Spanish GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
Button goes fastest in FP2
Jenson Button (1:23.399) set the fastest time in the second session of free practice for the Spanish GP at Barcelona.
The close fight that we have witnessed thus far in 2012 looks set to continue, with Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull (1:23.563) second, Nico Rosberg's Mercedes third (1:23.771) and Lewis Hamilton's McLaren fourth (1:23.909).
The McLaren long run pace on the softer of the two Pirelli compounds on offer (the soft and hard in Spain, two steps apart in the range for the first time this year) looks strong, but so did that of Lotus, who had both Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean on the Bahrain podium last time out.
Raikkonen (1:23.918) and Grosjean (1:23.964) finished the session fifth and sixth, marginally quicker than Mark Webber (1:24.065) in the second Red Bull, the Australian having a brief excursion through the Turn 4 gravel.
Michael Schumacher (1:24.080) and Kamui Kobayashi (1:24.214) were next, with Nico Hulkenberg's Force India completing the top 10.
Further back, Narain Karthikeyan finished the day without having done so much as a lap, sitting out the morning session for Dani Clos at HRT and then being hit by an electrical problem in the afternoon.
It will be an evening of data evaluation as the teams assess the advances or otherwise from the latest technical packages on the cars ahead of FP3 and qualifying.
Track temperature was high throughout FP2, peaking at around 45 degrees from an ambient temperature of 29. Interestingly though, weather forecasts for Sunday are suggesting an ambient around 20 degrees, which may again impact on the teams' best efforts to get the tyres into their operating window.