F1 2011 Monaco Grand Prix practice: Hamilton second fastest behind Ferrari’s Alonso
LEWIS Hamilton was narrowly pipped by Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso to the fastest time in second practice for the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix.
The Herts-born Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver clocked a lap time of 1m 15.228s on softer rubber around the tight and twisty Monte Carlo street circuit.
However, that wasn’t quite good enough to put the 26-year-old 2008 Formula 1 world champion from Hertfordshire top of the day’s timesheets.
That accolade when to Alonso, who posted the fastest lap of practice with a 1m 15.123s in P2 – just 0.105 seconds better than Hamilton.
As a result, the Spaniard has been backed in from 14/1 to 5/1 to be the fastest qualifier in Monaco by bookies William Hill.
Hamilton is also 5/1 to claim pole position, while Jenson Button has drifted from 20/1 to 25/1 to qualify fastest.
Sebastian Vettel (4/6) and Mark Webber (15/4) have both eased slightly as they finished fifth and eighth respectively.
“After the first day of practice, it looks like we are in for the most competitive race of the season, with Alonso and Hamilton impressing and the Red Bulls losing some of their edge on the tight circuit,” said Hill’s spokesman Joe Crilly.
Things were very tight at the top with Nico Rosberg third for Mercedes in today’s afternoon session with 1m 15.321s.
Hamilton’s McLaren team-mate Button was fourth with 1m 15.448s ahead of reigning F1 world champion Vettel.
The German Red Bull driver had earlier gone quickest in P1 this morning.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher, in the other Mercedes, were sixth and seventh best in P2 respectively, with Webber eighth for Red Bull.
Adrian Sutil and Nick Heidfeld completed the top 10 in P2.
Qualifying for the 2011 Monaco GP starts at 1pm BST on Saturday.
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