Jenson Button maintained McLaren’s stranglehold of the timesheets, as the reigning world champion topped the second practice session for the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix.
The British driver headed the field during an interesting session which saw plenty of drama throughout.
Mark Webber improved on his time in First practice to set the second fastest time. However, with four minutes to go Red Bull’s unreliability reared its ugly head when the Australian stopped out on track with a suspected engine failure.
Although the engine may well be one used previously, Webber’s misfortune will offer a glimmer of hope to Red Bull’s rivals, who had feared that the Milton Keynes-based team would run away with this weekend’s proceedings.
Team-mate Sebastian Vettel was third with Lewis Hamilton continuing his good form in fourth.
The session itself started slowly with the team’s once again attempting to dial their cars into the demanding anti-clockwise track. As a result, the first half of the session was rather symmetrical with, two McLarens, heading two Red Bulls, Mercedes, Renaults, Saubers and Force Indias all in formation.
The second half of the session would prove more variable with Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes the first to set a competitive time. However, the German would not remain at the top of the order for long as with around forty minutes to go his effort was bettered by McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and then by Sebastian Vettel – who topped the times with a 1:28.590.
Thereafter the session soon became a battle between Red Bull and McLaren, with all four drivers displaying ominous pace.
Vettel time was soon eclipsed around ten minutes later by team-mate Mark Webber, with Jenson Button then going some way to lower the bar with a low 1:28.280.
Felipe Massa struggled throughout the session, making a number of mistakes around turn eight. The most dramatic saw the Brazilian completely destroy the set of tyres that he was running on and forced him to creep back to the pits. As a result, the Brazilian could only manage tenth – five places behind his team-mate Fernando Alonso.
In the searing heat of Instanbul, the drivers were soon complaining about the strain of which the conditions were having on their cars and to themselves physically. One example of this was Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi who radioed to his team to explain that his tyres had worn away badly and that his neck had gone. The Swiss driver will be hoping to overcome these issues if he is to be able to complete the gruelling challenge which awaits him on Sunday.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Button McLaren 1:28.280 30 2. Webber Red Bull 1:28.378 + 0.098 24 3. Vettel Red Bull 1:28.590 + 0.310 26 4. Hamilton McLaren 1:28.672 + 0.392 32 5. Alonso Ferrari 1:28.725 + 0.445 30 6. Rosberg Mercedes 1:28.914 + 0.634 22 7. Schumacher Mercedes 1:28.974 + 0.694 22 8. Kubica Renault 1:29.225 + 0.945 34 9. Petrov Renault 1:29.501 + 1.221 36 10. Massa Ferrari 1:29.620 + 1.340 26 11. Sutil Force India 1:29.629 + 1.349 16 12. Hulkenberg Williams 1:29.987 + 1.707 17 13. Kobayashi Sauber 1:30.053 + 1.773 34 14. de la Rosa Sauber 1:30.176 + 1.896 34 15. Buemi Toro Rosso 1:30.386 + 2.106 32 16. Liuzzi Force India 1:30.627 + 2.347 28 17. Barrichello Williams 1:30.766 + 2.486 32 18. Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:30.933 + 2.653 37 19. Kovalainen Lotus 1:31.610 + 3.330 37 20. di Grassi Virgin 1:33.013 + 4.733 28 21. Trulli Lotus 1:33.081 + 4.801 11 22. Glock Virgin 1:33.312 + 5.032 29 23. Senna HRT 1:33.420 + 5.140 35 24. Chandhok HRT 1:33.740 + 5.460 25