Britain's Lewis Hamilton led the way this afternoon in second practice for this Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix - and in contrast to this morning, conditions were dry and sunny at Spa-Francorchamps.

Hamilton was on the pace throughout the 90 minutes, although it was only right at the end that he demoted Timo Glock to second, when he set a 1 minute 47.201 second lap in his McLaren-Mercedes MP4-24.

With McLaren having played down expectations ahead of round twelfth in the 2009 FIA F1 World Championship, it now appears they could be just as formidable as they were at the Hungaroring and in Valencia.

Glock meanwhile finished the session less than two hundredths slower for Toyota, the German maintaining the Cologne-based outfit's strong start to the weekend. Indeed Jarno Trulli, who set the pace in the first rain disrupted practice, ended proceedings seventh, on a 1m 47.559s.

Kimi Raikkonen came in third for Ferrari, 0.84 seconds off Hamilton, although he stopped late on.

Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber was a strong fourth and Renault's Romain Grosjean was a highly encouraging fifth on his second race outing with the Renault R29.

Giancarlo Fisichella rounded out the top six for Force India, ahead of Trulli, the BMW Sauber of Robert Kubica and then Jaime Alguersuari, who suffered a suspected engine failure in the closing seconds of the session.

Sebastian Vettel completed the top ten and he was only four tenths of a second off the pace, which indicates yet again just how close the field is. Indeed less than a second cover the top 18.

Further down the order Sebastien Buemi came in eleventh, with Hamilton's team-mate, Heikki Kovalainen 12th and Adrian Sutil 13th. Early pace setter Fernando Alonso could manage only 14th at the finish, ahead of Kazuki Nakajima and Nick Heidfeld.

Nakajima and his Williams team-mate, Nico Rosberg, who was 19th, were both at the wrong end of the times, and so too were the two Brawn GP cars of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

Button, who of course leads the race for the 2009 F1 drivers' title was only 17th, five thousandths up on Barrichello, suggesting the Brackley-based outfit still has some work to do to get their car to work properly in colder conditions.

Unsurprisingly, given his form in Valencia, Ferrari's Luca Badoer brought up the rear and the Italian continues to struggle. He ended the day with a best time of 1 minute 49.211 seconds, 2 seconds off Hamilton and almost a second off Rosberg in 19th. He had to pit early in the session when a left front wheel fairing fell off his Ferrari F60 in Blanchimont and that brought out the red flags, albeit only for a couple of minutes.

To see the full free practice 2 times from Spa click here.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment