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Vettel silences the sceptics in second session

NEWS STORY
09/09/2011

Ahead of today's second practice session, the air temperature is 28 degrees C, while the track temperature is 41 degrees. It remains bright and sunny.

McLaren led the way this morning with Lewis Hamilton outpacing his teammate by 0.921s, the Woking outfit clearly benefiting from running more wing than it rivals.

The Red Bull duo was up there however, both Ferrari drivers were over 2.7s off the pace and the Mercedes pair could only manage eleventh (Schumacher) and eighteenth.

Paul di Resta is back in his Force India this afternoon, having (no doubt unwillingly) handed over the car to Nico Hulkenberg, while Jarno Trulli gets the keys to his Lotus back from Karun Chandhok.

When the lights go green Alguersuari is waiting at the end of the pitlane, leading a queue of cars that includes Perez, Kovalainen, Buemi, Ricciardo and d'Ambrosio.

We didn't see the option (soft) tyres this morning, all drivers sticking with the prime (medium), but that will change this afternoon.

In the Ferrari garage neither driver shows any sign of getting to work, the Italian team making changes to the set-up on both cars and configuration.

Alguersuari crosses the line at 1:28.705, with Perez going second and Kovalainen third. Moments later Petrov takes the top spot with a 27.236 as more and more drivers pour on to the track.

Just a couple of minutes into the session all but Ricciardo, d'Ambrosio, Rosberg, Vettel, Webber and the Ferrari duo are on track.

A 26.760 sees Perez go quickest, while Schumacher goes twelfth with a 31.738.

As Perez improves with a 26.594, Hamilton goes quickest in S2, subsequently crossing the line at 26.507.

Replay shows Alguersuari slipstream di Resta on the main straight but leave it too late and run out of track causing him to take to the grass. The Spaniard makes his frustration quite clear. Moments later there is further drama for Toro Rosso as Buemi runs in the Parabolica and hits the tyre wall wrecking the suspension on the left hand side of the car.

While all that was going on, Button has gone quickest (25.905) and Webber second (26.066) with Hamilton third.

On his first flying lap, Vettel, sporting yet another helmet design, goes quickest, crossing the line at 25.638. Webber improves with a 25.841 to make it a Red Bull 1-2.

A 25.688 sees Massa split the Red Bulls as Alonso goes fifth with a 25.624 before improving to second with a 25.561.

Vettel goes quickest in the final two sectors crossing the line at 24.866, extending his lead over Alonso to 0.695. Ricciardo and Rosberg still to post a time.

A very hairy moment for Senna as he exits Ascari, the Brazilian somehow keeping his Renault on track even though it is trying like crazy to get away from him. Undaunted, next time around the Brazilian goes eighth with a 26.662.

At the back of the Mercedes garage, Rosberg is clearly frustrated, he's losing valuable track time. Back on track, the top five - Vettel, Alonso, Massa, Webber and Button - are covered by 1.039s.

Approaching halftime, Hamilton improves to sixth with a 26.064, ahead of Perez, Petrov, Senna and Kobayashi.

Like Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, who has only completed 3 laps but not posted a time, looks very, very frustrated in his garage.

Hamilton improves to second with a 25.284 but remains almost half-a-second shy of Vettel.

Perez is the first driver to make the switch to the option rubber, the Sauber driver immediately going fifth with a 25.675. As Vettel consolidates his top spot with a 24.862, Perez posts PBs in all three sectors, crossing the line at 25.347.

Schumacher (softs) crosses the line at 24.816 to go quickest, the Mercedes driver subsequently improving with a 24.347.

Senna improves to fifth (25.325), as more and more drivers make the switch to the option tyres.

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