Practice 2: Alonso top as Red Bulls get wings
25 June, 2010
Jun.25 (Grand Prix 247) Ferrari made quite some noise about how they would have a package that would put them at the sharp end of proceedings in Valencia and Fernando Alonso proved that this was not mere Maranello hype by ending the first day of the European Grand Prix fastest of all.
A half second seperated the top five while less than a second covered the fastest ten drivers under the sunny skies of the port city which sets the scene for what should be another scorching weekend both on and off the circuit.
Spaniard Alonso, clearly relishing being on home turf again, set his time best of 1 minute 39.283 seconds around the hour mark and was never headed again. Earlier the battle top spot was a free for all as several drivers went quickest only to be usurped until Alonso’s lap ended the discussion.
Fellow Ferrari driver Felipe Massa had some dramas which saw him spin exiting Turn 5 and stalling with the F10 in the middle of the track, forcing a red flag situation as the stricken car was removed. The Brazilian lost half an hour before he was able to resume whereupon he blasted to seventh on the timing screens on his first flyer. The F10 is back!
A simple tweet by Ferrari summed it up: “A good start of the weekend.”
Just about everyone went a couple of seconds faster than earlier on in the day as the track got “rubbered in” however the Bridgestones were showing signs of graining after stints.
After a relatively subdued morning session the Red Bull duo showed impressive pace, on a circuit that according to their boss Christian Horner was not ideal for the RB6, with Sebastian Vettel ending second quickest and a mere 0.056 seconds off Alonso. Next best, third quickest, was team mate Mark Webber.
Fourth fastest was Nico Rosberg (Mercedes GP) who was best of the Mercedes mob and will be quite content about his first day in Valencia. His team mate Michael Schumacher, making his first visit to the seaside circuit, was a little out to sea trying to get to grips with the nuances that make a difference between being up there or nowhere. Alas he was down in 11th on the timing sheets albeit only a second off Alonso but well over half a second down on Rosberg.
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) ended the day fifth best on a circuit that clearly suits his driving aggressive style, but is less kind to Jenson Button’s smoother technique. The reigning F1 World Champion was ninth on the timing screens.
There was an interesting moment between Hamilton and Schumacher, the latter dawdling on the racing line going into the final turn which hampered Hamilton. The Englishman retaliated by diving in front of the Silver Arrows and gesticulating his displeasure.
Sixth fastest was Robert Kubica (Renault) who had an incident free day wwhile his team mate Vitaly Petrov, who has previously won GP2 in Valencia, was finding the going somewhat tougher in F1, eventually ending the day 13th fastest.
After sitting out the morning session as Paul di Resta did the duties, Force India’s Adrian Sutil wasted no time getting up to pace and finishing the session eight fastest while his team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi clocked the 13th best time.
Rounding up the top ten was Rubens Barrichello (AT&T Williams) again best of the Cosworth powered drivers. His rookie team mate Nico Hulkenberg ended the session 17th on the timing screens.
In 14th and 15th were Sauber duo by Kamui Kobayashi and home boy Pedro de la Rosa respectively.
Sebastien Buemi whose Toro Rosso was among the fastest in the top speed trap ended 16th fastest with another local lad Jaime Alguersuari ending 18th best.
Celebrating their 500th Grand Prix weekend in Valencia are the Lotus Racing team and again they were the class of the new teams with Heikki Kovalainen 19th fastest and Jarno Turlli 20th. The difference between them and the pace at the front only three seconds (from close to six at the start of the season) and ominously for the midfield established teams only a second off Alguersuari’s pace.
Up next were the Virgin Racing pair with Timo Glock 21st and Lucas di Grassi 22nd on the timing sheets.
Bruno Senna was best of the Hispania Racing rookies in 23rd and bottom most of the timing screens was Karun Chandhok, half a second down on his team mate.
Practice 2 – 25 June 2010
|4||4||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||1:39.650||0.367||22|
|8||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:40.020||0.737||30|
|11||3||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1:40.287||1.004||24|
|12||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1:40.387||1.104||33|
|14||23||Kamui Kobayashi||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||1:40.906||1.623||34|
|15||22||Pedro de la Rosa||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||1:40.945||1.662||30|
|22||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1:43.854||4.571||27|