The second session from yesterday’s free practice runs proved to be exciting as local hero Fernando Alonso set about entertaining his devoted fans that lined the street circuit. The Spanish double champion posted a fast lap time that remained until until the one-third distance. With an increasingly improving track though, it wasn’t too long before others decided to switch to the super-soft compound and the times began to tumble. Kazuki Nakajima, Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button all posted fastest times and some point or another. Alonso wasn’t finished just yet though and returned to the track.
It was Alonso’s third attempt at posting a leading time that caused the biggest upset of the day though, as although the Spaniard had returned his Renault to the top, Fernando was still going for it. Heading into the final corner, Alonso dived up the inside of Nick Heidfeld and the pair collided, the BMW being pitched up into the air.
Both drivers limped back to the pitlane and after the R29 had received a new nose and front wing assembly, it was back out on the track. The final lap of Alonso lowered the target to the sub 100s for the first time this weekend, and the time remained until the clocked ticked down to zero. Not content with his already enthralling display, Alonso threw in a spin for good measure as well, but only after improving his fastest time further in the first two sectors.
Once again, Brawn appear to have found good pace and just as they were in the pre-lunch session, both pilots were near the top of the table, this time with Jenson Button ahead in P2. Williams also ran well in the second stint, Nico Rosberg managing P4 and team mate Kazuki Nakajima P5. Adrian Sutil again pleased by placing his Force India well inside the top ten and in P6, this time backed up by team mate Giancarlo Fisichella in P8.
The Red Bulls didn’t look quite so sharp in the afternoon run with Sebastian Vettel only getting himself in P9 and Mark Webber trailing in P14. McLaren too slipped backwards, with Heikki Kovalainen finishing his Friday in P10 and Lewis Hamilton in P20. The Briton only completed 3 laps before clipping a barrier and damaging his car. The team decided to call it an early day and started a pre-qualifying rebuild.
Romain Grosjean impressed with a P13 lap time that was 1.4s shy of Alonso’s leading pace. Luca Badoer also improved, setting a time worthy of P18 and 1.3s off his team mate’s benchmark pace. Jaime Alguersuari completed his day’s work 0.072s behind the trailing Ferrari and only ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
|1.||Fernando Alonso Renault||1m39.404s||33 Laps|
|2.||Jenson Button Brawn||1m40.178s||33 Laps|
|3.||Rubens Barrichello Brawn||1m40.209s||34 Laps|
|4.||Nico Rosberg Williams||1m40.385s||39 Laps|
|5.||Kazuki Nakajima Williams||1m40.503s||35 Laps|
|6.||Adrian Sutil Force India||1m40.596s||23 Laps|
|7.||Robert Kubica BMW||1m40.643s||34 Laps|
|8.||Giancarlo Fisichella Force India||1m40.681s||31 Laps|
|9.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||1m40.723s||33 Laps|
|10.||Heikki Kovalainen McLaren||1m40.738s||31 Laps|
|11.||Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari||1m40.739s||39 Laps|
|12.||Jarno Trulli Toyota||1m40.770s||32 Laps|
|13.||Romain Grosjean Renault||1m40.787s||35 Laps|
|14.||Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||1m40.956s||37 Laps|
|15.||Timo Glock Toyota||1m40.985s||30 Laps|
|16.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m41.156s||34 Laps|
|17.||Nick Heidfeld BMW||1m41.350s||29 Laps|
|18.||Luca Badoer Ferrari||1m42.017s||37 Laps|
|19.||Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m42.089s||34 Laps|
|20.||Lewis Hamilton McLaren||1m43.214s||3 Laps|