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Practice Two - Rosberg and Hamilton beat the Brawns 21 May 2009

Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams signs autographs for fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Preparations, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Wednesday, 20 May 2009 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 21 May 2009 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) McLaren MP4/24.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 21 May 2009 Jarno Trulli (ITA) Toyota TF109.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 21 May 2009

Nico Rosberg eventually topped a superb second practice session here in Monaco on Thursday afternoon, in which yet again the lap times were incredibly close.

Things began with a bang when Robert Kubica’s BMW engine expired in a cloud of smoke and flame as he climbed up to Massenet early on, then began a free for all in which Rosberg, McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton, Renault’s Fernando Alonso, Brawn GP’s Rubens Barrichello, Williams’ Kazuki Nakajima and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa variously took it in turns to lead the way.

Rosberg eventually settled things with a lap of 1m 15.243s, comfortably faster than Massa’s 2008 pole time of 1m 15.787s.

That displaced Hamilton, who had just wound his McLaren round in 1m 15.445s (which when he set the time made him fastest by a thousandth of a second from the German).

Barrichello and Jenson Button were third and fourth for Brawn, the Brazilian lapping in 1m 15.590s to the Englishman’s 1m 15.774s. Massa was fifth on 1m 15.832s ahead of late improver Sebastian Vettel on 1m 15.847s in the Red Bull, then Kovalainen headed fellow Finn, and Ferrari driver, Kimi Raikkonen 1m 15.984s to 1m 15.985s.

Nakajima hung on to ninth in 1m 16.260s and Nelson Piquet completed the top 10 with 1m 16.286s. He was followed by Renault team leader Alonso on 1m 16.552s, Red Bull’s Mark Webber on 1m 16.579s, Force India’s Adrian Sutil on 1m 16.675s, Toyota’s Jarno Trulli on 1m 16.915s, the Toro Rossos of Sebastiens Buemi and Bourdais, on 1m 16.983s and 1m 17.052s respectively, BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld on 1m 17.109s, Toyota’s Timo Glock on 1m 17.207s and Force India’s Giancarlo Fisichella on 1m 17.504s. Kubica did not set a time.

Several drivers went off at Ste Devote without causing damage: Sutil, Massa, Vettel, Webber and Bourdais, while Glock spun there. Rosberg went straight on at Mirabeau, and there was a bit of argy-bargy towards the end of one lap between Fisichella and Massa. The auguries are strong for a fantastic qualifying session on Saturday.