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Alonso heads McLaren 1-2 in second session

NEWS STORY
07/09/2007

Ahead of today's second session it remains bright and sunny, with the air temperature currently 28 degrees C and the track temperature 35.

Within moments of the session getting underway, up to seventeen drivers are on track, with Fernando Alonso first to post a serious time (23.860). Kubica goes second, ahead of Kovalainen and Fisichella, while Hamilton takes fifth.

The Englishman nearly trips up over a BMW which gets all out of shape at the first chicane, scene of a spin by the McLaren driver at the end of the first session.

Ten minutes into the session, Raikkonen leave the pits. His first timed lap sees the Finn go seventh (24.776), splitting Hamilton and Wurz. Next time around, the Finn posts 23.833 to go quickest, watched by teammate Massa from the comfort of the Ferrari garage.

As Heidfeld goes fourth, Massa heads down the pitlane. The Brazilian posts 24.283 to go sixth, as Alonso goes quickest in the first two sectors. At the line the World Champion posts 22.717, just 0.3s off this morning's best time.

Next time around, Alonso fails to improve, however, Fisichella goes second with a 23.757.

Massa, who is running behind Schumacher, spins at Ascari, which causes Alonso, who is running behind the Brazilian, to drive across the run off in sympathy.

A 23.322 sees Hamilton go second to his teammate, as Button goes thirteenth, just ahead of his teammate.

Clearly this session is more about long runs as opposed to times. After thirty minutes, Yamamoto has completed 15, while Liuzzi is on 14, Button 13, and a whole host of drivers on 12.

As Alonso goes quickest in the first sector, Nico Rosberg is having problems with his brakes, which are locking at the front and rear - not what you want at Monza.

Sure enough, Alonso improves to 22.386 - the quickest time of the day - as Davidson pulls off track between the two Lesmos.

For a while the yellow flags are held out, but when marshals are unable to remove the stranded Super Aguri the session is red-flagged. After a nine minute delay the session resumes.

Rosberg is one of the first drivers to improve, the German posting 23.679 to go fifth. Elsewhere, Massa has a massive lock-up.

As Alonso returns to the track, Kimi Raikkonen sits at the back of the McLaren garage, watching the action on the monitors. The Ferrari mechanics work on his car, and that of his Ferrari teammate. Thus far, the Finn has completed just 5 laps.

Having looked good in the first session, the B-spec Spyker doesn't appear to be having an impact in the second, with Sutil and Yamamoto at the very bottom of the timesheets.

Button continues to push the Honda hard, unfortunately he, along with teammate Barrichello, is at the wrong end of the timesheets, his efforts unrewarded.

As Raikkonen takes his place on the pit-wall, alongside Jean Todt, it is clear that he has a problem with his car. With half an hour remaining, the Finn is currently sixth (23.833), two places ahead of his teammate.

Hamilton gets it wrong at the second chicane, and consequently gets to check out the newly laid asphalt.

With just over twenty minutes remaining, it's: Alonso, Hamilton, Fisichella, Kubica, Rosberg and Massa, whop leapfrogs his Ferrari teammate with a 23.722. Behind Raikkonen, it's Kovalainen, Wurz and Trulli.

With ten minutes remaining we can only hope for a final burst of activity, because this has been a long, remarkably uneventful session, thus far. Then again, what else can you expect when the teams were testing here just a week ago?

Heidfeld posts 23.821 to go seventh, thereby splitting the Ferraris. In the Toro Rosso garage, Liuzzi looks thoroughly peed off, to put it mildly. He's currently nineteenth, 3.18s off the pace.

With seven minutes remaining, Trulli is told to "keep running until the flag".

Raikkonen is finally back on track, as are Massa and Hamilton. The Finn immediately posts a personal best in the first sector, while Hamilton runs just a few yards behind. Both are on the softer option.

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