F1 Monaco FP2 Results & Report: Alonso Leads Thursday, Red Bulls Down the Order

What Happens When It’s All About the Edge

9:47am EST — Fernando Alonso (1:15.123) led the timesheets for the second practice of the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix weekend with a lap set in the latter half of the session. Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, and Sebastian Vettel completed the fastest five in a session marked by the use of super soft tires and some charging laps, particularly by sixth fastest Felipe Massa. Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber, Adrian Sutil, and Nick Heidfeld rounded out the top ten.

Vitaly Petrov gave some excitement to the final moments, sliding into the barrier after exiting the tunnel and losing his front wing. While plenty of drivers made us of the St. Devote escape road, only Paul di Resta also ended his session early having lost power. Tonio Liuzzi did no run while HRT focused on fixing the damage from his morning incident.

In a last-moment dash, Vettel (1:16.619) took the fastest lap from Alonso during the sunny morning practice on Thursday, held a day earlier at Monaco than all other race weekends. They were joined by Rosberg, Massa, and Hamilton as the top five in a session paused for a red flag and with only two crashes on the narrow streets in Monte Carlo. Liuzzi spun after exiting the tunnel and was the first man into the barriers, while Schumacher tucked his Mercedes into the fence at the runoff for St. Devote. Neither were injured, but their sessions were over after the incidents. Also afflicted was Webber, whose first fast run ended at the same time as Liuzzi’s with a recalcitrant gearbox for the Australian.

The Virgin Racing drivers were the first out for the afternoon session, followed by Petrov and Alguersuari, then half the field. Just five minutes into the session, Petrov was the leader, only to lose his position to Maldonado (1:20.544). Petrov responded, but Maldonado caused a local yellow, having locked up and gone down the escape road quite similarly to Schumacher in the morning. Soon, only Hamilton, Schumacher, and Liuzzi had yet to post an installation lap.

Massa (1:17.483) led ten minutes into the session, with Petrov, Button, Webber, Rosberg, Alguersuari, Perez, di Resta, Maldonado, and Glock the top ten. Only Barrichello, Kobayashi, Hamilton, Schumacher, and Liuzzi had yet to set a time, but Kobayashi and Hamilton soon remedied that situation. Drivers continued to fight over the top position, with Button then Rosberg tacking charge minutes later. Meanwhile, Alguersuari added his name to the list of drivers off at St. Devote, pushing his front wing into the barrier. Schumacher missed the early part of the session while Mercedes repaired his car and would continue to miss more of the session.

Alonso (1:16.408) was fastest fifteen minutes into the session after nearly getting into the back of a very slow Massa while on a very quick lap. McLaren was busy informing Hamilton that there was time to find in all sectors, but particularly the second. As most of the drivers were back in the garage, nearly twenty minutes into the ninety minute session, Alonso led Rosberg, Button, Massa, Petrov, Sutil, Webber, Hamilton, Perez, and Barrichello. Hamilton, who was still out, jumped up to fourth fastest, though Alonso was a half second quicker than Rosberg. Ferrari was not overjoyed, tweeting, “Still something to do to improve the car balance.”

More and more drivers were terribly frustrated with the typical Monaco traffic as the teams began sending them out on the super soft tires (with the regular softs called prime or harder tires this weekend). Glock and Maldonado were the first to use them, with the Virgin Racing driver going a second faster on his and Maldonado moving up a couple of positions. Meanwhile, Schumacher was finally out, having missed nearly a half hour of running. In unsurprising news, Webber still did not have a working KERS system, according to radio communications. No was Rosberg’s KERS system working.

1 Hour Remaining:
Alonso (1:16.408) led thirty minutes into the session, followed by Rosberg, Button, Hamilton, Massa, Petrov, Buemi, Maldonado, Heidfeld, and Webber as the top ten. Vettel was fourteenth fastest. Just after the hour mark, di Resta lost gear selection and had to stop, ending his session. The session settled in for a while as teams dug into the work of Friday (Thursday) practices. Barrichello improved up to eighth at the halfway point of the session while ALonso, Rosberg, Button, Hamilton, Massa, and Petrov remained the top six. Perez, Barrichello, Buemi, and Maldonado completed the top ten while Webber was thirteenth and Webber sixteenth.

However, on his first lap on the super softs, Vettel went fastest of all to post a 1:15.739. In a brilliantly terrifying lap, Massa pushed up to go third fastest, less than a tenth slower than his teammate, who was six tenths slower than Vettel’s time and on the harder tire. Vettel soon improved his time by almost a tenth. Massa, on his next lap, went second fastest and just one tenth slower than Vettel on another hard lap close to the barriers.

Alonso quickly responded (1:15.123) to go a half second quicker than Vettel on the softer tires while Massa’s softer tires were still going strong. The top three of Alonso, Vettel, and Massa were well ahead of fourth fastest Webber, with Massa alone a second faster than the Australian. Button soon slid into second, three tenths off Alonso’s time, only to be beaten by Rosberg by a tenth.

30 Minutes Remaining:
Alonso was still on top with a half hour to go, leading Rosberg, Button, Vettel, Massa, Webber, Schumacher, Hamilton, Petrov, and Perez as the top ten. Interestingly, Heidfeld was nineteenth, ten positions behind teammate Petrov. That is, until the German posted a quick lap, nearly two tenths faster than his teammate. Liuzzi had yet to post even an installation lap while Hamilton had been a long time in the garage, with McLaren only saying that they were making some changes.

Multiple teams began longer, heavy fuel runs. At Ferrari, Massa was out on the softer tires while Alonso was on the harder but still soft tires. Hamilton joined them, on the super soft tires, and jumped up to fourth after an extraordinarily quick first sector and slower second and third sectors, which he continued on his next lap to go second fastest. According to Ferrari, “The long runs do not look too bad on both type of tyres,” though Steve Matchett noted that Hamilton’s right front was blistered when he came back to the garage after just six laps on the softer tires.

10 Minutes Remaining:
All drivers but Karthikeyan, di Resta, and Liuzzi were out with just ten minutes to go before Saturday’s running. The Indian driver had posted twenty-eight laps, but his teammate had not left the garage after his shunt in the morning session. Alonso still led Hamilton, Rosberg, Button, and Vettel, with the top five covered by a half second. Little changed in the final minutes as teams focused on race runs and testing tire wear. Petrov did lose his front wing, proving to be a moving chicane whilst getting back to the garage after sliding into the wall after coming out of the tunnel in the final minutes.

Final Times for FP2, Monaco Grand Prix:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:15.123 42
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:15.228 +0.105 33
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:15.321 +0.198 44
4. Jensen Button McLaren 1:15.448 +0.325 38
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:15.667 +0.544 46
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:15.781 +0.658 45
7. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:16.356 +1.233 33
8. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:16.642 +1.519 42
9. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:17.101 +1.978 46
10. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:17.126 +2.003 38
11. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:17.337 +2.214 35
12. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:17.541 +2.418 47
13. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:17.570 +2.447 39
14. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:17.581 +2.458 32
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:17.633 +2.510 49
16. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:17.706 +2.583 37
17. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:17.789 +2.666 43
18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:18.266 +3.143 50
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1:18.490 +3.367 39
20. Paul di Resta Force India 1:19.053 +3.930 15
21. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Racing 1:19.185 +4.062 40
22. Timo Glock Virgin Racing 1:19.338 +4.215 35
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:22.066 +6.943 33
24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT N/T N/T N/T

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