Jenson Button was the fastest driver overall in Friday practice at Spain

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:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:23.399   38
2. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:23.563 + 0.164 38
3. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:23.771 + 0.372 41
4. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:23.909 + 0.510 32
5. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:23.918 + 0.519 32
6. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:23.964 + 0.565 37
7. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:24.065 + 0.666 34
8. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:24.080 + 0.681 36
9. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C31 1:24.214 + 0.815 41
10. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:24.365 + 0.966 22
11. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:24.418 + 1.019 35
12. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:24.422 + 1.023 32
13. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW34 1:24.468 + 1.069 40
14. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:24.600 + 1.201 33
15. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:24.688 + 1.289 30
16. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:24.733 + 1.334 44
17. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:24.769 + 1.370 37
18. Bruno Senna BRA Williams Renault FW34 1:25.047 + 1.648 42
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Caterham Renault CT01 1:26.296 + 2.897 36
20. Vitaly Petrov RUS Caterham Renault CT01 1:26.740 + 3.341 35
21. Timo Glock DEU Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:27.314 + 3.915 27
22. Charles Pic FRA Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:27.664 + 4.265 30
23. Pedro de la Rosa ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:28.235 + 4.836 26
24. Narain Karthikeyan IND HRTF1 Cosworth F112 no time   2

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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.