On the eve of Spain’s make-or-break World Cup match against Chile, hometown hero Fernando Alonso 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.
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:
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]