Abu Dhabi GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Hamilton finishes opening day on top
Lewis Hamilton (1:40.888) set the pace in the second free practice for Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, finishing the day a quarter of a second up on Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull (1:41.145) as the four title contenders took the first four places in the session.
Fernando Alonso's Ferrari (1:41.314) was just a thousandth quicker than Mark Webber (1:41.315), with Robert Kubica's Renault (1:41.576) a hundredth quicker than Felipe Massa (1:41.583) in the second Ferrari.
Vitaly Petrov (1:42.096), still trying to cement his position in the Renault team, was seventh fastest, half a second down on Kubica but faster than Jenson Button with the second Mclaren (1:42.132). Tonio Liuzzi (1:42.203) put the first of the Force Indias ninth, with Nico Rosberg (1:42.222) beating team mate Michael Schumacher to the final top 10 slot.
To win the championship, Hamilton has to win the race and hope his three title rivals all fail to score. Alonso, meanwhile, can secure the title by finishing in the first two places and his first target for the weekend is a place on the front row. Hamilton, however, as last year, was especially fast in the tight final sector of the lap bounded by walls and McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said: "I am confident that we can challenge strongly in the qualifying session tomorrow and then see where we go from there..."
Alonso said earlier in the weekend that he it would be great for him if team mate Felipe Massa challenged for victory too. Massa, however, stopped the second practice session with 20 minutes to go when the Ferrari ran out of fuel.