incidents including accidents for Paul di Resta and Michael Schumacher.

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday 5 October 2012.Webber, who has been out of sorts in the past few races, seems to have found his form around the challenging twists of Suzuka. The Red Bull driver ended the day with the best time of 1 minute 32.493 seconds, which was 0.214 seconds up on his closest rival.

Chasing was Lewis Hamilton in the Mclaren who ended the day second best, splitting the Red Bull duo as Sebastian Vettel clocked the third best time which was 0.343 seconds down on his pace setting teammate.

But the big talking points at the end of the ninety minutes were first Paul di Resta, five minutes into the session, and an hour later Michael Schumacher crashing at Spoon in almost carbon copy moments.

Di Resta got the right hand side wheels on the dirt, which caused the car to whiplash across the track and plough out of control into the tyre wall. Ditto Schumacher.

The car of Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05 is recovered to the pits after crashing in the second practice session. Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday 5 October 2012.For Di Resta it was a blow to his weekend as he missed out on crucial track time. Ditto Schumacher again! The six time winner of the Japanese GP not having a good to start to his last F1 race at the venue he knows so well.

On Nico Hulkenberg’s side of the Force India garage, the mood was more upbeat as the German showed a good turn of speed to claim the fourth fastest time.

World championship points leader Fernando Alonso gave an indication that he will be up near the front end when the chips are down, with the fifth best time, well within striking distance of Vettel, his closest rival for the title.

Romain Grosjean was sixth fastest, ahead of last year’s winner Jenson Button, who was quickest in the morning session but down in seventh at the end of the day in his McLaren. Button’s practice programme probably revolved around the fact that he will have a five place grid penalty on race day.

The car of Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05 is recovered to the pits after crashing in the second practice session. Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice, Suzuka, Japan, Friday 5 October 2012.Half a second down on his Ferrari teammate was Felipe Massa, ninth on the timing sheets and fractionally faster than fellow Brazilian Bruno Senna, who in turn got the better of his Williams teammate Pastor Maldonado who ended the day 15th fastest.

Before his off Schumacher had managed the tenth best time, which was faster than Nico Rosberg who lost the first half of the session as the Mercedes team sorted out an oil pressure problem which saw him coast to a halt in the earlier session. Rosberg ended up 11th fastest.

Just out of the top ten were the Sauber pair, who are expected to show well at Suzuka, with Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi 12th and 13th respectively.

The final drama of the day happened in the dying moments of the session, with Vitaly Petrov’s Caterham facing the wrong way on the outside of turn one missing a rear wing which was 50 meters away. It had somehow worked itself loose…

Subbed by AJN.

Japanese GP Free Practice 2, Suzuka – Friday, 5 October 2012

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:32.493 34
2 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.707 0.214 32
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:32.836 0.343 37
4 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:32.987 0.494 30
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:33.093 0.600 28
6 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:33.107 0.614 35
7 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.349 0.856 22
8 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:33.499 1.006 35
9 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.614 1.121 32
10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:33.750 1.257 13
11 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:33.866 1.373 19
12 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.903 1.410 36
13 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.983 1.490 33
14 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:34.291 1.798 12
15 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:34.300 1.807 33
16 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:34.863 2.370 32
17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:35.080 2.587 34
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:35.711 3.218 41
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:35.870 3.377 37
20 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:36.194 3.701 32
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:36.636 4.143 28
22 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:37.342 4.849 30
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:37.701 5.208 35
24 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes No time 2