Monaco GP - Thursday - Practice Session 2 Report
Alonso takes control as Lewis hits the wall
Fernando Alonso set the fastest time of the Formula 1 afternoon practice session in Monaco on Thursday, with a best lap of 1m15.940s in his McLaren-Mercedes. The lap was almost three-tenths faster than the best lap recorded by Kimi Raikkonen in his Ferrari.
It was a session with plenty of drama not least when Lewis Hamilton, who had been leading the way for McLaren, crashed into the tyres at the exit of the Ste Devote corner. It was a classic Monaco accident. As Hamilton went into the corner he had a little too much speed. He corrected a slide and that was enough to make it impossible for him to make the corner. At the time Lewis was trying to beat the fastest time set by Alonso. It was Hamilton's first major mistake of the year, at least since the racing began in Australia in March. It is unlikely that the crash will dent the confidence of the World Championship leader but the loss of track time may be more important, as Hamilton had a problem in the morning session and so did considerably less running than his Spanish team-mate in the course of the day.
Despite this Hamilton was still third overall, ahead of Jarno Trulli's Toyota and Giancarlo Fisichella in his Renault.
Trulli's effort was an impressive one. He is a mighty qualifier and seems much happier at Toyota now that his contract has been renewed. Fisichella's lap was a good one given that he had crashed in the morning session.
Felipe Massa was sixth in his Ferrari, but may not have been pushing to the ultimate limit. He ended up ahead of Robert Kubica in his BMW and Nico Rosberg in the Williams. Mark Webber was next up in his Red Bull Renault ahead of David Coulthard. DC started out badly with a spin in the hairpin after just 10 minutes of the 90 minute session.
Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button were next up ahead of the Super Aguri of Takuma Sato but Anthony Davidson was further down the order after sliding into the wall at Ste Devote just before Hamilton's accident. Also in trouble was Adrian Sutil, who had a spin in the corner after the Grand Hairpin and clonked the wall, bringing out a red flag.
Behind Sato was Nick Heidfeld, going much slower than one might expect in his BMW, but he was still ahead of Alexander Wurz, Tonio Liuzzi and Heikki Kovalainen. Finishing off the times were Scott Speed, Davidson, Ralf Schumacher (who crashed at the exit of the Swimming Pool at the end of the session), Christijan Albers and Sutil.