European GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

Alonso fastest in Valencia

Fernando Alonso, European GP 2011

Fernando Alonso, European GP 2011 

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Fernando Alonso (1:37.968) excited his Spanish fans with quickest time in the second free practice session in Valencia.

Even if the Red Bull race pace looked strong at the end of the session, the single lap speeds looked close, with Lewis Hamilton's McLaren (1:38.195), Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull (1:38.265), Michael Schumacher's Mercedes (1:38.315) and Felipe Massa's Ferrari (1:38.443) all within half a second.

Jenson Button's McLaren (138.483) and Mark Webber (1:38.531) were in close attendance, before a gap to Nico Rosberg's Mercedes (1:38.981) and the Renaults of Nick Heidfeld (1:39.040) and Vitaly Petrov (1:39.586).

Red Bull's rivals are hoping that a new FIA directive which prevents teams from changing engine maps between qualifying and race will narrow the qualifying gap that the RB7 has enjoyed for most of thr season, but that remains to be seen.

It was a frustrating session for Paul Di Resta, so impressive thus far at Force India. The Briton had to sit out all but the final 10 minutes as the team repaired the damage caused by Nico Hulkenberg's off in morning practice. It was therefore a decent effort by Di Resta to end up 14th, three slots and three-quarters of a second adrift of team mate Adrian Sutil.


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