- Brazilian Grand Prix - FP2
Red Bull maintains advantage at Interlagos
No Friday surprises, says Alonso
Lewis Hamilton hoping for a wet qualifying at Interlagos
Race will be stronger than qualifying - Button
Vettel hails 'good start'
Red Bull strikes opening blow at Interlagos
- Brazilian Grand Prix
- FIA Formula One World Championship
- Red Bull
Red Bull continued where it left off in the second session of free practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix with Sebastian Vettel once again topping the timesheets from team-mate Mark Webber.
Vettel set the pace in the morning but it was the Australian who was on top for the majority of the second session, setting a quickest lap time of 1:12.072 to lay down the benchmark. But as the lap times tumbled with rubber laid down on a warming track, so Vettel came to the fore, becoming the first man to lap under the 1:12 barrier. The Red Bulls look quick on both soft and hard tyres as well as both light and heavy fuel loads, suggesting Sunday's race will be theirs to lose.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso bounced back from his engine failure in the opening session by clocking the third fastest time in the afternoon. So far this season his lap times have improved over the course of a race weekend, so he is still likely to feature in the battle for pole position.
However, the Italian team had a second reliability problem when Felipe Massa ground to a halt near the pit lane exit. He clobbered a kerb through turn two and the engine revs peaked as he lost drive and slowed on the second straight. The team later blamed a clutch problem linked to either hydraulics or electrics. At the time Massa had completed one soft-tyre lap and it was enough to secure him fifth in the standings.
Lewis Hamilton finished the day fourth fastest ahead of the Brazilian with Robert Kubica maintaining his morning form to finish ahead of Jenson Button. Both McLaren drivers were tinkering with their set-ups throughout the session as they tried to maximise another set of minor changes and updates to the MP4-25.
Sauber's Nick Heidfeld finished an impressive eighth fastest ahead of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, with just 0.01 seconds separating the Mercedes team-mates. However, Schumacher may have some explaining to do after appearing to brake test the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari having passed him around the outside into turn one. Alguersuari didn't yield and the two made some contact at the apex of the corner before Schumacher slowed right up in front of the Toro Rosso as if to prove a point.
There was more drama at turn one a lap later when Kamui Kobayahsi came incredibly close to going into the back of Jarno Trulli. He came across the slow-moving Lotus at the end of the pit straight and had to take avoiding action, slewing wildly across the track and catching a huge slide in the process.
Despite the last-minute scare, Trulli led the battle of the new teams, finishing the session three seconds off the pace of Vettel but up on Lotus team-mate Heikki Kovalainen and Virgin's Lucas di Grassi. Bruno Senna finished ahead of team-mate Christian Klien, with Timo Glock at the very bottom of the timesheets.