Canadian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Vettel sets the Montreal pace
Sebastian Vettel (1:16.877) finished the first day of Canadian Grand Prix practice with the fastest time, taking his Red Bull RB 5 around the challenging 2.7-mile Circuit Gilles Villeneuve nine hundredths of a second faster than Fernando Alonso's Ferrari (1:16.963).
Team boss Christian Horner has already said that if the Red Bulls are on the pace in Canada he is confident that there won't be a track on the calendar where they are not competitive. The early indications are that Vettel, driving with an awesome confidence level that has taken him close to the walls throughout both free practice sessions, is going to be right in the fight for the Montreal pole.
Fridays can be misleading as teams concentrate on set-up and tyre data but the team looks well set to maintain its 100% monopoly of 2010 pole positions.
Brake performance and tyre graining have been two of the main concerns of today's sessions, with Nico Roberg (1:17.151) third quickest with the first of the Mercedes cars, ahead of Mark Webber (1:17.273) with the second Red Bull.
Felipe Massa (1:17.401), with his new Ferrari contract in his pocket, lapped 0.44s slower than team mate Alonso and just a hundredths quicker than an impressive Adrian Sutil (1:17.415) in the first of the Mercedes-powered Force Indias.
Lewis Hamilton (1:17.522) and Robert Kubica (1:17.529) are both expected to be in the qualifying mix and finished up seventh and eighth, ahead of Michael Schumacher's Mercedes (1:17.688) and Tonio Liuzzi (1:17.903) with the second Force India.
Further down the order, Karun Chandhok (1:20.879) has impressed all day with his handling of the HRT, second only to Heikki Kovalainen's Lotus (1:19.969) among the new teams, although Jarno Trulli was hampered by mechanical issues and only ran a limited programme in the second T127 chassis.
More will be learned about the ultimate potential of the leading runners when the drivers take the fuel out and try simulated qualifying runs in Saturday morning's third practice session.