Fernando tops second practice
MAKING HIS MARK: Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso topped the fastest lap time in the second free practice session ahead of the 2013 Canada GP in Montreal. Image: AFP
MONTREAL, Canada - Fernando Alonso put a smile on the face of Ferrari's many North American fans on Friday when he topped the times in second free practice ahead of this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.
The two-time World champion Spaniard clocked a best lap of 1min14.818 seconds around the hazardous, bumpy and challenging Circuit Gilles Villeneuve midway through the 90-minutes to come out on top.
He outpaced nearest rival and Montreal specialist Briton Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes by 0.012 seconds as Ferrari bounced back from their disappointment at the Monaco GP where Alonso was stranded in seventh place.
Hamilton, a three-time winner in the Canadian race, also showed his potential as he wound up second fastest ahead of Frenchman Romain Grosjean of Lotus, Australian Mark Webber of Red Bull and his own Mercedes team mate German Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg had been fastest throughout the Monaco weekend as he claimed his third successive pole position, but this session suggested Hamilton, on a track that favoured his late-braking style, might prove to be back on top in their private intra-team duel for supremacy.
Brazilian Felipe Massa, back racing after his two big accidents in Monte Carlo, was sixth in the second Ferrari ahead of defending triple world champion German Sebastian Vettel in the second Red Bull, German Adrian Sutil of Force India, 2009 champion Briton Jenson Button of McLaren and Australian Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 World champion, was down in 11th in the second Lotus ahead of Mexican Sergio Perez in the second McLaren and Briton Paul Di Resta in the second Force India, on the weekend when Force India celebrate entering their 100th GP under that name.
The teams all tested new development tyres supplied by Pirelli for assessment purposes this weekend, as well as the normal 'medium' and 'supersoft' tyres.
After a wet morning session topped by the unlikely Di Resta ahead of compatriot Button, whose McLaren team that have won the last three Canadian contests, the afternoon session remained dry overall, bar a few light local showers, and this gave the teams an opportunity not only to rubber in the circuit, but also to do the important long-run work in preparation for Sunday's 70-lap race.
The Red Bull pair of defending triple world champion Vettel and his team mate Webber swapped quickest laps in the early stages before Hamilton showed his huge potential and set the pace with a sequence of fast laps on the bumpy circuit on the picturesque Ile de Notre Dame in the St Lawrence Seaway.
Hamilton remained fastest until Alonso set the session's best time to prove that Ferrari, with a number of new parts for their cars this weekend, were going to be a threat this weekend.
2nd Free Practice Session from the F1 Canadian GP
1. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1:14.818
2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:14.830
3. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - Renault 1:15.083
4. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:15.212
5. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1:15.249
6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:15.254
7. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) RedBull - Renault 1:15.280
8. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Mercedes 1:15.396
9. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1:15.422
10. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:15.566
11. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - Renault 1:15.599
12. Sergio Perez (Mexico) McLaren 1:15.661
13. Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - Mercedes 1:15.855
14. Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - Renault 1:16.319
15. Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:16.351
16. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - Renault 1:16.374
17. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber - Ferrari 1:16.475
18. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Sauber - Ferrari 1:16.929
19. Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia - Cosworth 1:17.070
20. Charles Pic (France) Caterham - Renault 1:17.236
21. Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia - Cosworth 1:17.888
22. Giedo van der Garde (Netherlands) Caterham - Renault 1:18.392
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 Canadian GP weekend.