Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Practice Two - Alonso rules the streets

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Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso continued to set the pace in Monaco on Thursday afternoon, in a second practice session that confirmed everyone’s fears that the key to qualifying will be to find a clear lap.

After the track had rubbered in following this morning’s session, and those for World Series by Renault and GP2, Alonso used Bridgestone’s super-soft option tyre to lop a second off his morning time of 1m 15.927s to post 1m 14.904s, and again he was the only driver to break into that bracket. But behind him only 0.842s separated the fastest 11 as the final 15 minutes saw a little light drizzle.

Nico Rosberg took his Mercedes round in 1m 15.013s, shadowed by Sebastian Vettel’s 1m 15.099s for Red Bull. Then came Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on 1m 15.120s, who made a brief visit to the escape road at Ste Devote, Mercedes GP’s Michael Schumacher on 1m 15.143s, Renault’s Robert Kubica on 1m 15.192s, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton on 1m 15.249s, Force India’s Adrian Sutil on 1m 15.460s, Jenson Button on 1m 15.619s in the second McLaren, Red Bull’s Mark Webber on 1m 15.620s and Renault’s Vitaly Petrov on 1m 15.746s. Several of these might have gone faster, only to lose laps in traffic.

Sebastien Buemi was 12th for Toro Rosso on 1m 16.276s, from the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello on 1m 16.348s and 1m 16.522s respectively, then Force India’s Vitantonio Liuzzi on 1m 16.528s, BMW Sauber team mates Pedro de la Rosa 1m 16.599s and Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 16.818s. Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari was 18th on 1m 17.023s.

Heikki Kovalainen was again the fastest new team driver, taking his Lotus round in 1m 18.184s, while Lucas di Grassi was Virgin’s faster runner in the short-wheelbase VR01 on 1m 18.478s. Lotus’s Jarno Trulli was breathing down his neck with 1m 18.667s and Virgin’s Timo Glock was likewise close to the Italian with 1m 18.721s.

At the back, Karun Chandhok recovered from his morning off to lap his HRT in 1m 20.313s, with Bruno Senna 24th on 1m 22.148s in the sister car.

Amazingly, there were no particularly notable incidents, though Alguersuari did a good job to catch a big tank-slapper under braking for the chicane.


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