2011 Chinese GP – Friday Practice 2 Results

Sebastian Vettel maintained his stranglehold over Friday practice for the Chinese GP, topping the times once again, but this time it was not a ludicrous 2 second margin as in the morning session. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was less than two tenths away, closely followed by his team mate Jenson Button. The Red Bull driver looked strong in all three sectors, but surprisingly, he was quicker than the McLarens in the second and third sectors, which indicates that the RB7 wont be a sitting duck on the back straight this weekend. Mark Webber was a distant 10th in the sister Red Bull.

McLaren were more or less on the same level as they were in Malaysia, but the DRS restrictions in the race may play into their hands. Jenson Button also demonstrated better race pace compared to his team mate, just as we saw in Malaysia. Ferrari had a hydraulic issue on Fernando’s car, limiting his running time severely, which meant that the Spaniard finished only 14th fastest. Massa was 8 tenths behind Vettel in 6th place. Although the cars much more competitive with a heavier fuel load, their one-lap pace is still quite poor.

Mercedes were the surprise of the session, with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher posting 4th and 5th fastest laps, looking very strong throughout the session. Rosberg set the pace early on, and was bettered only in the later runs of the McLaren drivers and Vettel. The team was just four tenths behind the leading car, which is encouraging. The drivers admit that the Silver Arrow is way behind the top teams on the longer runs, but they are looking to improve steadily. Once again Renault made it into the top 10, while Adrian Sutil was impressive with the 7th fastest time.

Down the order there was much joy for the Hispania team after both their drivers outpaced the Virgin cars by more than a second. Glock has been largely apprehensive this weekend, citing the car may not qualify for the race, and if anything, HRT’s performance makes that all the more convincing.

Here the results :


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