McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has gone quickest in the second free practice session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, raising hopes in the Woking squad that he could still be a contender for the 2010 championship title.

Hamilton went fastest in the second practice sessionDespite being almost mathematically out of contention to take a second championship crown – Fernando Alonso simply needs to score a point for Hamilton to be knocked out of the hunt – Hamilton’s strong pace in the Mercedes-powered MP4-24 bodes well for the rest of the weekend, with the Briton outpacing the other championship contenders of Sebastian Vettel, Alonso and Mark Webber, who completed the top-four places on the timesheets.

The Yas Marina circuit provided infinitely more grip in the day’s second practice session, with drivers lapping some four seconds faster than they had managed on an initially damp track in the first 90-minute session.

As more rubber was laid down, Alonso headed the order after the field had completed its initial heavier-fuel runs on the harder compound Bridgestone tyres, but it was Hamilton who stole the honours when the drivers switched to runs on the softer tyres. Vettel also leapfrogged Alonso in this sequence to go second-quickest overall, although managed this with a margin of just one-thousandth of a second.

Robert Kubica was the fastest of the drivers not to still be in the championship hunt, finishing up in fifth place, with Felipe Massa being joined by the rather more surprising pair of Vitaly Petrov (seventh) and Vitantonio Liuzzi (ninth) amidst the usual suspects of Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg to complete the top-ten on the timing screens.

Massa's Ferrari stopped on-track with a fuel feed issue But Massa lost out on the opportunity to improve his position, when he stopped his Ferrari with over 20 minutes of the session to run, reportedly suffering with a fuel feed problem.

As with the first session, it was again a generally incident-free 90-minute period, with Jaime Alguersuari providing one of the few moments of note when he spun his Toro Rosso at Turn 19, continuing without any damage.


2010 Abu Dhabi GP Practice 2 Session Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes 1:40.888 23
2. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault + 0.257 27
3. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari + 0.426 28
4. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault + 0.427 28
5. Robert Kubica POL Renault + 0.688 30
6. Felipe Massa BRA Ferrari + 0.695 21
7. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault + 1.208 30
8. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes + 1.244 27
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA Force India Mercedes + 1.315 30
10. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP + 1.334 28
11. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP + 1.358 28
12. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Williams Cosworth + 1.561 31
13. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes + 1.647 20
14. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari + 1.880 25
15. Rubens Barrichello BRA Williams Cosworth + 2.026 36
16. Nick Heidfeld DEU Sauber Ferrari + 2.062 33
17. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari + 2.240 17
18. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari + 2.696 33
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Cosworth + 4.292 36
20. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth + 4.371 30
21. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Cosworth + 4.724 34
22. Lucas di Grassi BRA Virgin Racing Cosworth + 5.165 28
23. Christian Klien AUT HRT Cosworth + 6.322 32
24. Bruno Senna BRA HRT Cosworth + 6.546 28

[Original images via Sutton Images]

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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.