Ferrari’s Alonso quickest in second German GP practice
Fernando Alonso recovered from a disappointing first session to lap quickest for Ferrari ahead of local boy Sebastian Vettel in second practice for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.
With the threat of rain looming again, most teams opted to get out early to gather some data under dry running.
Pedro de la Rosa’s early lap on a largely dry track was considerably quicker than Adrian Sutil’s quickest from the first session, but his time was quickly smashed by Sutil who set consistently quick laps before the front-runners emerged.
Alonso traded quickest times with Mark Webber, before being joined by Vettel and Massa to make it entertaining for the thousands of spectators braving the weather.
Alonso’s time of 1:16.265 became the benchmark and his main rivals were almost equal to it with Vettel coming closest to the Spaniard’s time, just three-hundredths of a second slower.
Massa had another decent run in the second Ferrari to get within two-tenths of his team-mate, while Webber was three-tenths slower than Alonso.
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg continued to impress as he took fifth quickest with 1:16.827. Team-mate Michael Schumacher posted a time just one-and-a-half tenths slower in sixth -a dramatically improved performance from the first session for the seven-times world champion.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was forced to sit out most of the session after suffering heavy damage to his car during the rain-affected first session when he collided with a tyre barrier.
Credit must go to his mechanics who managed to get the championship leader out for a quick fling with just over 10 minutes of the session remaining.
Hamilton was cautious to begin with, lapping 18th quickest before finding more confidence to go faster as he sneaked up the times.
By the end of the session, Hamilton had found enough time to post seventh-quickest with a 1:17.004, his team-mate Jenson Button languishing seven tenths slower in 15th.
Renault’s Robert Kubica found some pace despite his team’s failure to get their F-duct upgrade ready for this weekend. He posted the eighth-quickest time ahead of the Williams pair of Rubens Barrichello and Nico HÃƒÂ¼lkenberg.
Despite expecting to have a good weekend, Lotus struggled, with Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock the quickest of the rookie teams to take 19th-quickest. Jarno Trulli followed him for Lotus, while Lucas di Grassi took 21st ahead of Heikki Kovalainen, and the Hispania cars of Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto.
Going into Saturday’s final practice and qualifying, it is clear that pole position should be a shoot-out between Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, and the two Red Bull drivers.
With two practice sessions down, the weekend is shaping up for another great qualifying session on Saturday at 13:00 BST.