Japanese Grand Prix 2012: Red Bull’s Mark Webber tops Friday practice

Japanese Grand Prix 2012: Red Bull's Mark Webber sets the fastest time across two practice sessions ahead of Sunday's race

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
mark webber
Mark Webber in action at Suzuka Photo: Getty Images, courtesy of Red Bull Racing

mark webber

Red Bull’s Mark Webber posted the quickest practice time across two sessions ahead of Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix, ahead of McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

The Australian’s 1m 32.493s knocked two full seconds off Jenson Button’s time of 1m 34.507s, which had topped the first session at Suzuka.

Hamilton, who is set to join Mercedes from next season, was second-quickest ahead of defending world champion Vettel.

“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.”

Hamilton was pleased with his day’s work after having posted the second-quickest time in both practice sessions.

“It has been quite a smooth day,” said Hamilton. “I love this circuit, so it has been really great fun.”

Vettel, who secured a second straight world title at this circuit last year with his third-place finish, added: “The car’s performing, but there are still some things we can improve.

“It was a bit nervous this morning, better this afternoon, but we need to make a step overnight.”

Japanese Grand Prix 2012: Combined practice times

1 Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 32.493s

2 Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 32.707s

3 Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 32.836s

4 Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 32.987s

5 Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 33.093s

6 Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 33.107s

7 Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 33.349s

8 Bruno Senna Brazil Williams-Renault 1m 33.499s

9 Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 33.614s

10 Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 33.750s

11 Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 33.866s

12 Sergio Perez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 33.903s

13 Kamui Kobayashi Japan Sauber-Ferrari 1m 33.983s

14 Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 34.291s

15 Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 34.300s

16 Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 34.863s

17 Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 35.080s

18 Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 35.299s*

19 Heikki Kovalainen Finland Caterham-Renault 1m 35.711s

20 Vitaly Petrov Russia Caterham-Renault 1m 35.870s

21 Timo Glock Germany Marussia -Cosworth 1m 36.194s

22 Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1m 36.389s*

23 Charles Pic France Marussia -Cosworth 1m 36.636s

24 Pedro de la Rosa Spain HRT-Cosworth 1m 37.342s

25 Narain Karthikeyan India HRT-Cosworth 1m 37.701s

26 Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1m 39.374s*

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