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F1: McLaren fastest in Istanbul as Red Bull stutters

Red Bull showed how its biggest battle in the Turkish Grand Prix could be with itself after it experienced reliability problems that allowed McLaren to shut out both practice sessions.

Lewis Hamilton on-track in Turkey
Lewis Hamilton on-track in Turkey

Jenson Button, fastest in the second session, said the Red Bulls would still be the cars to beat in qualifying: “I don’t think qualifying tomorrow will be boring. There should be some good battles.


“The car feels reasonably good around here – there are still some areas where we’re not so strong, and the Red Bulls will once again be the cars to beat in qualifying tomorrow. I just hope we’re closer than we’ve been in the last two races.

“I think the Ferrari will be quick here too. It should be the top four teams that we normally see, and possibly Renault as well.”

Drivers’ world championship leader Mark Webber suffered a suspected engine failure towards the end of the second session that allowed Button to top the timesheet with a fastest time of 1:28.280. Vettel, in third, had also expressed reliability fears via the team radio.

In fourth was Lewis Hamilton, split from team-mate Button by the two Red Bulls, with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso fifth, Mercedes’ GP’s Nico Rosberg sixth and his team-mate Michael Schumacher seventh.

Renault’s Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov were eighth and ninth and Alonso’s team-mate Felipe Massa was tenth.

In the first session, Hamilton had recorded a fastest time of 1:28.653, keeping his team-mate and both Mercedes GP drivers behind him.

He said: “I have no doubts that tomorrow in qualifying the Red Bulls will pull out something extra, which they always seem able to do. We haven’t made too many changes to the car for this race, but we’ve got a chance this weekend, and I think we’ll be able to compete with them.”

The first Red Bull appearance in this slower session was in fifth place with Kubica and Petrov in sixth and seventh, Webber in eighth, Alonso ninth and Force India’s Adrian Sutil tenth despite an encounter with the barriers at Turn 8.

Massa was 13th while the two Williams cars clocked in at 16th and 17th after their problems in Monaco.

For Hispania former Super Aguri and Renault driver Sakon Yamamoto was in the car to provide some benchmarks for the team to judge their rookie race drivers’ performances.

However, Karun Chandhok was well over a second faster during the session and when Bruno Senna replaced Yamamoto in second practice the pair were more than two and half seconds quicker.

Practice two times

  1. Jenson Button, McLaren: 1:28.280
  2. Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:28.378
  3. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull: 1:28.590
  4. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:28.672
  5. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari: 1:28.725
  6. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP: 1:28.914
  7. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP: 1:28.974
  8. Robert Kubica, Renault: 1:29.225
  9. Vitaly Petrov, Renault: 1:29.501
  10. Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:29.620
  11. Adrian Sutil, Force India: 1:29.629
  12. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams: 1:29.987
  13. Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber: 1:30.053
  14. Pedro de la Rosa, BMW Sauber: 1:30.176
  15. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso: 1:30.386
  16. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India: 1:30.627
  17. Rubens Barrichello, Williams: 1:30.766
  18. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso: 1:30.933
  19. Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus: 1:31.610
  20. Lucas di Grassi, Virgin: 1:33.013
  21. Jarno Trulli, Cosworth: 1:33.081
  22. Timo Glock: Virgin: 1:33.312
  23. Bruno Senna, Hispania: 1:33.420
  24. Karun Chandhok, Hispania: 1:33.740

Practice one times

  1. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren: 1:28.653
  2. Jenson Button, McLaren: 1:29.615
  3. Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP: 1:29.750
  4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP: 1:29.855
  5. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull: 1:29.867
  6. Robert Kubica, Renault: 1:30.061
  7. Vitaly Petrov, Renault: 1:30.065
  8. Mark Webber, Red Bull: 1:30.097
  9. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari: 1:30.294
  10. Adrian Sutil, Force India: 1:30.501
  11. Kamui Kobayashi, BMW Sauber: 1:30.615
  12. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India: 1:30.853
  13. Felipe Massa, Ferrari: 1:30.867
  14. Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso: 1:31.011
  15. Pedro de la Rosa, BMW Sauber: 1:31.238
  16. Nico Hulkenberg, Williams: 1:31.355
  17. Rubens Barrichello, Williams: 1:31.464
  18. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso: 1:31.735
  19. Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus: 1:32.161
  20. Jarno Trulli, Lotus: 1:32.990
  21. Karun Chandhok, Hispania: 1:34.876
  22. Lucas di Grassi, Virgin: 1:35.137
  23. Timo Glock, Virgin: 1:35.583
  24. Sakon Yamamoto, Hispania: 1:36.137


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