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

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
books
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Life and Style
3D printed bump keys can access almost any lock
gadgets + techSoftware needs photo of lock and not much more
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100
News
The slice of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding cake and the original box from 29 July 1981
newsPiece of Charles and Diana's wedding cake sold at auction in US
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
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

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Chosen to lead the women's wing of the ruling Zanu-PF, the wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding the 90-year old
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model of a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution