Spanish GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Red Bulls still on top in Spain
Red Bull Racing still appears to be the team to beat as Sebastian Vettel (1:19.965) and Mark Webber (1:20.175) set the pace on the opening day of free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, round five of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
With most teams introducing their first significant car updates at Barcelona, there is always a degree of anticipation as to whether any of the changes have made a fundamental change to the hierarchy. Although Fridays can be misleading, with teams running different fuel loads and programmes, first evidence is that Red Bull's dry weather pace is as strong as ever, but that Michael Schumacher's revised Mercedes appears to be a step forward with the seven times champion 'best of the rest' and quicker than team mate Nico Rosberg for the first time this season.
"It's similar for all the teams at the top," Vettel said. "You try to at least stay where you are if not make a step forward, so we have new parts. I had a haircut. I saw Fernando had one too but I had a bigger chop than him, so our hope our car has also made more progress than his!"
Schumacher's 1:20.757 lap was third quickest of the day, with Alonso recording 1:20.819 in the first of the Ferraris. Lewis Hamilton had his quick lap on Bridgestone's option tyre interrupted by Rubens Barrichello's Williams and ended up fifth fastest (1:21.191).
Robert Kubica's Renault (1:21.202) finished the day just a hundredth down on Hamilton as just 0.17s covered fifth through ninth position. Nico Rosberg's Mercedes finished up seventh (1:21.271), ahead of Felipe Massa with the second Ferrari (1:21.302) and Jenson Button's McLaren (1:21.364). Adrian Sutil's Force India completed the top 10 (1:21.518).
The second session was red-flagged after 25 minutes when Nico Hulkenberg lost control of his Williams-Cosworth exiting Turn 9, spearing across the track and into the tyre barrier, taking off the car's nose in the process. The German jumped out unhurt but took no further part in the session.