SUZUKA, Japan — Mark Webber put Red Bull to the top of the time sheets after the second practice session in at Suzuka Circuitland Friday afternoon, lapping his RB8 in 1m 32.493s to head McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton by 0.214s after the 2008 champion recorded 1m 32.707s.
“It was a nice change to get some good weather; it’s been the first dry weekend for a while,” said Webber. “We have plenty to go through this evening, it was a smooth one for us today and we completed all the runs we wanted to. It’s a challenging venue in terms of balance here, but the car ran well and we tested both tyres. We have areas where we can improve, mostly with the balance, so we have some work to do. Suzuka is a great track that’s remained untouched for a long time, it’s a classic.”
Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg were right with them, on 1m 32.836s and 1m 32.987s, respectively.
An action-packed session was halted for six minutes early on when Paul di Resta lost his Force India on the entry to the Spoon Curve after getting the right-rear wheel in the dirt, and later Michael Schumacher had exactly the same accident there in his Mercedes. Neither driver was hurt.
Behind the leading quartet, Fernando Alonso took fifth for Ferrari with 1m 33.093s from Lotus’s Romain Grosjean on 1m 33.107s, McLaren’s Jenson Button on 1m 33.349s, Williams’ Bruno Senna on 12m 33.499s, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on 1m 33.614s, Schumacher on 1m 33.750s, his team mate Nico Rosberg on 1m 33.866s, Perez on 1m 33.903s and Kobayashi on 1m 33.983s.