Canadian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Alonso on top in Canada
Fernando Alonso (1:15.107) finished the first day of free practice for the Canadian Grand Prix on top of the time sheets. The Ferrari was almost four tenths clear of Sebastian Vettel (1:15.476), who recovered from his morning shunt to set the second quickest time of the day.
Reinforcing Ferrari's first day pace, Felipe Massa (1:15.601) finished the day third fastest, three tenths clear of the closely matched McLaren Mercedes pair as Lewis Hamilton recorded 1:15.977 and Jenson Button, 1:15.989.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has acknowledged that the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve will provide his team with its sternest challenge thus far this year.
"This is one of our two weakest circuits," Horner said, "so the target is to challenge McLaren and Ferrari and fight for a place on the podium. The weather could be a factor as well but there seems to be a lesser chance of rain now."
In recent seasons the Mercedes-powered Force India has performed well on medium/low downforce circuits and Paul Di Resta (1:16.089) continued the hugely impressive start to his F1 career with sixth fastest time of the second session. Team mate Adrian Sutil, by contrast, finished his session early when he ran wide at the exit of Turn 7 and put the sister car into the wall.
Mark Webber (1:16.102) wound up seventh fastest in the second Red Bull, while the Renaults of Vitaly Petrov (1:16.324) and Nick Heidfeld (1:16.422) and Rubens Barrichello's Williams completed the top 10.
The close proximity of the circuit walls and the slippery surface continued to claim victims in the best traditions of Montreal, with the session red-flagged twice. The first interruption came when Kamui Kobayashi crashed at Turn 4, badly damaging his Sauber.
No sooner had the session been restarted than Jerome D'Ambrosio crashed his Virgin at the same spot.
The initial impression of the Pirelli tyres is that there seems to be around 1.5s difference between the option and the prime, with the latter proving durable enough for more than 25 laps and two-stop races being predicted.