Second practice: Button fastest in the dry
McLaren and Mercedes come out on top, whilst Sebastian Vettel has to sit out second practice for the Turkish Grand Prix.
After a rainy morning in Istanbul, the second afternoon session remained dry and the teams could finally use the upgrades, which they had prepared for Europe. However, Sebastian Vettel was sidelined after his car was damaged in a major smash during first practice, and his mechanics were unable to get it repaired in time.
In the world champion's absence, it was Jenson Button, who posted the first best time in the dry in Turkey this year.
Mercedes GP also performed well at the session openers in Istanbul Park. Nico Rosberg was only 65 thousandths behind the British driver in second place, and Michael Schumacher came home in fourth position just 0.607 of a second down; the F1-record-world champion and his car survived a spin unscathed. McLaren's number two driver Lewis Hamilton split the two Germans.
A relatively cautious Mark Webber had to content himself with fifth place on Friday afternoon, after losing around seven tenths of a second to Button. There was also a Ferrari in the top group in the guise of Felipe Massa, but the Brazilian driver was almost eight tenths of a second adrift of the fastest time. Team-mate Fernando Alonso suffered some difficulties during the session.
The Spanish driver struggled with hydraulic problems, resulting in long stays in the pits. He also spun 40 minutes before the end of the session – possibly because of problems with hydraulics – and in the end, could only make it to the pit lane. He then had to be pushed, because the Ferrari's engine had died. Alonso was eleventh.
Vitaly Petrov, Paul di Resta, Sergio Perez and Adrian Sutil managed to come home ahead of the Spanish driver to finish in the top 10.