• Hungarian Grand Prix - FP2

Ferrari fights back in free practice 2

ESPNF1 Staff
July 30, 2010

Clear favourites have already emerged for Saturday's all important qualifying session at the Hungarian Grand Prix, after Fernando Alonso hit back to challenge Red Bull's early dominance around the Hungaroring in the second session of free practice.

Sebastian Vettel topped the times with a 1:20.087 but Alonso put on hold plans for a Red Bull procession this weekend by ending the day second fastest ahead of Mark Webber and Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa. Vitaly Petrov answered his critics by enjoying one of his stronger sessions of the season, finishing fifth fastest. McLaren, meanwhile, may already be looking at damage limitation after Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button ended the day sixth and ninth fastest respectively.

Having easily topped the times in first practice, the Red Bulls were out early in the afternoon and Vettel lowered his benchmark time to 1:20.733. Webber then went even quicker with a 1:20.601 as the duo emphasised the downforce advantage of their new flexi-wings, suited to the twisty confines of the Hungaroring circuit.

With the majority of teams switching to the softer option tyre for the remaining half hour, so the lap times tumbled further. Vettel lowered his mark to 1:20.087 and so it remained unbeaten until the end of the session.

Alonso's best time was nearly half a second shy of Vettel but just marginally ahead of Webber, who failed to find a huge amount of time on the softer compound. Over longer runs the Red Bull was also fastest, but Alonso managed to keep them honest, meaning the race might not be a foregone conclusion after qualifying.

McLaren, however, did not look quick over long or short runs and Hamilton and Button are more likely to be fighting off the advances of the Renaults than challenging for victory. Also in the midfield mix were Nico Hulkenberg in the Williams, Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes and Pedro de la Rosa in the Sauber. After finishing the first session just a couple of hundredths of a second off team-mate Nico Rosberg, Schumacher took the upper hand in the afternoon and was nearly 0.3 seconds faster.

Missing from the top half of the timesheets were the Force Indias, with Adrian Sutil and Tonio Liuzzi slumping to 16th and 18th place respectively. Sutil had to sit out some of the session with an electrical problem but the team reported no major issues with the blown diffuser that he was testing for the first time this year. Liuzzi was a further 0.6 seconds adrift, complaining of tyre troubles.

Heikki Kovalainen was rooted to the bottom of the timesheets after completing just five laps in the Lotus with an unspecified reliability problem.