Practice Two - Button tops rain-hit Monaco session 24 May 2012
The rain came to Monaco sooner than expected on Thursday afternoon, which rather spoiled second practice as the times became academic thereafter.
The shower came after the first half hour, and just after Jenson Button had redefined the ante with a lap of 1m 15.746s on Pirellis super-soft tyre. The McLaren driver was the only frontrunner to get his time in on the softer compound, and thus ended up 0.392s ahead of Lotuss Romain Grosjean, who took his E20 round in 1m 16.138s to head fellow soft tyre runners Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso in their Ferraris. The revitalised Brazilian lapped in 1m 16.602s to the Spaniards 1m 16.661s.
Pastor Maldonados strong form continued with fifth fastest time for Williams in 1m 16.820s, though later he had a minor brush with a wall.
Behind the Venezuelan, Nico Rosberg was sixth for Mercedes in 1m 17.021s, ahead of Mark Webber on 1m 17.148s for Red Bull, Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 17.153s for Sauber, Michael Schumacher on 1m 17.293s in the second Mercedes, Sebastian Vettel on 1m 17.303s in the second Red Bull, Lewis Hamilton on 1m 17.375s in the second McLaren, Paul Di Resta in the lead Force India on 1m 17.395s, Bruno Senna in the second Williams on 1m 17.655s and Nico Hulkenberg in the second Force India on 1m 17.800s.
Sergio Perez was next up for Sauber on 1m 18.251s, with Vitaly Petrov for company in the lead Caterham on 1m 18.440s. Jean-Eric Vergne was again Toro Rossos faster runner with 1m 18.522s, but Daniel Ricciardo again shadowed him with 1m 18.808s.
Kimi Raikkonens wisdom in spending the mornings dry session on steering set-up was called into question when the rain came, and he ended a frustrating day only 19th on 1m 19.267s and with minimal dry-road experience.
Timo Glocks Marussia headed the final quintet on 1m 19.309s, but it was a close-run thing behind him. Heikki Kovalainen lapped in 1m 20.029s before his Caterham came to a stop in the escape road at Mirabeau, while Charles Pic took his Marussia round in 1m 20.240 ahead of the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan on 1m 20.631s and 1m 20.886s respectively.
Besides Maldonado, Senna and Massa made quick visits to the Mirabeau escape road, but otherwise it was a relatively uneventful, and inconclusive, practice session. It may prove to be the last with any dry running, as the forecast now predicts serious rain on Saturday, and possible showers on Sunday.
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