Sebastian Vettel took Red Bull to the top of the timesheets in Friday’s second practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, just edging out Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso.
While the session times posted in the afternoon were over a second quicker than the morning’s running, the key issue seemed to be tyre wear, with the drivers almost universally reporting extreme graining of the Bridgestone rubber.
Indeed, the soft tyres wore so badly that drivers were soon lapping some 6 to 8 seconds slower than they were at the beginning of the stint, all this after just a handful of laps! Should this situation play itself out tomorrow and Sunday, tyre selection is going to be a crucial element of the race’s outcome.
Vettel managed to make his softer Bridgestone’s last long enough to post a 1:16.877, the quickest time of the day and enough to depose the pacesetting Nico Rosberg, who was then bumped down a spot further by Alonso’s Ferrari.
Championship leader Mark Webber found more pace after a low-key opening session to win up fourth, and a similar situation played itself out for Felipe Massa, who improved from 12th in the opening session to move to 5th in the afternoon.
Also on the improve were both Force India cars.
Most drivers managed to post a healthy number of laps around the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve, with the exception of Lotus’ Jarno Trulli, who has barely racked up half two dozen tours across both sessions. This time around, the blame lay with an electrical issue that jammed his T127 in gear. He eventually managed to escape the confines of the garage to post 11 laps, quick enough to leapfrog him over the Virgin Racing duo of Timo Glock and Lucas di Grassi, who are seemingly the slowest of the three rookie outfits.
2010 Canadian Grand Prix Practice 2 Session Times: