Fernando Alonso has finished quickest in the second free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix, edging out his former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.012 seconds.
The Ferrari driver, who won the race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in 2006, posted the fastest time of 1:14.818 to finish ahead of the field and set himself up well for FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Underlining this good one-lap pace was Alonso’s consistent times during his race simulation run, suggesting that the team is in good stead for the rest of the weekend.
Hamilton did lead the session at times, fighting for P1 with the Red Bulls of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber, but his long-run pace was not so encouraging with Mercedes still struggling to perfect their tire management. However, all of the teams experienced problems with the Pirelli tires, locking up into the heavy braking zones thanks to Canada’s reputation for causing aggressive wear. Pirelli’s experimental tire, due for introduction at the British Grand Prix, was used by all of the teams early on in the session before switching to the assigned compounds for this weekend’s race for qualifying runs.
Romain Grosjean ran strongly as he looks to answer many of his critics, finishing P3 ahead of Webber and Monaco GP winner Nico Rosberg. Vettel could not match his teammate, finishing 7th just behind Felipe Massa. Adrian Sutil continued Force India’s good form in P8, with Jenson Button and Daniel Ricciardo completing the top ten.
The field was very finely split in Canada, with 1 second covering the top 13 drivers, which suggests that we are in for a tight battle for pole tomorrow.