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One Wall, Two Champions – And McLaren On Top

Off-track moments for two World Champions dominated the second 90-minute free practice session for Sunday’s 2011 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.

Off-track moments for two World Champions dominated the second 90-minute free practice session for Sunday’s 2011 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit.

With just under an hour of the session gone, Sebastian Vettel lost his Red Bull on entry to Turn 1 and was a passenger as the car slid into the barrier on the outside of the turn.

Happily for Red Bull the car lost most of its speed and it was a gentle broadside rather than a hard impact.
Double World Champion Vettel got out and lingered by the side of the track to watch the rest of the field – until Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari went off at almost exactly the same spot a quarter of an hour later.

The Spaniard, World Champion in 2005 and 2006, went in faster than Vettel and the car was backwards on impact, damaging its left rear suspension.

Alonso too got out unharmed but made straight for the pits. While Vettel was able to rejoin the action with eight minutes left, Alonso’s car could not be recovered in time.

A good day for McLaren saw Lewis Hamilton top the session with a best lap of 1:39.586 – just two-tenths off the fastest time ever here – ahead of teammate Jenson Button, who had been quickest in the opening practice.

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