McLaren head second practice as Alonso hits trouble

2012 Italian Grand Prix second practice

Jenson Button, McLaren, Monza, 2012Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button topped the times in the second practice session at Monza.

Less than four-hundredths of a second separated the two McLaren drivers at the top of the times. Behind them was Fernando Alonso a mere two-hundredths of a second slower.

But for the second session in a row the Ferrari driver’s running came to an early end. He coasted back to the pits with an apparent gearbox fault with more than 20 minutes remaining.

Alonso did not reappear, thereby missing much of the high-fuel running at the end of the session.

The top eight drivers were covered by little more than a quarter of a second, with Felipe Massa fourth ahead of Nico Rosberg, Kimi Raikkonen and the two Force Indias.

Michael Schumacher, tenth, would probably have been up there with his team mate had he not had a fault with his DRS. It was one of several problems the team had to deal with including a loss of telemetry on Schumacher’s car and another DRS glitch on Rosberg’s.

Schumacher also had concerns with the track. He addressed FIA race director Charlie Whiting at one point, saying the speed bumps in the run-off at the Roggia chicane were a safety hazard. Schumacher described them as “ridiculous”, saying a driver could “break their spine” if they hit them at speed after a brake failure.

Both Red Bull drivers finished the session outside the top ten, with Jerome D’Ambrosio splitting the two RB8s in 12th place.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.290
2 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’25.328 0.038
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’25.348 0.058
4 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’25.430 0.140
5 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.446 0.156
6 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’25.504 0.214
7 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’25.547 0.257
8 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’25.548 0.258
9 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.068 0.778
10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’26.094 0.804
11 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’26.104 0.814
12 10 Jerome D’Ambrosio Lotus-Renault 1’26.157 0.867
13 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’26.394 1.104
14 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’26.404 1.114
15 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.724 1.434
16 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’26.730 1.440
17 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’26.783 1.493
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’26.841 1.551
19 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.864 1.574
20 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’27.222 1.932
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.944 2.654
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’27.968 2.678
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’28.575 3.285
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’28.779 3.489

2012 Italian Grand Prix

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72 comments on McLaren head second practice as Alonso hits trouble

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 7th September 2012, 14:36

    for sure Mclaren is the team to beat but Ferrari is not so far off which makes me happy even though I’d like to be happier :)
    but before become happier, I should hope Alonso would not get grid penalty from gearbox failure :(

  2. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 7th September 2012, 14:37

    I said it during f1 fanatic live and i will say it againg
    “Jerome only +0.867 away from the fastest lap. I’d say not bad at all.”
    He also managed to go faster than S.Vettel.

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 7th September 2012, 14:39

      yeah, lack of mileages and experience with E20, it should be said impressive. Now we will see how he’s good in qualifying and race…

    • Uncle Ben (@uncleben) said on 7th September 2012, 15:30

      As a fellow Belgian, my fingers are firmly crossed!

    • xeroxpt (@) said on 7th September 2012, 15:53

      If you take in consideration that a full time driver like Massa keeps getting over a second behind his teammate D’Ambrosio that never really impressed on GP2 seems to be doing very well indeed, of course, Massa is doing better this past weekends nonetheless .8 tenths means nothing.

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 7th September 2012, 16:39

      .6 sec if compared to Raikonnen … but I suspect it will be more during quali as you need a lot of time in the car to know exactly the limit and nailing the best lap possible. Still great for him, and probably the best position possible for the pressure he could have.

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 7th September 2012, 16:50

      I doff my cap to you jerome.

  3. LucaBadoerFan (@lucabadoerfan) said on 7th September 2012, 14:38

    d’ambrosio has done very well in both sessions – given the circumstances. i’m hoping he can qualify 10th or 11th, and finish around 7th or 8th in the race. he hasn’t put a foot wrong so far – best of luck to him.

  4. Postreader said on 7th September 2012, 14:38

    Lotus and Mercs flying on the long run, Ferrari a bit behind but ahead of the Maccas it would seem;

  5. vickyy (@vickyy) said on 7th September 2012, 14:40

    Isn’t this is year’s Monza speaking of better of the engines (till now)?
    All Merc-power, 3 Ferraris and 1 Renault in top 10!

