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Alonso quickest in lacklustre session

NEWS STORY
11/05/2007

As the second of today's free practice sessions gets underway, the air temperature is 25 degrees C, and the track temperature is 48 degrees. It remains warm and sunny.

First out is Ralf Schumacher, followed by Trulli, Liuzzi, Kubica, Speed, Sato and Davidson.

This time there are no installation laps, the drivers know the lay of the land, therefore, within a few moments, there are names on the timesheets… Trulli, Schumacher, Kubica…

For a brief moment Speed tops the timesheets, before Trulli and then Heidfeld get serious. That said, speed reclaims second spot with a 23.911, ahead of Rosberg, Trulli and Fisichella.

As Heidfeld consolidates the top spot with a 23.451, all eyes are on Hamilton , who goes quickest in the first two sectors. The Englishman posts 22.301 to go quickest, having taken 1.150s off Heidfeld's previous best. Elsewhere, Alonso makes a mistake, going slightly wide, as Hamilton goes quickest in the first sector.

The Spaniard goes second, 0.721s down on his teammate, who responds by increasing the gap to 0.834s.

Raikkonen can only manage eleventh, as he too makes a mistake. Meanwhile, Michael Schumacher watches the monitors from the Ferrari garage.

As Sutil gets into all sorts of bother, making full use of the grass verges and tarmac run-offs, Raikkonen improves to third, behind the McLarens but ahead of Heidfeld, Rosberg and Speed.

Suddenly it's looking good - sort of - for Renault, as Fisichella and Kovalainen go third and fourth, ahead of Raikkonen, who has had a big lock-up on the other side of the circuit.

Felipe Massa is on track, the Brazilian going seventh on his first flying lap.

Someone's forgotten to tell Scott speed that he's driving a Toro Rosso - or Red Bull, depending on your point of view - as the American posts 22.706 to go second, splitting the McLarens. Massa, meanwhile, improves to sixth, ahead of Raikkonen.

Fisichella goes third, behind Hamilton and Speed, as Kubica sets personal bests in the first two sectors. The Pole goes third, crossing the line at 22.787. However, Alonso and speed are on hot laps. The American closes to within 0.429 of Hamilton, but all eyes are on Alonso who goes quickest by 0.791s.

Mark Webber goes fifth as David Coulthard posts personal bests in the first two sectors. Meanwhile, the Toyota mechanics are working franticly on Ralf Schumacher's car, the German having completed just 6 laps.

Despite having completed 37 laps between them, Barrichello and Button both remain over 2.4s off the pace at the wrong end of the timesheets. It's going to be a long, long summer for the Brackley team.

Massa goes third, ahead of Speed, as Michael Schumacher continues to watch the monitors. The German has ditched the flowery shirt in favour of a Ferrari team shirt, thank God! Talking of God, the seven-time champ is wearing a prominent cross.

Raikkonen goes fourth, albeit 1.174s off the pace, like his teammate he's running on the softer compound tyre. Next time around the Finn improves to third (22.251).

Behind the McLarens and Renaults, it's Speed, Kubica, Webber, Fisichella, Liuzzi and Kovalainen.

Nick Heidfeld goes fifth with a 22.543, in what is a surprisingly lacklustre session.

Nico Rosberg goes fifth, ahead of Heidfeld, Speed and Kubica. Meanwhile, Ralf Schumacher struggles to rise above twenty-first position. The German is joined at the bottom of the timesheets by the Spykers and Hondas.

David Coulthard is on a hot lap, the Scot setting personal bests in the first two sectors. Sure enough, the Red Bull driver crosses the line at 22.719, to go ninth, leapfrogging his teammate.

With five minutes remaining it will be interesting to see if there are will be any significant improvements.

Schumacher and Button are both on track, they're currently twenty-first and twentieth, respectively. The German fails to improve, but the Englishman goes fifteenth. Moments later, Ralf improves to sixteenth, as Button goes eleventh.

Mass is pushing hard, posting a personal best in the second sector. Another personal best in the final sector is enough to see him go second, splitting the McLarens.

However, the fat lady has not started even started gargling, as shown by the fact that Fisichella posts 21.684 to go second. Moments later the Italian is joined at the top of the timesheets by his Finnish teammate, to give Renault 1-2.

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