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Vettel continues to dominate

NEWS STORY
08/05/2010

Ahead of today's sole free practice session, the air temperature is 17 degrees C, while the track temperature is 13 degrees. It's cool but bright.

McLaren dominated yesterday's opening session but it was Red Bull had had the clear advantage in the afternoon. Furthermore, Michael Schumacher, in a heavily updated test chassis, outpaced his teammate n both sessions.

The lights go green and Jarno Trulli heads a train of twelve cars, including Fernando Alonso, keen to get to work.

Latest weather update for the weekend suggests that while rain is not now expected for tomorrow's race, there could well be shower this afternoon during qualifying.

As reported yesterday, almost all the teams are running updated cars, albeit it to varying degrees. Following his off yesterday, Williams have fitted Nico Hulkenberg's car with a new floor.

'Inventors' of the duct, McLaren, are continuing with the system today, as are Williams, Mercedes, Sauber and Ferrari, who, having run the system yesterday, have opted to continue with it today.

Tyres available this weekend are hard (prime) and soft (option). The softer compound only really appearing to be good for one very fast lap yesterday.

Having completed an installation lap, the drivers head back to their garages. Button and Hamilton are among the last out leaving the Mercedes duo as the only 'no show'.

After almost ten minutes of total inactivity, Hulkenberg breaks the deadlock, the German having lost lots of track-time yesterday what with his off in session two and an engine failure in session one. The German is joined by de la Rosa, Petrov and Kobayashi.

Hulkenberg posts the first time of the day, the Williams rookie crossing the line at 1:24.378.

While Hulkenberg improves on his second lap, Kobayashi goes quickest (23.331), while Liuzzi goes third, de la Rosa fourth and Petrov fifth.

Having gone quickest in all three sectors, Kobayashi raises the benchmark with a 22.436, while Schumacher, on his first flying lap, posts 22.630 to go second.

Both Kobayashi and Petrov go off into the gravel at Turn 4. While the Sauber driver simply gets out of shape and loses it, the Russian's off is the more serious, the Renault losing it under braking. He clouts the tyre barriers with some force, and while he is unscathed that car and the barrier are both damaged, causing the session to be red flagged.

Consequently, for the second successive race, the Renault crew have to rebuild Petrov's car between the morning practice session and qualifying.

Trulli's crew advise him that the reason for the offs it that the kerbs were still wet following overnight rain.

At 11:28 (local time) the session resumes and Senna is first out. As soon as the Hispania driver has safely negotiated Turn 8, more drivers venture out to join him.

Button goes third with a 22.978 but is quickly demoted when de la Rosa posts 22.586 to make it a Sauber 1-2. Moments later, Hamilton takes the top spot with a 22.414.

As Hamilton goes quickest in the first two sectors, Massa goes third with a 22.533. Hamilton consolidates the top spot with a 21.699. Still no time from Alonso or Webber but both are on track.

Vettel, currently twelfth (23.825), goes quickest in the last two sectors, crossing the line at 21.807 to go second. Webber takes third with a 22.063.

Having lost time behind a Force India, Alonso can only manage 27.233, which puts the Ferrari driver twenty-first.

A 21.528 sees Webber go quickest as Button improves to fourth with a 22.155. Alonso goes ninth with a 22.598.

Another improvement from Webber, the Australian posting 21.232. However, Vettel goes quickest in the second sector, finally crossing the line at 21.427 to go second. Ominous pace from the Red Bull duo.

Perfect symmetry as the McLaren go third and fourth, behind the Red Bulls, and Ferrari go fifth and sixth. Sutil is seventh, ahead of Buemi and Kobayashi. Schumacher is tenth and Rosberg twelfth for Mercedes.

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