A quick early lap ensured Lewis Hamilton would prove the driver to beat during second free practice for the Turkish Grand Prix, although it was a session badly disrupted by a lengthy red flag period.

Attempting to respond to Ferrari, and especially Kimi Raikkonen's, devastating pace in the morning, Hamilton was one of the first to be out and up to speed as he also attempted to make up for the time he lost when his clutch started slipping during session one.

He quickly dipped well below his morning time, his lap of 1min 28.469secs setting a benchmark that would eventually not be beaten.

Part of this was down to a red flag period for 30 minutes when a drain cover was sucked off the track circuit at turn ten, prompting officials to ponder how to resolve the situation. Satisfied of its safety, the session restart with 40 minutes remaining, but few would improve on their times as the optimum track conditions passed.

It meant Hamilton held a comfortable three tenth advantage over morning pace setter Raikkonen, who was likely to be on a modest strategy following his earlier speed.

Toyota's Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli caused a stir by placing themselves third and fourth just as the hour mark passed, the team apparently confident of a top six result this weekend, a target they are well on course to achieving according to their early form.

Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had to contend with fifth and sixth, but with just one second covering the top twelve, the order remains close at the end of the first day of running around the Istanbul Park circuit.

Williams showed well, Nico Rosberg again getting himself up there in sixth place, but this time being joined by team-mate Alex Wurz in eighth, the duo separated by the Renault of Heikki Kovalainen.

It meant BMW were further down the order than usual, Robert Kubica leading their charge in tenth, but Nick Heidfeld posting just the 13th best lap.

David Coulthard was an impressive 11th fastest, the Scot having missed the majority of the session as Red Bull spent several hours fixing his machine when it developed what is thought to have been an electrical fault that, alarmingly, set the bottom of his car on fire during first practice.

The Honda-engined entries filled four of the next five places, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello in the works-prepared cars in 14th and 15th ahead of the customer Super Aguri models of Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson in 16th and 18th. Mark Webber spoilt the tandem in 17th.

It was a tough session for Davidson though after he locked up his brakes at turn three and went straight on into the barriers with only a few minutes remaining, causing some front-end damage. Earlier on he has almost collected a slowing Sebastian Vettel at the fearsome turn eight, but just avoided the Toro Rosso.

Vettel got out again after his mechanical dramas with only 20 minutes of the session remaining, recovering to 20th position, a tenth behind team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi. Just a further three tenths separated the German from his countryman Adrian Sutil in the leading Spyker, while Sakon Yamamoto was just two hundredths off his highly rated team-mate himself.

To view the full second free practice times for the Turkish Grand Prix click here

 

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