Sebastian Vettel crashes in wet conditions in Turkey

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Jenson Button grabbed the spoils in a second practice session for Sunday's Turkish Grand Prix notable by the absence of Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel was forced to watch the 90-minute afternoon run from the Red Bull garage as his mechanics were unable to repair in time the car he smashed in the morning outing at the Istanbul Park circuit.

The 23-year-old paid the penalty for a rare mistake in what has so far been a near-perfect season with two wins and a second from his three poles in the opening three grands prix.

On a wet track, the first time rain has hit the circuit during a grand prix weekend since it made its debut in 2005, Vettel did nothing more than run a little wide on the exit of the infamous Turn Eight, a triple-apex left-hander that exerts forces of 5g on the body.

That was enough to send the Red Bull star spinning across the track before slamming into a barrier, severely damaging the front and right-hand side of his car.

It leaves Vettel with just 60 minutes of running in tomorrow's final session to acclimatise himself to the circuit before the qualifying showdown.

Although too much can never be read into Friday's times, McLaren at least appear to be in reasonable shape as Button and Lewis Hamilton finished first and third, separated by 0.577secs.

Button's best lap of one minute 26.456secs was a fraction quicker than Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes, with Hamilton then followed by Michael Schumacher as Mercedes locked out the top four spots.

Red Bull's Mark Webber was a steady fifth, and as always there is undoubtedly the suggestion of more to come from the reigning world champions, with the Australian 0.693secs adrift.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa was sixth and Vitaly Petrov in his Renault seventh, with Paul di Resta continuing his strong form in eighth for Force India.

On a track Di Resta had only previously seen in the simulator, the 25-year-old Scot was again faster than team-mate Adrian Sutil, on this occasion by 0.3secs with the German in 10th sandwiching Sergio Perez in his Sauber.

Fernando Alonso was 11th, suffering a hydraulics problem en route that led to him needing a push down the pitlane from the marshals before being collected by his mechanics.

The Williams duo of Pastor Maldonado and Rubens Barrichello also had issues, with the Venezuelan spinning into a barrier, whilst the veteran Brazilian suffered a water leak on his KERS power boost system.

The bottom four places were occupied by the two Virgin Racing cars of Jerome D'Ambrosio and Timo Glock and the Hispanias of Narain Karthikeyan and Vitantonio Liuzzi, with the quartet all recording times in the one minute 31s.