- Belgian Grand Prix - FP2
Alonso maintains form to finish fastest at drying Spa
Sutil targets strong points finish
Weather leaves Rosberg frustrated
Alonso plays down Friday pace at Spa
Hamilton hoping for rain
Webber bullish despite poor lap time
Alonso quickest after wet first practice at Spa
Alonso tips Red Bull for Spa glory
- Belgian Grand Prix
- FIA Formula One World Championship
- Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso made the most of a dry Spa Francorchamps circuit to set the fastest time of the second session of free practice, the Ferrari driver clocking a 1:49.032 to finish ahead of Adrian Sutil and Lewis Hamilton on his very last lap.
With only mist-like rain falling at the start of the session, the conditions were considerably better than in the morning prompting some teams, including Ferrari, to immediately run intermediates.
With his tyres up to optimum temperature, Alonso bettered his time from the first session to become the first driver to break below the two-minute barrier. Lewis Hamilton followed Alonso's lead shortly afterwards, going quickest with a 1:59.397 just as Timo Glock and Tonio Liuzzi became the first drivers to slither off the circuit, proving conditions were still treacherous.
With the track drying rapidly in the Belgian sunshine, so the lap times tumbled accordingly; Robert Kubica making the most of Renault's new F-duct to top the timesheets from Mark Webber, Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher on the half hour mark.
A dry line visibly appearing, Jaime Alguersuari then became the first driver to experiment with slicks, the Toro Rosso man soon vindicating his choice by going quickest with a 1:55.329. With the threat of further rain looming, the field followed Alguersuari's lead, Jenson Button bolting on the softer option tyre to go considerably quicker with a 1:49.755.
With the forecast shower failing to materialise, Button soon found himself bunted down the order before the session was red flagged with spectators deemed to be in an unsafe area. It is understood some children had climbed a fence, resulting in a ten minute hiatus while race control conducted a lap of the track.
The session restarted with only four minutes remaining and as a result drivers found themselves with just one lap to make any further inroads. A gaggle of cars flooded into the pitlane as a result and then vied for space out on track.
It was Alonso who was able to nail a near perfect lap with his final effort to once again finish on top of the lap times, just as rain started to fall once more.
Meanwhile, Webber struggled to find a gap in the traffic and as a result finished the session back in 18th. It was a mixed 90 minutes for Red Bull, with Sebastian Vettel spending a long period in the garage as mechanics and engineers surveyed the right-rear corner of his car.
Webber also had a fright on one of his laps when he slowed dramatically with a suspected engine problem. After a brief radio conversation with his team he got back up to speed and continued with his programme.
However, with dry running so restricted, all the teams will have unanswered questions regarding their set-up ahead of Saturday's final practice and qualifying.