Canadian GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report
The top four pace setters in Friday afternoon's Free Practice 2 for the Canadian Grand Prix came from a mixture of four different teams.
Fernando Alonso was quickest overall with a time of 1:14.818 in his Ferrari. Lewis Hamilton ended up second, a scant 0.012 slower in his Mercedes. Romain Grosjean in his Lotus and Mark Webber in his Red Bull rounded out the top four.
The first repeat team in the line-up was Mercedes as Nico Rosberg set the fifth fastest time.
The ambient air temperature at the start of the session was 62.6 degrees Fahrenheit (17 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was 66.2 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius.)
There had been no more rain after the morning showers, so the track was dry as FP2 began. That meant that the teams could test the prototype Pirelli slicks during the session. Some drivers had tried the tires for a few laps right at the end of FP1, but McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael said the team needed at least 20 laps out of the tires to be able to assess them properly.
As in FP1, Esteban Gutierrez was the first out of pit lane in his Sauber. Kimi Raikkonen followed him out in his Lotus. Within two minutes everybody except Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) was out on the track, and they were running on the experimental Pirelli which could be identified by its black sidewalls.
Once the serious running got underway, Raikkonen clocked the fastest time with a 1:16.979, but seven minutes into the session Mark Webber turned a 1:16.513 in his Red Bull.
Ten minutes into the session, Vettel finally ventured out, as did Sergio Perez who had done just a couple of laps in his McLaren until then.
12 minutes into the session, Paul di Resta, who had been quickest in the morning session in his Force India, moved to the top of the list with a 1:16.382. Felipe Massa got close to that with a 1:16.445 in his Ferrari.
Then, 16 minutes into the session, Massa moved ahead with a 1:16.001 set on the experimental Pirellis.
His teammate Alonso was on a flier of a lap, posting the fastest times in the first and second sectors only to nearly hit the wall in the final chicane.
19 minutes into the session, Webber, who had just turned the third best time, had a quick spin in his Red Bull at Turn 6. Then Valterri Bottas spun at the Turn 10 hairpin and quickly got going again in his Williams.
24 minutes into the session, Webber did a 1:16.308 to claim second place.
27 minutes into the session, Lewis Hamilton went quickest in all three seconds to set a 1:15.702 in his Mercedes.
At the 30 minute mark of the 90 minute session the top six were: Hamilton, Massa, Rosberg, di Resta, Webber and Perez.
The fast pace and the green track meant drivers were sliding off the road, especially at the final chicane Turn 14 before the pit straight, but nobody was hitting anything. Nico Hulkenberg, Guido van der Garde, Jules Bianchi, Alonso, Perez and Bottas all were Turn 14 offenders. Adrian Sutil managed to get his Force India completely airborne over the Turn 14 curbs.
39 minutes into the session, Vettel, using the super soft Pirelli slicks, set a 1:15.378.
A number of other drivers were now out on the red sidewall Pirelli super soft, including Webber who set a 1:15.320 to take over the top spot. But Vettel reclaimed it with a 1:15.280.
Seconds before the midpoint of the session, Webber moved back on top with a 1:15.212. Two minutes later, Hamilton, with the super softs on his Mercedes, shaved 0.206 of a second off Webber's time to set a 1:15.006. Hamilton then beat his own time by setting a 1:14.830.
With 36 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso moved his Ferrari (on super softs) to the top with a 1:14.818. He stayed out on the tires to see how they would degrade over the next few laps.
Just before the one hour mark Button became the latest to slice across the Turn 14 chicane. Meanwhile, Webber and Vettel were doing long runs on the super softs. Eventually two drivers' lap times dropped down to the 1:19s.
Many of the team used the final half hour for race preparation long runs with heavy fuel loads and to check the range of the medium and the super soft Pirelli slicks. As the tires lost grip, drivers locked up their tires and slid off the track. The Turn 10 hairpin and the Turn 14 chicane remained the favorite places for off track ventures.
The top six at that stage were: Alonso, Hamilton, Romain Grosjean (Lotus), Webber, Rosberg and Massa.
With 13 minutes remaining in the session, only Button and di Resta were not out on the track. But with everybody doing long runs on old tires, the lap times were not going to get any faster. The top six remained Alonso, Hamilton, Grosjean, Webber, Rosberg and Massa at the end of FP2.
Vettel, Sutil, Button and Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) rounded out the top 10.