Australian Grand Prix winner Jenson Button has posted the fastest lap-time of Friday’s second practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The McLaren driver finished less than two-tenths faster than Sebastian Vettel in a closely fought session that saw the ten-fastest runners covered by less than a second on the timesheets.
Conditions were again bright and sunny when the circuit opened for the day’s second ninety-minute session, although clouds were gathering in the garages of the HRT F1 team. After reserve driver Dani Clos suffered a technical malfunction on Narain Karthikeyan’s car during the morning session, the Indian was confined to the garages for over an hour while his mechanics tried to solve an electrical issue. Once out on track, he completed just two laps before he ground to a halt.
Out on the track, the lap-times progressively tumbled as the drivers started to perform some runs on Pirelli’s soft-compound tyres, and the order changed with almost every lap.
Button’s best lap time came with just over half an hour to go, having spent much of the earlier running in the session complaining about severe understeer.
Nico Rosberg was third fastest for Mercedes, ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren, the Lotuses of Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean, Mark Webber’s Red Bull, Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes, Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber and Nico Hülkenberg’s Force India.
It was again a largely incident-free session, although both Webber and Sergio Pérez had off-track moments when they ran wide at Turn 4, spraying gravel onto the track surface in their attempts to rejoin.
Heikki Kovalainen was another driver to come to grief through the gravel, while Bruno Senna struggled with tyre degradation issues and had a spin in his Williams.
2012 Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 Session Times:
|1.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:23.399||38|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:23.563||+ 0.164||38|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:23.771||+ 0.372||41|
|4.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-27||1:23.909||+ 0.510||32|
|5.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:23.918||+ 0.519||32|
|6.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E20||1:23.964||+ 0.565||37|
|7.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB8||1:24.065||+ 0.666||34|
|8.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes AMG F1 W03||1:24.080||+ 0.681||36|
|9.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:24.214||+ 0.815||41|
|10.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:24.365||+ 0.966||22|
|11.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:24.418||+ 1.019||35|
|12.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C31||1:24.422||+ 1.023||32|
|13.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW34||1:24.468||+ 1.069||40|
|14.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F2012||1:24.600||+ 1.201||33|
|15.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM05||1:24.688||+ 1.289||30|
|16.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:24.733||+ 1.334||44|
|17.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7||1:24.769||+ 1.370||37|
|18.||Bruno Senna||Williams Renault FW34||1:25.047||+ 1.648||42|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Caterham Renault CT01||1:26.296||+ 2.897||36|
|20.||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham Renault CT01||1:26.740||+ 3.341||35|
|21.||Timo Glock||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:27.314||+ 3.915||27|
|22.||Charles Pic||Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01||1:27.664||+ 4.265||30|
|23.||Pedro de la Rosa||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||1:28.235||+ 4.836||26|
|24.||Narain Karthikeyan||HRTF1 Cosworth F112||no time||2|