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Vettel paces Shanghai practice sessions

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel claimed fastest time in both free practice sessions on the opening day of the Chinese Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel showed no signs of letting up the stranglehold he has placed on F1 so far in 2011, topping both free practice sessions on the opening day of the Chinese Grand Prix to mark himself out as favourite for victory on Sunday.

The German, having dominated the opening 90-minute session around the Shanghai International Circuit, returned to the top of the timesheets in the afternoon, albeit with a reduced margin over his nearest pursuer. Where that had been Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber during the early session, McLaren again provided the nearest opposition to RBR in the second, with Lewis Hamilton ended the day just over a tenth adrift of Vettel's 1min 37.688secs benchmark.

The Briton, and McLaren team-mate Jenson Button, both took turns to top the times - as they had in the morning - but ultimately lost out to the superior pace of the RB7, even though Webber was unable to give the Milton Keynes team another 1-2 after finishing only tenth fastest. Button was a tenth slower than Hamilton, as he had been during the morning session, while Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher showed improved pace after lunch to fill out the top five.

Between Schumacher and Webber came Felipe Massa, Adrian Sutil and Renault colleagues Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov, but there was no top ten place for Ferrari 'number one' Fernando Alonso, who struggled with hydraulic issues on the already troubled F150 Italia and had to settle for 14th, behind Kamui Kobayashi, Pastor Maldonado and Sebastien Buemi.

There were also woes for Paul di Resta, who was unable to capitalise on getting two Friday sessions for the first time in his F1 career when fuel pressure problems sidelined his Force India without a lap in the books, while the slippery surface accounted for a number of incidents, not least for Vettel, Kobayashi and Heidfeld, the German veteran suffering his second meeting with the barriers in as many sessions, albeit one he could this time recover from.

Jaime Alguersuari was 15th fastest, ahead of Rubens Barrichello, while Sergio Perez dropped from his lofty first session position of seventh despite taking over a second off his time.Team Lotus rounded out the top ten, with Heikki Kovalainen half a second off the Mexican and team-mate Jarno Trulli another second further back after taking over the second car from reserve Luiz Razia. Contrary to pre-race assertions from technical chief Mike Gascoyne, however, there was no appearance from test driver Davide Valsecchi.

Perhaps the surprise of the two sessions came from HRT, which managed to beat Virgin both before and after the midday break. While Tonio Liuzzi was only able to complete a single flying lap right at the end of the afternoon, he still took half a second off his previous base, but Narain Karthikeyan completed the entire 90 minutes and carved into his morning benchmark to end the day on 1min 42.902secs. Jerome d'Ambrosio and Timo Glock, meanwhile, wound up 22nd and 23rd in the second session - and 25th and 26th overall - after struggling with gremlins throughout.

To see the FP2 lap times in full, click here

To see the opening day's combined lap times in full, click here



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
09.04.2011- Qualifying, Vitantonio Liuzzi (ITA), Hispania Racing F1 Team, HRT
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1,Heikki Kovalainen (FIN), Team Lotus, TL11  , LEGAL NOTICE: THIS PICTURE IS NOT FOR CHINA
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1, Fernando Alonso (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari, F-150 Italia
09.04.2011- Saturday Practice, Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM04
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02 ,LEGAL NOTICE: THIS PICTURE IS NOT FOR CHINA
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26 , LEGAL NOTICE: THIS PICTURE IS NOT FOR CHINA
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1, Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 , LEGAL NOTICE: THIS PICTURE IS NOT FOR CHINA
07.09.2014 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10
07.09.2014 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
07.09.2014 - Race, Stefano Domenicali (ITA) and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
07.09.2014 - Race, Jean Todt (FRA), President FIA and Christian Horner (GBR), Red Bull Racing, Sporting Director
07.09.2014 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
07.09.2014 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
07.09.2014 - Race, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
07.09.2014 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
07.09.2014 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
07.09.2014 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10
07.09.2014 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB10

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Equin0x - Unregistered

April 15, 2011 12:43 PM

Haha some of you are deluded and just can't handle the fact Vettel is the fastest in F1, reliability is a lottery just like last year how many times did Vettel's car fail compared to Webber but none of you take that on board, speedwise in Malaysia Webber was a few tenths behind which reflects what the trend is even when Webber's on top form. Redbull can't afford to sabotage Webber or not take care of his car because the Wcc is too important, if they need a slower driver they'd get a slower driver.



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