  6. Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 7th September 2012, 14:42

    I’d love to see Mercedes stay up there and possibly get the win this weekend. The team have had a really hard time of it considering their early season performances, and I would love to see Nico get win #2 or Michael get win #92!
    Ferrari are looking stronger than I expected, as long as nothing else fails on Alonso’s car!

    • If Mercedes get past the DRS-related problems they experienced today on both their cars, they still have the tyre wear problem to solve…and get the strategies right. As much as I’d love to see Schumacher up there in the top three, I believe it’s quite a long shot.

      I would say they look on par with Lotus though, this weekend. That should put them in contention for 5th or 6th place in the race. Not bad if we take their season so far into account.

      • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 7th September 2012, 14:55

        The tyre wear may not be that great a factor considering it’s Monza and that Pirelli brought the Medium and Hard compounds. I’d be hopeful of them challenging the podium.
        But yeah, even 5th or 6th would be great considering previous form!

    • Eggry (@eggry) said on 7th September 2012, 14:56

      even if tyre problem is there, still this is the best picture for them since Chinese grand prix. also they’re mighty in straight even without DRS so it would be good weekend for him. Podium might be a long shot though.

    • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 7th September 2012, 16:45

      Good point from Eggry, we saw how difficult it was to pass them last year and they have the same kind of top speed advantage this year. But the whole package car, driver, team, strategy, tyre doesn’t seem there, I don’t see them winning, could always be a surprise.

  7. Up until now it looks close between McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus, with Red Bull, Force India and Sauber, Williams, Torro Rosso…in order further back.

    Long runs and tyre wear it is. At least it’s gonna be damn tough to predict.

  8. When was the last time any session ended with a 1-2, never mind 3-4?

  9. Julian (@julian) said on 7th September 2012, 15:10

    Force India’s team principle said this in the round-up yesterday: “There is nothing between them and it is a thrill to have two wonderful drivers pushing the limits all the time.”
    My goodness was he right.

  10. James (@jamesf1) said on 7th September 2012, 15:15

    Good showing from the Caterham folks today, mixing it up with the Toro Rosso’s and Kobayashi. Although I’m sure they’ll have something in reserve for quali, it shows the progress that Caterham have made. Also credit to Marussia who are hundreth-by-hundreth are edging forwards too.

    Of course, this is only practice, things will probably be different come end of Q1 tomorrow, but encouraging signs none-the-less.

  11. Red Bull sandbagging or a general lack of pace? I guess we’ll find out in Q2/3 for sure…

  12. xeroxpt (@) said on 7th September 2012, 16:01

    Qualli might get interesting again but somewhat not close, neither will the race be, the Mclarens are good for a one two and Ferrari for 3rd, i really don’t like to see a grid dominated by cars rather than pilots, it’s remembering of the bad days perhaps for a good reason, Mclarens 1st and 2nd, Ferraris 3rd and 4th and the FI if it weren’t for different programs, this stat sheet could show even more pairings.

  13. Matt.D (@matt-d) said on 7th September 2012, 16:03

    Can anyone else access the practice lap times from I keep getting a 404 error.

  14. Erik Torsner said on 7th September 2012, 16:50

    Don’t know if I got the various reports correctly. But it seems that Fernandos best time was set on the hard rubber while the McLarens did theirs on the soft? Anyone that can confirm?

  15. Sandhurst5 (@sandhurst5) said on 7th September 2012, 17:09

    I believe Schumacher would have topped the time sheet with his lap, DRS makes up for approximately 0.7/8 tenths per lap. If not, he certainly would have made the top 3 which is looking positive. Time will tell if this is a true reflection of the car’s pace compared to the rest of the field.

    He also looked decent on the long runs so hopefully, this time Mercedes don’t let him down in qualifying and especially the race, like they have at every single race so far this season and even in today’s session (DRS issues with both his car and Rosberg).

    Mercedes, come on!! When are you going to sort it all out? It’s starting to become a rhetorical question which is plain embarrassing!

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