Monaco GP - Thursday - Practice Session 2 Report

Alonso fastest in second Monaco session

Fernando Alonso, Monaco GP 2011

Fernando Alonso, Monaco GP 2011 

 © The Cahier Archive

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari (1:15.123) topped the time sheet in the second free practice session for Sunday's 69th Monaco GP.

The Spaniard, who looked extremely competitive around the tight streets of Monte Carlo last year, before putting his car into the barrier on Saturday morning and missing qualifying, was highly spectacular again as a tremendous fight for the all-important Monaco pole shapes up.

Lewis Hamilton (1:15.228) set second quickest time for McLaren, with Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:15.321) in close attendance. Jenson Button (1:15.448), winner here in 2008, was just a couple of tenths slower than team mate Hamilton, with Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull lapping in 1:15.667.

Ferrari had a potentially embarrassing moment as Felipe Massa slowed at Rascasse before beginning a hot lap, and almost collected Alonso, who was completing a quick lap at the same time. With disaster narrowly averted, Massa ended up sixth fastest (1:15.781).

There was then a gap of half a second to five time Monaco winner Michael Schumacher (1:16.356), who had three tenths in hand over last year's winner Mark Webber (1:16.642). Webber did have a run on the supersoft Pirelli but was still dialing himself in after missing the morning session and, once again, was without KERS.

Adrian Sutil (1:17.101) finished the session ninth quickest with the first of the Force Indias, as team mate Paul Di Resta had his session spoiled by a gear selection problem.

Nick Heidfeld (1:17.126), runner-up at Monaco in 2005, completed the top 10, ahead of Renault team mate Vitaly Petrov (1:17.337), who clouted the barrier and lost the car's nose when he lost control on the bumps under braking for the harbour front chicane.

Early signs are that tyre degradation on the supersoft Pirelli - this weekend's option tyre while the soft compound is the prime - is not as heavy as feared. Some are even starting to suggest that for cars that are extremely benign in their tyre useage - read Sauber - a one-stop race may even be possible.

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