Renault's Fernando Alonso set the quickest time this afternoon in second practice ahead of this Sunday's European Grand Prix at Valencia, despite a collision with Nick Heidfeld and a spin.

Alonso posted his best effort right at the end of the 90 minute session and he was the only driver to break the 1 minute 40 second barrier, with a 1m 39.404s - almost eight tenths up on his closest rival.

The Spaniard was lucky to get back out though, after he collided with Heidfeld's BMW Sauber in the final corner with just 15 minutes to go. The impact ripped the nose off his Renault R29, but he was able to dive straight into the pits and was soon on track again, much to the delight of all of his home supporters. Heidfeld branded the incident 'plain stupid'.

Jenson Button meanwhile was 'best of the rest', closely followed by his Brawn GP team-mate and FP1 pace setter, Rubens Barrichello - an early sign perhaps that the Brackley-based squad may have recovered after less than convincing recent results.

Williams' Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima kept the two-by-two formation going by coming in fourth and fifth respectively, two tenths or so further back.

Adrian Sutil maintained his promise from the first practice and was again sixth for Force India, the new updates, which the team claim will give them around 0.7 seconds a lap, seemingly doing the job.

Indeed Giancarlo Fisichella also went well in the sister VJM02, and he ended the session eighth, leaving Robert Kubica very much the meat in the Force India sandwich.

Red Bull Racing's Sebastian Vettel had to settle for P9, a disappointing result given the pace shown of late by the Milton Keynes-based operation, followed by McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen, the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen and Toyota's Jarno Trulli.

Further down the order Renault new boy and Nelson Piquet Jr's replacement, Romain Grosjean was 13th, 1.383 seconds off the pace, with Mark Webber 14th and Timo Glock 15th.

Sebastien Buemi came in 16th, followed by Heidfeld, who of course as mentioned earlier was clobbered by Alonso, then Luca Badoer and Jaime Alguersuari.

Lewis Hamilton was slowest in FP2 - and in the overall times, despite having been third this morning - after only completing 3 laps in the second session. The Brit was on the pace initially in FP2, but pushed too hard and damaged the new nose on his McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24. As a result he took no further part in today's practice.

To see the full free practice 2 times ahead of the eleventh round in the 2009 F1 World Championship click here

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