Alonso gets to grips with second free practice



Alonso gets to grips with second free practice Valencia: Spaniard Fernando Alonso topped the times for Ferrari in the second free practice for Sunday's European Grand Prix.

The 28-year-old double world champion set the pace in his updated Ferrari at the Valencia street circuit with a best lap time of 1min 39.283secs.

Alonso spent much of the morning session in the pits as his team performed some final checks on his car, but looked strong all afternoon while Brazilian team-mate Felipe Massa struggled with grip and was forced to return to the pits on foot after spinning off at turn 4.

Massa was not the only driver to have problems. Turn 12 presented the most difficult challenge of the afternoon, leaving drivers struggling with grip often losing control of their cars.

Red Bull duo, German Sebastian Vettel and Australian Mark Webber, were not far off Alonso's time and finished the session second and third quickest, although they were among the drivers who appeared to struggle most with tyre degradation.

German Nico Rosberg of Mercedes, quickest in the morning session, was fourth fastest ahead of 2008 champion, Britain's Lewis Hamilton of McLaren.

Renault driver Robert Kubica of Poland was sixth fastest and looked like the only driver who might compete with frontrunners McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes.

Massa rejoined the session after his early spin and finished seventh quickest followed by German Adrian Sutil of Force India.

Briton Jenson Button was ninth quickest in the second McLaren ahead of Brazilian Rubens Barichello of Williams who completed the top ten.

Bureau Report