Nico Rosberg tops second practice as Alonso shows Renault form

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    Ross
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    Nico Rosberg tops second practice as Alonso shows Renault form

    Post by Ross on 24th April 2009, 09:35

    Rosberg puts Williams on top in P2


    Second practice: Nico Rosberg makes it 7/11 on top in practice sessions this year

    Perennial free practice pacesetter Nico Rosberg showed Williams is likely to remain among the front runners in Bahrain this weekend by topping the afternoon session at Sakhir.

    The German, who has now headed seven of the 11 practice sessions in 2009 so far, outpaced Renault’s Fernando Alonso by just under two tenths of a second with a best time of 1m33.339s.

    However, for most of the session the pair had been at opposite ends of the times as like in the morning Alonso continued to run under the radar with a heavier-fuelled R29.

    But the combination of super-soft tyres and a lighter car resulted in him vaulting up the order in the final stage of the session to show that Renault, which made big improvements last week in Shanghai after introducing an interim diffuser, retains strong pace.


    Toyota was another team to come alive in the afternoon and Jarno Trulli wound up third having led the way for most of the session.

    The championship’s current top two, and clear pre-race favourites, Brawn and Red Bull kept themselves just behind the leading pack and neither looks to have yet unleashed the true pace of their respective cars.

    Nevertheless RBR still ended fourth and fifth on the times – China winner Sebastian Vettel narrowly ahead of Mark Webber – with Brawn’s Jenson Button sixth.

    All three were just over 0.3s off Rosberg’s pace.

    A team that did appear to show the true potential of its car, however, was Force India – Adrian Sutil banging in the seventh fastest time with a late flyer to give the team great encouragement about the performance of its updated VJM02 car with interim diffuser.

    Taking up Force India’s usual position at the rear of the field was a gaggle of the sport’s big names, with the Ferraris, BMWs and McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen the slowest five cars in the session.

    Morning pacesetter Lewis Hamilton managed to secure a more healthy position in the middle of the pack (11th), but endured a scrappy session, going off the circuit three times.

    Temperatures topped 100 degrees throughout the afternoon but, unlike the morning session when a flying lap wasn't completed in the first 30 minutes, drivers made full use of the time practice time available.

    After the Toyota drivers had got the ball rolling, points leader Button moved Brawn to the top of the timesheet for the first time this weekend.

    The Briton put an initial marker down with 1m35.935s, before demonstrating the trend from the first session by going much faster on his second lap on the medium tyres with a 1m35.558s

    Giancarlo Fisichella then enjoyed a brief moment in the limelight with a strong lap some 0.2s faster in the heavily upgraded Force India, before more normal service resumed and Toyota took a stranglehold on the session.

    First Trulli and Glock traded fastest times, clocking 1m33.967s and 1m33.787s respectively, before the former pulled clear as he returned to the track on the super-soft tyres.

    Trulli’s initial short run resulted in a best lap of 1m33.699s and then, after returning to the pit lane to bolt on another set of soft tyres, he shaved a further eight hundredths of a second off that time.

    While other drivers switched to the super-soft tyre at this stage, no one was able to dislodge Trulli from the summit for the next 30 minutes with Vettel coming closest some 0.04s adrift.

    The Toyota driver was eventually toppled by Rosberg with 20 minutes remaining and then moved down to third by Alonso.

    The sister TF109 of Glock eventually wound up eighth, ahead of Rubens Barrichello in the second Brawn-Mercedes.

    Kazuki Nakajima completed a solid opening day to complete the top 10, the sister Williams moving up a spot from his morning position.

    Fisichella and Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Buemi were also within 0.8s of Rosberg’s time despite finishing 12th and 14th respectively.

    Under-pressure Nelson Piquet, however, was over 0.8s slower than team-mate Alonso alone and although he too spent most of the session running with heavy fuel, he didn’t do his race preparations any favours by damaging his front wing over the turn two kerb and then later spinning at turn 10.

    In fairness, as had been the case in the morning, a number of drivers continued to be caught out by the tricky downhill approach to tight left-hander.

    Meanwhile, having finished the morning in second and third after a late super-soft tyre run BMW dropped to 17th and 20th.

    But while it has generally struggled over the opening three races, the Hinwil squad, like Ferrari, may have opted against completing any low-fuel laps given both teams had been far quicker in the morning.


    Bahrain Grand Prix free practice session two

    1. ROSBERG Williams 1m33.339s
    2. ALONSO Renault 1m33.530s
    3. TRULLI Toyota 1m33.616s
    4. VETTEL Red Bull 1m33.661s
    5. WEBBER Red Bull 1m33.676s
    6. BUTTON Brawn 1m33.694s
    7. SUTIL Force India 1m33.763s
    8. GLOCK Toyota 1m33.764s
    9. BARRICHELLO Brawn 1m33.885s
    10. NAKAJIMA Williams 1m33.899s
    11. HAMILTON McLaren 1m33.994s
    12. FISICHELLA Force India 1m34.025s
    13. BUEMI Toro Rosso 1m34.127s
    14. BOURDAIS Toro Rosso 1m34.366s
    15. PIQUET Renault 1m34.411s
    16. MASSA Ferrari 1m34.564s
    17. KUBICA BMW 1m34.605s
    18. RAIKKONEN Ferrari 1m34.670s
    19. KOVALAINEN McLaren 1m34.764s
    20. HEIDFELD BMW 1m34.790s


    Source: itv.com/f1


    Last edited by Ross on 24th April 2009, 09:44; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Nico Rosberg tops second practice as Alonso shows Renault form

    Post by Ross on 24th April 2009, 09:46

    Bump


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