Fernando Alonso set the pace again in second practice for this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix, during a session which was enlivened by a number of offs, including one for his McLaren-Mercedes team-mate, Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso, like all 22 of the runners, improved during the afternoon session and while this morning the Spaniard was the only one with a 1 minute 16 second lap, this time he was the only one in the 1 minute 15 second bracket, his best a 1m 15.940s.

Kimi Raikkonen meanwhile was second for Ferrari, the Finn ending the day three tenths slower in his F2007, on a 1m 16.215s. Both Kimi and Alonso set their best laps using the Bridgestone super soft tyres. Two compound choices are available for this Sunday's race at the Principality, namely the 'super soft' and the 'soft'. Monte Carlo will be the first event competitors have had the 'super soft' available.

Hamilton was third in the second MP4-22, although he had to watch the final 30 minutes from the sidelines after going off at Sainte Devote. He was uninjured in the incident, although the front left of the car didn't come off so well.

Lewis was one of a number of drivers' to have trouble during the second 90-minute practice session, with Anthony Davidson also crashing at the same place just a few minutes earlier.

Ralf Schumacher also had an off right near the end when he lost it at the Swimming Pool complex and planted his Toyota TF107 in the barriers. Davidson and Ralf ended proceedings right near the back, in 19th and 20th respectively.

Ralf's team-mate, Jarno Trulli did much better in the sister car and despite being slow in FP1 and losing one of his barge boards early on in FP2, the Italian bounced back and ended up six hundredths behind Hamilton, in fourth place overall. Trulli's best was a 1m 16.354s. Ralf was more than 2 seconds slower.

Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella and Ferrari's Felipe Massa rounded out the top five, both posting a 1min 16.7sec lap, while Robert Kubica led the way for BMW Sauber.

Williams' Nico Rosberg was next up, three tenths up on Mark Webber's Red Bull RB3. David Coulthard was just behind his team-mate in tenth in the other RBR-car, even though he kissed the barriers around 50 minutes in and damaged one of his wheels.

Honda's Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button were eleventh and twelfth, split by a whisker, less than one hundredth between them in the highly disappointing RA106.

Takuma Sato trailed both factory cars, but not by much in his Super Aguri-machine. The Japanese driver was just two thousandths slower than Button.

After the Honda cars, Nick Heidfeld was 14th, half a second or so off Kubica in the other BMW Sauber F1.07. Nick had been third in FP1, but tumbled down the order in the second session.

Alex Wurz and Vitantonio Liuzzi came in 15th and 16th, while Heikki Kovalainen was 17th. Kovalainen's best effort was a 1m 18.086s lap, 2 seconds behind Fisichella.

Of the rest, Scott Speed was 18th, followed by Davidson and Schumacher, both mentioned earlier and then the Spyker F1's of Christijan Albers and Adrian Sutil. Both Spyker drivers improved this afternoon but were still some way behind, the gap between Sutil and Alonso over 3 seconds.

There is now the usual break in the build up to the Monaco Grand Prix, with Friday a 'rest' day for the F1 folk. Normal service resumes on Saturday and Sunday, with qualifying and the race.

 

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