Mark Webber tops practice at Silverstone

Speedcafe.com

Saturday 10th July, 2010 - 8:23am

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Mark Webber at the Silverstone 'Arena' circuit

Mark Webber at the Silverstone 'Arena' circuit

Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber emerged fastest from an action-packed opening day of practice at the British Grand Prix, as drivers learnt Silverstone’s new Arena layout.

Webber ended the day over six-tenths of a second faster than team-mate Sebastian Vettel, with the two Red Bulls split by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.

The Australian reported that he was happy with his day’s work, despite it being cut short when an electrical problem halted his RB6 with 15 minutes of Practice 2 remaining.

“A pretty good day apart from the electrical problem at the end, which was a shame – we lost a few laps,” he said.

“I think a few of the other teams were sandbagging a bit, but we’re happy with our programme and looking forward to qualifying. The new section of the track is pretty difficult, but they got it right I think – it’s a good challenge for the drivers.”

Earlier, Practice 1 had seen Vettel on top from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Renault’s Robert Kubica.

Hamilton provided much excitement for his local fans across the day, repeatedly throwing away potentially quick laps with mistakes on the circuit’s new section.

The Abbey corner, which is now a right-hander rather than a left, proved particularly challenging, with a distinct bump at the apex of the corner forcing drivers to revise their predictions of it being able to be taken flat-out.

The McLaren drivers were running with a Red Bull-style ‘blown exhaust’ for the first time at Silverstone, and ended Practice 2 down in eighth (Hamilton) and 13th (Button).

Button, who is yet to win his home Grand Prix, admitted that his team have considerable work to do if they are to match Red Bull Racing.

“Our day was a little trickier than we’d expected,” he said.

“I couldn’t get a set-up with the new package. We improved through the day, but there’s still a lot of work to do, and we’re not where we want to be with the balance yet.

“As always, the Red Bulls look very fast, and it’s going to be tough to challenge them.”

Ferrari spent the day switching between the ‘standard’ and ‘blown’ rear wings on both of their cars.

With engineer Chris Dyer reporting a positive performance from the blown wing, Alonso was in an upbeat mood at day’s end.

“I expected to be competitive because our car is much better than it was at the Turkish Grand Prix, which was the last time we raced at a track with similar characteristics to this one,” he said.

“As expected, Red Bull is very strong and therefore the big favourite for tomorrow’s qualifying and behind them, we will fight it out with McLaren, Renault and maybe also Mercedes.”

For Australian television viewers, Formula One qualifying will be shown 9:50pm on ONE HD (Check your local guides for details).

Practice 1 times

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:32.280 22
2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.614 0.334 16
3 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:32.725 0.445 21
4 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:32.747 0.467 23
5 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.968 0.688 18
6 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:33.318 1.038 21
7 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:33.377 1.097 19
8 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.519 1.239 20
9 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:33.955 1.675 18
10 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:34.016 1.736 17
11 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:34.132 1.852 21
12 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:34.365 2.085 22
13 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:34.490 2.210 20
14 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:34.580 2.300 22
15 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.710 2.430 16
16 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.901 2.621 17
17 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:35.037 2.757 21
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:35.318 3.038 27
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:36.747 4.467 16
20 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:37.330 5.050 11
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:37.518 5.238 15
22 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:38.735 6.455 21
23 18 Fairuz Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth 1:39.510 7.230 11
24 21 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:39.673 7.393 27

Practice 2 times

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:31.234 15
2 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:31.626 0.392 26
3 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:31.875 0.641 25
4 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:32.099 0.865 25
5 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:32.166 0.932 29
6 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:32.660 1.426 28
7 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:32.745 1.511 29
8 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:32.757 1.523 22
9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:32.787 1.553 27
10 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:32.967 1.733 33
11 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:33.019 1.785 30
12 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:33.164 1.930 29
13 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:33.200 1.966 24
14 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.402 2.168 23
15 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:33.728 2.494 27
16 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:33.836 2.602 36
17 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.051 2.817 29
18 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:34.643 3.409 36
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:35.465 4.231 25
20 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.237 5.003 24
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:36.553 5.319 21
22 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1:37.019 5.785 27
23 21 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:38.303 7.069 32
24 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:42.901 11.667 3

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