Fernando Alonso has made it a positive opening day for Ferrari at the Monaco Fernando Alonso made it a clean sweep for Ferrari on Thursday Grand Prix, heading the timesheets for back-to-back practice sessions on the event’s opening day.

The Ferrari driver lapped the Principality’s circuit under the 1m15s barrier, finishing 0.1s quicker than Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes GP.

Alonso’s quickest time came some 38 minutes into the session, and he was never headed for the remainder of its 90-minute duration, when a light shower put paid to anyone being able to laps quicker around the circuit.

The rain never fell hard enough to tempt any of the teams to run with intermediate tyres, and the teams racked up the mileage in the mixed conditions to gain as much of an understanding of the conditions and their cars’ handling as possible. Indeed, the teams have rarely been less frugal with their track mileage, with some drivers having already racked up the equivalent of a race distance at Monaco across the two practice sessions so far!

One driver in need of mileage was Nico Rosberg, who lost valuable track time in the opening practice session, but vaulted to the second-quickest overall time in the afternoon’s proceedings, stopping the recent rot of dominance enjoyed by his team-mate, Michael Schumacher (who finished fifth-quickest in this session), since the Spanish Grand Prix.

McLaren’s unassuming Thursday pace continued into the afternoon, with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button split by Force India’s Adrian Sutil.

Traffic appeared to be something more of an issue, although it was something of a reversal of the usual trend to see Ferrari’s Felipe Massa getting in the way of the rookie runners on a hot lap.

Again, seeming to dispel the assertions that the backmarkers would be miles off the pace, both Lotus’ and Virgin Racing’s cars lapped within 4 seconds of Alonso’s quickest time in the afternoon.

It would seem that suggestions to split the qualifying session up were indeed ridiculous.

2010 Monaco Grand Prix Practice 2 Session Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari 1:14.904 36
2. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP + 0.109 39
3. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault + 0.195 47
4. Felipe Massa BRA Ferrari + 0.216 44
5. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP + 0.239 38
6. Robert Kubica POL Renault + 0.288 38
7. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes + 0.345 32
8. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes + 0.556 42
9. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes + 0.715 37
10. Mark Webber AU Red Bull Renault + 0.716 28
11. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault + 0.842 44
12. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari + 1.372 46
13. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Williams Cosworth + 1.444 48
14. Rubens Barrichello BRA Williams Cosworth + 1.618 37
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA Force India Mercedes + 1.624 42
16. Pedro de la Rosa ESP Sauber Ferrari + 1.695 36
17. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari + 1.914 45
18. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari + 2.119 28
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth + 3.280 47
20. Lucas di Grassi BRA Virgin Racing Cosworth + 3.574 38
21. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Cosworth + 3.763 13
22. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth + 3.817 41
23. Karun Chandhok IND HRT Cosworth + 5.409 35
24. Bruno Senna BRA HRT Cosworth + 7.244 11

[Original image via GP Update]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.