Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing dominated Friday practice for the British Grand Prix with Force India’s Adrian Sutil shining in the afternoon session to go third quickest.
“Overall I think it was a good day for both of us,” reflected Vettel, the driver best placed to challenge Jenson Button and Brawn GP this weekend.
“It was a smooth run through the programme. We were able to do a lot of laps and collect a lot of data.
“The new parts that we brought here seem to be working well, which is a good sign, but on a Friday it’s always difficult to know how quick we really are.”
Championship leader and home hero Jenson Button paced third quickest in the morning warm up but had a quiet session in the afternoon practicing long runs.
“We tried a few different evaluations with the aero today and initially struggled as I had no grip in either the high or low speed corners,” said the Brawn driver. “The wind also really affected the car’s performance today. We made improvements towards the end of the afternoon session so we have some good information to look at tonight to try and make further progress before qualifying.”
Lewis Hamilton gave his home crowd a glimmer of hope as he wrestled his ill-handling McLaren car to seventh place in the afternoon session.
“It s no secret that we re lacking speed in the faster sections,â€ Hamilton concluded. “But the car wasn t too bad today. The balance was good, we ve made some set-up changes and it now appears to be fairly consistent. But this has already turned out to be one of the best weekends of the year for me because I m at my home grand prix and the fans are incredible here I ve seen and felt their support from the very first lap I did today.
“It took a while to get used to the car this morning,â€ he said. “It feels a little different from what we ve been running in previous races. Generally, I m very happy with the balance but, with a revised car and on a high-speed circuit like this, it takes a bit longer than usual to find the limit.â€
Practice 2 Times
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:19.456 2 Mark Webber Red Bull 0:00.141 3 Adrian Sutil Force India 0:00.685 4 Kazuki Nakajima Williams 0:00.753 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 0:00.781 6 Rubens Barrichello Brawn 0:00.788 7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 0:00.961 8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 0:01.002 9 Nico Rosberg Williams 0:01.012 10 Nelson Piquet Renault 0:01.152 11 Robert Kubica BMW 0:01.166 12 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren 0:01.277 13 Timo Glock Toyota 0:01.306 14 Jenson Button Brawn 0:01.311 15 Nick Heidfeld BMW 0:01.476 16 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso 0:01.489 17 Felipe Massa Ferrari 0:01.549 18 Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen Ferrari 0:01.676 19 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India 0:01.957 20 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 0:02.212
Practice 1 Times:
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:19.400 2 Mark Webber Red Bull 0:00.282 3 Jenson Button Brawn 0:00.827 4 Rubens Barrichello Brawn 0:00.842 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 0:01.058 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 0:01.071 7 Jarno Trulli Toyota 0:01.185 8 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 0:01.250 9 Nico Rosberg Williams 0:01.415 10 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India 0:01.438 11 Adrian Sutil Force India 0:01.513 12 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren 0:01.629 13 Nick Heidfeld BMW 0:01.703 14 Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen Ferrari 0:01.779 15 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso 0:01.984 16 Timo Glock Toyota 0:01.986 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams 0:02.089 18 Nelson Piquet Renault 0:02.125 19 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 0:02.190 20 Robert Kubica BMW 0:02.401