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Rosberg leads the way in second session

NEWS STORY
12/03/2010

Ahead of today's second free practice session the air temperature is 33 degrees C, while the track temperature is 48 degrees. Humidity is 11 percent.

Force India's Adrian Sutil topped the timesheets in the opening session, however, it was the McLarens and Ferraris which looked to have the edge with Mercedes and Red Bull not as close as expected. That said, these are very early days and it's only Friday practice.

On the other hand, Virgin and Lotus were woefully off the pace - over seven seconds - while HRT barely got any running with neither driver posting a time. Indeed, with seconds to go before the pitlane opens, Karun Chandhok appears to be in his civvies.

The lights go green and first out is Alguersuari, followed, shortly afterwards, by Petrov, Kobayashi and Webber.

Tyre options this weekend are medium (prime) and supersoft (option), though we didn't see the option at all this morning.

Within five minutes of the start of the session, there are five names on the timesheets, Liuzzi (58.533) leading Alguersuari, Kobayashi, Trulli and Kovalainen.

A 56.944 sees Button go quickest as Alonso goers third with a 2:00.150. However, Hamilton has gone quickest in the first sector of his first flying lap. Hulkenberg is also on a flyer.

The German goes quickest overall with a 56.799 as Hamilton goes quickest in the second sector. The Englishman eventually crosses the line at 56.051 - having gone quickest in all three sectors - to take the top spot.

Button goes second with a 56.516 having gone quickest in the first sector. However, he loses time in the second and third sectors.

Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello go fourth with a 57.455, as Hamilton goes quickest in the first sector. Meanwhile something flies off the back of the Lotus of Jarno Trulli.

Hamilton complains that his rear tyres (prime) are "destroyed", which is bad news for the Woking team. Meanwhile, a 56.504 sees Schumacher go second before he is demoted by Mercedes teammate Rosberg who posts 55.555 to go quickest.

In the McLaren garage Ron Dennis is clearly delighted to see two-time champion Mika Hakkinen.

With three Germans in the top five, attention switches to Vettel who is seeking to join them. In fact, the Red Bull driver posts 56.924 to go sixth. Having run wide, and done his tyres no favours in the process, he returns to the pits.

Hamilton is the first driver to go out on the option tyre, a fact not lost on his rivals who watch him intently.

di Grassi goes eighteenth with a 2:03.633, the Brazilian - on the option tyre - is really throwing the Virgin about. If you'll pardon the expression.

As expected, Hamilton goes quickest in the first sector, as di Grassi improves to seventeenth. However, the McLaren driver runs wide in the second sector and consequently aborts the lap.

As Hamilton goes quickest in the first sector of his next lap, Button is back on track, also on the option tyre. Hamilton improves with a 55.854 telling his crew that the car's bottoming is "punishing".

Still no times from Buemi, Senna, Chandhok or Glock, with the latter two not having turned a wheel thus far in this session.

Senna posts 2:10.352 to go twenty-first, the Brazilian debutant almost 15s off the pace.

As Alonso (option) posts a personal best in the first sector, it's worth noting that teammate Massa has posted the most laps thus far (16).

Rosberg goes quickest in the first sector, crossing the line at 55.409 to extend the gap to Hamilton to 0.445s.

Kovalainen posts personal bests in sectors one and three but like his Lotus teammate he remains over 6s off the pace.

At 'half-time', it's: Rosberg, Hamilton, Schumacher, Button, Hulkenberg, Vettel, Sutil, Barrichello, Liuzzi and Petrov. Still no times from Buemi, Chandhok or Glock.

Alguersuari has a big spin in the Toro Rosso and is very, very lucky not to put it into the barriers. Teammate Buemi is understood to have suffered a major failure at the rear of his car (suspension) which means he is unlikely to appear this afternoon. Meanwhile, Chandhok admits that he is unlikely to make an appearance either, his car suffering from "some sort of electronic issue".

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