Fernando Alonso sets the pace during practice two at Canada

Fernando Alonso sets the pace during practice two at Canada

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Fernando Alonso has set the pace during practice two ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, eventually finishing the 90-minute session only +0.012 seconds ahead of former McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The duo were followed in 3rd by the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.

After the damp proceedings of the opening practice session, the teams and drivers were greeted with dry and overcast conditions for the second practice session ahead of this weekend’s 70-lap Canadian Grand Prix. As the session began, a groundhog was spotted crossing the track as Esteban Gutierrez once again became the first driver to take to the track for Sauber. Many drivers immediately took to the track, understandably eager to make up for the lack of dry running in practice one.

Kimi Raikkonen set the initial benchmark for Lotus with a 01:19.090, before Mark Webber and then Nico Rosberg thwarted the ‘Iceman’ as the times at the top began to tumble. As the drivers continued with their preparations for the weekend ahead, many drivers made minor mistakes at both Turns 10 and 14. After ending the opening session fastest overall for Force India, Paul di Resta returned to the top with a 01:17.044 before Kimi Raikkonen returned to the top for Lotus.

The times continued to tumble as the session progressed, with Mark Webber and then Paul di Resta returning to the top with the latter producing a 01:16.382 for Force India. Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel made a minor mistake through Turns 1 and 2, skipping across the still wet grass as he continued to search for his maiden victory around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Felipe Massa soon rose to the top for Ferrari, setting a 01:16.001 as his team-mate Fernando Alonso narrowly avoided contact with the “Wall of Champions” after producing the fastest first two sectors for the Scuderia.

Red Bull’s slow start to the session continued as Mark Webber spun at Turn 6, luckily avoiding contact with the barrier and continuing to circulate after coming to a momentary halt. Whereas Mark Webber returned to the pits, Lewis Hamilton stormed to the top of the timing sheets after producing a 01:15.620 for Mercedes. Adrian Sutil made a minor mistake upon entry to the final chicane, which therefore saw the German literally fly over the kerbs.

As the session continued, the Red Bull duo began to trade fastest times at the top of the timing sheets, with Mark Webber eventually producing a 01:15.212 to thwart his reigning World Champion team-mate. Lewis Hamilton brought Red Bull’s battle at the top of the timing sheets to an end with a 01:15.006, as Jean-Eric Vergne skipped through the wet grass at Turns 3 and 4. Lewis Hamilton continued to improve for Mercedes, before Fernando Alonso asserted his authority over proceedings with a 01:14.818.

The Spaniard’s reign at the top was unchallenged as the session drew to a close, with the majority of the drivers focusing on long-fuel race simulations in preparation for the race on Sunday. Light rain momentarily fell on the start/finish straight as the session entered its final stages, with Fernando Alonso eventually ending the session fastest ahead of former McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton with Romain Grosjean 3rd once again for Lotus. The Formula 1 fraternity will reconvene tomorrow morning for the third and final practice session, ahead of the all-important qualifying hour where the grid for the race will be determined.

Pos  Driver               Team                  Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m14.818s            48
 2.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m14.830s  + 0.012s  45
 3.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m15.083s  + 0.265s  40
 4.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1m15.212s  + 0.394s  46
 5.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m15.249s  + 0.431s  46
 6.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m15.254s  + 0.436s  43
 7.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m15.280s  + 0.462s  41
 8.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m15.396s  + 0.578s  43
 9.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m15.422s  + 0.604s  29
10.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m15.566s  + 0.748s  38
11.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1m15.599s  + 0.781s  35
12.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1m15.661s  + 0.843s  39
13.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m15.855s  + 1.037s  22
14.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m16.319s  + 1.501s  46
15.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m16.351s  + 1.533s  38
16.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m16.374s  + 1.556s  40
17.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m16.475s  + 1.657s  45
18.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m16.929s  + 2.111s  35
19.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1m17.070s  + 2.252s  41
20.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m17.236s  + 2.418s  35
21.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m17.888s  + 3.070s  45
22.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m18.392s  + 3.574s  39

Picture Copyright © Octane Photographic