McLaren F1 driver Jenson Button was fastest from Romain Grosjean of Lotus in practice at the Monaco Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso of Ferrari set the pace in the first session ahead of Grosjean by 0.365 seconds. However rained ruined the remainder of the second session. That left the Englishman’s time of 1 min 15.746 secs as the fastest practice time. His team mate, Lewis Hamilton, was 11th fastest in the afternoon, saying “Hopefully Saturday will be a bit better.” The weather forecast for Saturday’s qualifying is an 80% chance of showers.
Filipe Massa of Ferrari was third fastest of the second round after being warned by his team to improve following some lacklustre performances so far this season. He was just ahead of team mate Alonso.
Fifth place went to Pastor Maldonado on super soft tyres with Nico Rosberg of Mercedes in sixth, Mark Weber of Red Bull in seventh, Kamui Kobayashi was in eighth with Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel finishing ninth and tenth respectively.
Alonso tweeted “Good Thursday in Monaco, gaining confidence with the car. Happy.”
Heikki Kovalainen’s car blew up in the tunnel in dramatic style with plumes of white smoke bellowing from the Caterham with seven minutes remaining.
Gary Anderson, BBC F1 technical analyst said “This year’s racing is really competitive. That’s seven different cars in the top ten and any one of those drivers could win the race.
Former world champion Mika Hakkinen said “Monaco is a difficult circuit because the barriers are very close. You need to have maximum concentration and the perfect run to get a great lap.” Kimi Raikkonen who has not raced at Monaco for 3 years didn’t manage to set a lap time after changing a steering rack as he didn’t like the feel of the first one.