Red Bull dominate practice at Silverstone

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The Independent Online

Red Bull drivers Marc Webber and Sebastian Vettel posted the fastest times in each of today's practices for Formula One's British Grand Prix as McLaren's upgrades failed to produce instant signs of improvement.

Having produced a Red Bull one-two here at Silverstone last year, Vettel and Webber again go into Saturday's qualifying as the in-form team.

Webber set the fastest lap of the day in the afternoon session, completing the modified circuit in 1 minute, 31.234 seconds, while Vettel set the pace in the morning session by clocking 1:32.280

Following his spectacular accident in the European Grand Prix two weeks ago, Webber is using a chassis formerly used by Vettel.

Vettel won the Valencia race to go 12 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton and six behind world champion Jenson Button.

The priority for the McLaren team of Hamilton and Button on Friday had been to analyze the performance of its new exhaust blown diffuser, which aids downforce and increases grip — a device which has worked so well for Red Bull.

The parts arrived at McLaren's Silverstone garage only in the early hours of the morning — and are yet to deliver.

"It's a new package and we've got to do a lot of learning," McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh said. "I think we got a lot of useful information, now we have to use that information in a way to make the car quicker tomorrow."

The fastest time the world champion Button posted was 1:33.2 in the morning 90-minute session — more than a second behind Vettel.

Hamilton was only a third of a second off the pace with the second fastest morning time, but the 2008 world champion was more than 1.5 seconds behind Webber later in the day.

"I was actually surprised about the pace of the car this morning," Hamilton said. "The changes that we made to the car, setup wise, actually didn't make it better. Sometimes you find that's the case. So what we will do is go back to the setup we had earlier on."