Hamilton crashes as Red Bull dominate practice
Friday 08 October 2010
Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber dominated today's practice for the Japanese Grand Prix, indicating they are the team to beat in Sunday's Formula One race.
Vettel, who won last year's race here, clocked an impressive time of 1 minute, 31.465 seconds around the Suzuka circuit in the second practice session — 0.395 seconds clear of championship leader Webber. Renault driver Robert Kubica was third fastest.
Vettel and Webber were also 1-2 in the first practice session.
"We had a trouble free Friday, which is the most important thing" Vettel said. "Especially at a track like this where you need to get into a rhythm with all the quick turns following each other."
Webber has an 11-point lead over Ferrari's Fernando Alonso in the drivers' standings and could take a big step toward securing the championship with a win on Sunday.
"The balance of the car feels good," Webber said. "It's a tough circuit with a lot of corners so you need to work out what the best priorities are for the best lap times."
Alonso, who won the previous two races in Italy and Singapore to move to second in the standings, was fourth-fastest — 0.897 seconds off the pace and just ahead of teammate Felipe Massa.
Lewis Hamilton, who crashed in the morning practice, returned with only eight minutes remaining in the second session, having to use the old rear wing, and finished 13th, two seconds slower than Vettel.
Hamilton's morning accident cost him most of the day's practice time, and came amid an error-ridden second half of the season for the English driver, who crashed out of the past two races.
"I was only on my second fast lap, and was probably pushing too hard too soon. I didn't go that wide — it wasn't that big an off — but the gravel was very slippery at that point," Hamilton said.
"A couple of other drivers had moments there and got away with it. But that's life."
Hamilton's McLaren teammate Jenson Button, who heads into Sunday's race still in contention for the championship, was sixth.
Michael Schumacher took eighth, three places ahead of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. The seven-time champion went wide at Degner bend to go out on the gravel late in the session but recovered without repeating Hamilton's contact with the tire barrier in the morning.
Rain has been forecast for Saturday's qualifying but Vettel said that shouldn't make his team any less competitive.
"There's no reason why we shouldn't be any less competitive in the wet," Vettel said. "The conditions have been quite inconsistent during all the wet races we've had so far so it's hard to know what everyone's pace will be."
Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns triumphs after The Rock returns to set-up Wrestlemania showdown with Brock Lesnar
Google trolls Tottenham with Oxford dictionary definition of 'lackadaisical'
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian who could grow into world-class defender
Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Floyd Mayweather ends the carnival this week and picks his next fight - but will it be Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Narendra Modi: Indian Prime Minister wears suit with pinstripes that spell his name to meet Barack Obama
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
30,000 reasons why the rhetoric on immigrants claiming benefits can stop now