Thursday, May 24, 2012

Practice Two: Button tops rain-interrupted session

Jenson Button set the pace in Thursday's second practice session in Monaco before the rain came down and the lap times dropped dramatically

With rain on the horizon, the drivers were quickly out on track to get in as much dry running as possible.

Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez set the early pace, trading blows before Michael Schumacher and Lewis Hamilton overhauled the Sauber pairing. Their reign was short-lived as Jenson Button took the P1 slot with a 1:17.095.

Button was dropped by Fernando Alonso, who in turn lost out to Pastor Maldonado only for the Spaniard to come back at him and retake the P1 slot.

Button ventured out again, this time on the super soft Pirellis, taking the P1 slot with a 1:15.746 while Romain Grosjean climbed to second place.

And then the rain came, not heavy at first but enough for race control to declare the track wet. Moments later, though, it did intensify.

With the rain lessening after 20 minutes the drivers ventured back out only to pit a few minutes later as the second shower hit. The silence was broken by the Toro Rosso drivers with several others opting to head out as well. They were, however, on average 20s a lap down on the leading dry times.

Surprisingly, other than the two Williams, Perez, Felipe Massa and Heikki Kovalainen heading up the escape road at Mirabeau, there were no other issues to report despite the greasy track surface.

Mark Webber was quickest on the wet track with a 1:31.777 although others did go a bit faster in the final few minutes when a dry line started to appear.

The session ended with Button, Grosjean and Massa in the top three positions and more rain forecast for Saturday's qualifying.


1 Jenson Button McLaren 1:15.746 17 laps
2 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:16.138 0.392 19 laps
3 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:16.602 0.856 21 laps
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:16.661 0.915 23 laps
5 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:16.820 1.074 20 laps
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.021 1.275 15 laps
7 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:17.148 1.402 23 laps
8 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:17.153 1.407 22 laps
9 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:17.293 1.547 11 laps
10 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:17.303 1.557 21 laps
11 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:17.375 1.629 19 laps
12 Paul di Resta Force India 1:17.395 1.649 21 laps
13 Bruno Senna Williams 1:17.655 1.909 18 laps
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:17.800 2.054 25 laps
15 Sergio Perez Sauber 1:18.251 2.505 24 laps
16 Vitaly Petrov Caterham 1:18.440 2.694 24 laps
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:18.522 2.776 22 laps
18 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:18.808 3.062 26 laps
19 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1:19.267 3.521 25 laps
20 Timo Glock Marussia 1:19.309 3.563 29 laps
21 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham 1:20.029 4.283 13 laps
22 Charles Pic Marussia 1:20.240 4.494 20 laps
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT 1:20.631 4.885 12 laps
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT 1:20.886 5.140 10 laps

Source: Planet-F1

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