Alonso Leads Hamilton In FP2

Fernando Alonso beat Lewis Hamilton to the top of the time sheets during today’s mixed-weather FP2 session. The Spaniard put in a late fast lap to beat the morning’s fastest man by 0.4s. The pace may not be representative, however, as Hamilton set a fastest first sector before meeting a slow Nico Hulkenberg and abandoning his lap. On his second attempt, he came across Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham in the barriers before the tunnel which caused him to abandon that lap too. His third attempt moved him to second, behind Alonso. Sebastian Vettel was third for Red Bull, seven-tenths behind Alonso, and three tenths ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne who took fourth for Toro Rosso. Valtteri Bottas was the first man to take to the track this afternoon and ended the session in fifth.

Bottas’ one lap run was after a fifteen minute wait as the teams waited for someone else to go out and dry up the track following a pre-session hail storm. After Bottas’ installation lap – and his unhappiness with the conditions – a twenty minute wait followed as no one dared venture out. Finally Adrian Sutil took to the track but returned without setting a lap while the Toro Rosso drivers came out. Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne had the circuit to themselves as they got to work beating their team-mate’s fastest lap, until the Ferrari’s also joined them. Raikkonen wasn’t out for long, however, as he exited Rascasse and couldn’t select a gear. He nursed his ill-sounding Ferrari back to the pitlane where his team confirmed that his gearbox had failed. As it was a practice unit, he will not be penalised.

In contrast to the quiet start to the session, the last ten minutes of FP2 looked like a Q3 session as each driver worked to get their run in. Traffic is always a problem in Monaco and, as I mentioned, Hamilton was affected twice in three laps. Alonso managed to get a particularly impressive lap down which Hamilton could not better. Rosberg, who shadowed Hamilton in the morning session, finished in twentieth. Despite the low result, it still seems that he could be involved in a four way battle for pole during Saturday’s Qualifying session. Will it be Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso or Ricciardo starting Sunday’s race from the front?

Free Practice Two results:

  1. Fernando Alonso
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Jean-Eric Vergne
  5. Valtteri Bottas
  6. Sergio Perez
  7. Nico Hulkenberg
  8. Jenson Button
  9. Daniel Ricciardo
  10. Kevin Magnussen
  11. Felipe Massa
  12. Daniil Kvyat
  13. Adrian Sutil
  14. Pastor Maldonado
  15. Esteban Gutierrez
  16. Romain Grosjean
  17. Kamui Kobayashi
  18. Jules Bianchi
  19. Max Chilton
  20. Nico Rosberg
  21. Marcus Ericsson
  22. Kimi Raikkonen

Image courtesy Scuderia Ferrari. 

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