On the eve of Spain’s make-or-break World Cup match against Chile, hometown hero Fernando AlonsAlonso lapped quickest in the second practice sessiono has raised the hopes of a partisan Valencia crowd to head the timesheets in the second timed practice session ahead of this weekend’s European Grand Prix.

The Spaniard just managed to edge out Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel to the tune of less than a tenth of a second.

Indeed, Red Bull could walk away from the session feeling quite confident in spite of predicting it might take some pain this weekend, with both Vettel and team-mate Mark Webber heading the timing sheets during the 90-minute session, and closing out the session in second and third places respectively.

The quickest man in FP1, Nico Rosberg, wound up fourth quickest in his Mercedes GP. He finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who rounded out the top-five pace-setters in his McLaren, less than half a second slower than Alonso’s best effort.

 Massa had a quick spin at Turn 4 It was a generally incident-free session, although Felipe Massa caused a red flag when he spun at Turn 4 and blocked the circuit with his sideways Ferrari. His F10 was retrieved by the marshals and recovered to the pit lane, from which he emerged after half an hour in the garage. He would wind up seventh-quickest overall.

Drivers again complained of tyre graining as they explored the limits of adhesion on the dusty harbourside circuit, with quite a few making momentary off-track excursions onto the asphalt run-off areas.

Vitaly Petrov had a quick spin in his Renault, and Timo Glock had to park his Virgin car after just 14 laps on track.

2010 European GP Practice 2 Session Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari 1:39.283 33
2. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault + 0.056 27
3. Mark Webber AU Red Bull Renault + 0.144 29
4. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP + 0.367 22
5. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes + 0.466 24
6. Robert Kubica POL Renault + 0.597 28
7. Felipe Massa BRA Ferrari + 0.664 22
8. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes + 0.737 30
9. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes + 0.746 27
10. Rubens Barrichello BRA Williams Cosworth + 0.891 33
11. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP + 1.004 24
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA Force India Mercedes + 1.104 33
13. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault + 1.335 29
14. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari + 1.623 34
15. Pedro de la Rosa ESP Sauber Ferrari + 1.662 30
16. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari + 1.832 35
17. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Williams Cosworth + 2.088 30
18. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari + 2.174 36
19. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth + 3.184 31
20. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Cosworth + 3.710 30
21. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth + 4.528 14
22. Lucas di Grassi BRA Virgin Racing Cosworth + 4.571 27
23. Bruno Senna BRA HRT Cosworth + 4.812 24
24. Karun Chandhok IND_thumb[1] HRT Cosworth + 5.283 21

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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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.