Michael Schumacher crashes during Japanese Grand Prix practice

 

Retiring Formula One great Michael Schumacher made an unwanted impact in second practice for the Japanese Grand Prix as Red Bull took the fight to McLaren at Suzuka.

Schumacher yesterday announced his decision to step down from driving at the end of the year, and had vowed to give his all to end his record-breaking career on a high.

But the German pushed a little too hard and made a costly error at Spoon Curve, dropping a rear wheel onto the grass and skidding into the barriers, eventually winding up 10th-fastest.

McLaren had enjoyed the better of the morning session with Jenson Button leading Lewis Hamilton at the top of the standings.

But Red Bull had not shown their hand in the earlier running, and they looked far stronger in the afternoon.

Mark Webber led the way with a lap of one minute 32.493 seconds to beat Hamilton by just over two-tenths of a second.

Sebastian Vettel, the closest man to championship leader Fernando Alonso in the standings, backed up his team-mate's showing with the third-fastest time.

Nico Hulkenberg raised hopes that Force India can follow up a strong showing in Singapore as he claimed fourth, but it was an awful session for his team-mate Paul Di Resta.

The Scot brought out the red flags early in the session, making the same error Schumacher would later replicate at Spoon Curve, ruling him out of the remainder of the 90 minutes of running and finishing bottom of the timesheets.

Alonso, trying to fend off a five-strong chasing pack in the title race, was fifth-fastest and Ferrari appear to once again be well shy of the pace of McLaren and Red Bull.

Sixth went to Romain Grosjean's Lotus while Button dropped back to seventh after topping the times earlier in the day.

Bruno Senna was eighth, having sat out the first practice session as reserve driver Valtteri Bottas was given some seat time, with Felipe Massa and Schumacher rounding out the top 10.

Nico Rosberg was 11th in the other Mercedes after an engine shutdown at the end of the morning running had forced a change of powerplant.

New McLaren signing Sergio Perez was 12th ahead of Sauber team-mate and home favourite Kamui Kobayashi, who had been as high as second.

It was also a disappointing session for Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn, third in the championship, missed the majority of the session after a KERS issue led his team to inform him his car was "unsafe".

After getting back out during the final moments of the session, he set the 14th-fastest time.

The session concluded with Vitaly Petrov having a scary moment in his Caterham, after the rear wing fell off as he approached the high-speed first turn, but the Russian was unhurt.

PA

News
Denny Miller in 1959 remake of Tarzan, the Ape Man
people
Arts and Entertainment
Cheryl despairs during the arena auditions
tvX Factor review: Drama as Cheryl and Simon spar over girl band

News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Angel Di Maria celebrates his first goal for Manchester United against QPR
Football4-0 victory is team's first win under new manager Louis van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
art
News
newsIn short, yes
Arts and Entertainment
Rob James-Collier, who plays under-butler Thomas Barrow, admitted to suffering sleepless nights over the Series 5 script
tv'Thomas comes right up to the abyss', says the actor
Arts and Entertainment
Calvin Harris claimed the top spot in this week's single charts
music
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Life and Style
Cara Delevigne at the TopShop Unique show during London Fashion Week
fashion
News
The life-sized tribute to Amy Winehouse was designed by Scott Eaton and was erected at the Stables Market in Camden
peopleBut quite what the singer would have made of her new statue...
Sport
England's Andy Sullivan poses with his trophy and an astronaut after winning a trip to space
sport
News
peopleThe actress has agreed to host the Met Gala Ball - but not until 2015
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories