• Spanish Grand Prix - FP2

Webber pips Hamilton in second practice

ESPNF1 Staff
May 20, 2011

Mark Webber followed up being fastest this morning by again setting the quickest lap time in second practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Webber set the headline time of 1:22.509, to beat Lewis Hamilton by just 0.039s, with Sebastian Vettel third on a 1:22.826. Hamilton did his lap on soft tyres after the two Red Bull's and his team-mate Button who was 0.7s off the pace, and surprised many by setting the fastest middle sector time on his way to increasing hopes of a more competitive qualifying session.

Fernando Alonso was fifth ahead of the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher, with Rosberg again around 0.4s quicker than his team-mate. Felipe Massa, Kamui Kobayashi and Nick Heidfeld were the only other drivers to get within two seconds of Webber's time.

At the start of the session the drivers were greeted with a much higher track temperature which helped them get the most out of the harder compound that Pirelli has introduced this weekend. Alonso set the early pace and was immediately quicker than he had been in the morning. His time was soon beaten by Hamilton, before Vitaly Petrov was the first of the top five teams to use the soft tyre and go quickest.

Times started to drop rapidly as everyone went out for low fuel runs on the soft tyre, and the average gain was 2 seconds per lap, meaning few drivers will be able to have the luxury of getting through the first qualifying session on hard tyres.

The session got inevitably busier the longer it went on, and Heikki Kovalainen and Pastor Maldonado came close to colliding when Maldonado was slowing down and Kovalainen came flying through turn 11, cutting just in front of the Williams. Massa also had a moment in to turn 10 and then a few laps later he lost the rear end under braking in to turn five and ran off in to the gravel, although was able to just keep his Ferrari out of the wall.

Further down the grid there were a few issues at Force India as Adrian Sutil had a telemetry problem that kept him in the garage late in the session. He ended up behind Kovalainen but just ahead of Jarno Trulli as the major upgrade brought by Lotus appeared to show improvements.

The end of the session saw many drivers battling for clear air to complete consistent runs, with Alonso angry at being blocked by Jaime Alguersuari, before Button suffered the same fate behind Petrov and Glock held off Sutil for more than a lap. Hamilton also came close to running in to the back of Narain Karthikeyan, as HRT finished the session seven seconds off the pace and will have half an eye on the 107% time tomorrow.

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