Practice Two - Webber again, but Hamilton splits the Red Bulls 20 May 2011
For a while in Spain on Friday afternoon, when Sebastian Vettel was 1.960s ahead of anyone else, rivals feared the worst. But by the end of a second practice session in which the world champion finished third, the gap between Vettel and fastest man Mark Webber was 0.356s. And in between the two Red Bull team mates, a threatening Lewis Hamilton was only 0.039s adrift of the Australian for McLaren.
Once again, 2010 winner Webber set the pace with a blistering lap of 1m 22.470s which supplanted Vettel's 1m 22.826s, but Hamilton got in the middle of them with 1m 22.509s as McLaren got to grips with their numerous upgrades. And Jenson Button was fourth in the other MP4-26 on 1m 23.188s.
Behind this quartet, Ferrari and Mercedes didn't quite make the jump, with Fernando Alonso fifth on 1m 23.568s from Nico Rosberg on 1m 23.586s and Michael Schumacher on 1m 23.981s. Neither team made as much progress as they had hoped with their revisions.
Felipe Massa had an off-track moment but later improved to 1m 24.278s for eighth, with Kamui Kobayashi moving up for Sauber to claim ninth on 1m 24.290s. Nick Heidfeld was right behind him in the leading Renault with 1m 24.366s, chased by Sergio Perez on 1m 24.483s in the second Sauber and Vitaly Petrov in the second Renault on 1m 24.786s.
Sebastien Buemi soon got back in the groove after missing the morning session and lapped his Toro Rosso in 1m 25.296s to head Williams' Rubens Barrichello on 1m 25.303s, Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari on 1m 25.457s and Pastor Maldonado on 1m 25.603s in the second Williams, while Force India just failed to breach 1m 26s with a best of 1m 26.073s courtesy of Paul di Resta. Behind him, Heikki Kovalainen continued Lotuss upward swing with 1m 26.417s.
Beleaguered Adrian Sutil lost a good lap when he was blocked in his Force India by Schumacher, but subsequently could only improve anyway to 1m 27.123s, which left him just ahead of Jarno Trulli's Lotus. The Italians morning problems with the power steering had been resolved and he lapped in 1m 27.189s.
Jerome D'Ambrosio was again Virgin's faster runner on 1m 28.036s, but this time Timo Glock was close with 1m 28.062s in the MVR-02 fitted with the blown floor. The HRTs were also closely matched, Narain Karthikeyan just acing Tonio Liuzzi, 1m 29.469s to 1m 29.476s.
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