Red Bull showed eye-catching pace in the second practice session at Suzuka.
But McLaren’s performance over longer stints suggests they aren’t far behind and they were quickest through the twisty first sector.
Here’s all the data from the second practice session.
Longest stint comparison
- Lewis Hamilton said he wasn’t concerned about Red Bull appearing to be quicker over long runs as he believed they run with less fuel in practice.
- As we don’t know what fuel loads the cars run, we can compare how their lap times change over a stint to get an idea of their performance over a stint. By this measure, Jenson Button seemed to do better than Hamilton. The Red Bull pair were evenly matched, but Button’s pace indicates the McLarens may be able to race with them. However, set-up changes and track evolution will alter the picture between now and Sunday.
- Ross Brawn acknowledged this could be another race where tyre degradation is significant: “It’s clear that tyres will be a major factor in the race on Sunday.”
This chart shows all the drivers’ lap times (in seconds) during their longest unbroken stint:
|Paul di Resta||101.564||101.141||102.467||101.289||101.168||101.588||102.187|
Ultimate lap times
An ultimate lap is a driver’s fastest three sector times combined.
- Hamilton was among the drivers who did not get a clear lap in on soft tyres. He was the fastest driver through the first sector, a mere two-thousandths of a second up on his team mate.
- Button was fastest in sector two and Fernando Alonso was quickest through the short final sector.
Complete practice times
- Paul di Resta gave some insight into Force India;s set-up approach: “Both cars ran with different programmes and looking at the feedback it seems like the route taken with Adrian?óÔé¼Ôäós car is probably the better way forward for the rest of the weekend. Also, I spent a lot of the day fighting the rear and that was partly due to the tyres going away quite quickly ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ which was the case for both the medium and soft tyres.”
- Sebastien Buemi is encouraged by Toro Rosso’s pace which was noted here earlier: “It?óÔé¼Ôäós a bit early to talk about car performance, but if you compare today to Singapore, where we were at the back of our group, today we seem to be ahead of all of them with the exception of Petrov. The car is better suited to this type of track, but we still need to wait and see how qualifying goes tomorrow, as it will be a tight fight.”
- Red Bull appear to be running less downforce than their rivals and this is reflected in the speed trap.
|1||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull||Renault||309.8|
|2||19||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||Ferrari||309.7||0.1|
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||Renault||309.7||0.1|
|5||18||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso||Ferrari||307.3||2.5|
|16||15||Paul di Resta||Force India||Mercedes||300.4||9.4|
|18||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India||Mercedes||300||9.8|
2011 Japanese Grand Prix
- Rate the race result: 2011 Japanese GP
- Kobayashi greets the fans, Vettel does doughnuts: Suzuka videos
- Hamilton did not have a puncture at Suzuka
- 2011 Japanese Grand Prix: complete race weekend review
- Vote for your Japanese Grand Prix driver of the weekend
- Red Bull: Conservative approach delivers Vettel’s title
- McLaren: Button pleased to win on ‘Red Bull track’
- Ferrari: Alonso edges Vettel for second
- Mercedes: Schumacher closes on Rosberg’s tally
- Renault: Petrov makes progress, Senna slips back
Image ?é?® Red Bull/Getty images