Practice Two - Hamilton stays on top for McLaren 23 Mar 2012
Lewis Hamilton and McLaren continued their morning form by dominating Practice Two in Sepang on Friday afternoon. Despite a couple of minor offs as he tried to go quicker, Hamilton lapped in 1m 38.172s and might have gone quicker still had the 2008 not encountered Sergio Perezs Sauber at the end of his best lap.
Michael Schumacher was again on the pace for Mercedes, 0.361s down with 1m 38.533s, while Jenson Button was right on his tail in the second McLaren with 1m 38.535s, a mere two thousandths of a second back. Nico Rosberg was with them on 1m 38.696s in the second Mercedes.
It was a slightly odd session in which fuel loads may have played a part, as Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Toro Rosso on 1m 38.853s, and Fernando Alonso took his Ferrari round in 1m 38.891s for sixth.
Red Bull continued to struggle, with Mark Webber seventh on 1m 39.133s and Sebastian Vettel 10th on 1m 39.402s. In between them, Jean-Eric Vergne was eighth for Toro Rosso on 1m 39.297s and Romain Grosjean ninth on 1m 39.311s in the lead Lotus.
Pastor Maldonado was Williams lead runner this time with 1m 39.444s from the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta on 1m 39.464s and 1m 39.625s respectively. Di Resta had two adventures as he went off in Turns 15 and 6. A late improvement moved Kamui Kobayashi to 14th for Sauber on 1m 39.687s, pushing Kimi Raikkonen down a place. The Finn lapped his Lotus in 1m 39.696s.
It was another tough afternoon for Felipe Massa, who could not better 1m 40.271s in the second Ferrari, while Bruno Senna was 17th in the other Williams on 1m 40.678s. Perez completed the sub-1m 41s runners with 1m 40.947s.
Vitaly Petrov was Caterhams leading runner with 1m 41.464s, but the green and yellow cars were split by Timo Glock in the improving Marussia. The German lapped in 1m 41.681s, ahead of Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 42.594s. Charles Pic in the sister MR01 was next up in 1m 42.874s despite losing a barge board late in the session, and the two HRTs were again close with Narain Karthikeyan on 1m 43.658s to Pedro de la Rosas 1m 43.823s. Both had spins. On this showing, both F112s will make the race under the 107 percent rule.
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