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Jenson Button was atop the timesheets when rain fell in Monaco on Thursday afternoon. As the amount of running dropped, the McLaren remained quickest from Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa, with Fernando Alonso falling to fourth position. On a greasy surface, five cars overshot at the Mirabeau corner.
Although everybody in Monte Carlo had been braced for thunderstorms on Friday and more light rain on Saturday, the bad weather came early as lighting was seen across the bay on the run-up to second practice. This resulted in much track activity as soon as the green light came on, with drivers striving to complete as many dry laps as possible; however, it is possible that qualifying may be staged in conditions similar to those of today.
With the weather contributing more than anything else, lap numbers were generally low, although Toro Rosso was keen to make the most of a quiet track and rack up mileage on the greasy surface. Daniel Ricciardo had toured more times than anybody for most of the session, although Marussia’s Timo Glock eventually completed the highest number of laps, with 29 to his name; he moved ahead of Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen in the final classification.
A quintet of cars all skidded off the road at Mirabeau, with Bruno Senna starting the trend before Williams team-mate and Barcelona winner Pastor Maldonado made the same mistake just minutes later. The duo’s errors were copied by Sergio Pérez, Felipe Massa and the aforementioned Kovalainen, but the Finn was the only man unable to rejoin the session as reverse gear appeared to fail on his Caterham.
Crucially, the conditions severely limited the first 2012 race weekend sampling of Pirelli’s Super Soft tyre compound, which is to be used both here in Monaco and at the next race in Canada. The fastest times of nine drivers were delivered on the red-marked rubber: Button, Maldonado, Webber, Kobayashi, Hamilton, di Resta, Pérez, Petrov and Vergne. When the incidents took place, the green-walled Intermediate compound was already in use.
As there is no F1 track running on Friday, drivers will be concentrating on car setup and PR work while enjoying a shorter working day.
There will be a break in Formula 1 track action on Friday. Practice 3 then takes place from 11am local time (BST +1) on Saturday and can also be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report
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