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Alonso quickest in second practice


Fernando Alonso in SingaporeFernando Alonso sprung a surprise in second practice for the Singapore Grand Prix, beating Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in the closing seconds of the session.

The Renault driver outpaced the McLaren by 0.098 seconds, with Ferrari's Felipe Massa and McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen third and fourth, and Nico Rosberg impressing again for Williams in fifth.

Hamilton was quickest for the majority of the session, swiftly moving ahead of early pacesetter Rosberg and then chipping away at his time for the next hour and steadily edging further ahead.

Massa, who took a couple of detours down escape roads without damage, usurped the McLaren with 15 minutes remaining, with Hamilton's teammate Kovalainen then pushing the Briton down to third as he lapped just 0.004 seconds slower than Massa.

It didn't take long for Hamilton to respond, though, as he switched to the softer tyres for the last few minutes and lapped in 1:45.752, beating Massa by 0.041 seconds.

Until Alonso's late lap, it looked like Hamilton was set to remain on top. But the Renault produced a 1:45.654 just before the chequered flag, after a spectacular lap on the super-soft tyres.

However Hamilton's practice one benchmark of 1:45.518 would remain the fastest lap of the day - demonstrating how quickly the teams and drivers had got to grips with the circuit, and that the track had offered competitive conditions right from the outset rather than first practice being spent cleaning a dusty surface.

Behind the top four, Rosberg was on the pace throughout the session again and took fifth, ahead of BMW's Robert Kubica. Kimi Raikkonen only managed seventh in the second Ferrari, with Jenson Button also continuing his promising earlier form to take eighth for Honda.

The session was less eventful than opening practice, although Timo Glock lost his Toyota's front wing when he spun into the wall exiting Turn 7 right at the end.

There was also an eyebrow-raising moment at the first corner when Sebastien Bourdais exited the pitlane just as Nick Heidfeld committed to the first turn on a flying lap, causing the Toro Rosso to cut across the inside run-off and the BMW to take to the extra asphalt on the opposite side of the track.

The unusually short one-hour gap between first and second practice almost caught the organisers out, as the session start was delayed by two minutes while Paddock Club guests were cleared from the pitlane.

The unique schedule was also bad news for Mark Webber and Red Bull, denying the team much-needed time to repair the damage sustained in the Australian's earlier crash. Webber finally joined the track with 27 minutes to go, and after initially languishing at the foot of the times, he leapt up to 11th on his last lap.

Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella was also in trouble. The Italian was on the cusp of the top ten at first, only for a gearbox problem to sideline him for the second half of the session, leaving him 17th.

Pos  Driver        Team                     Time              Laps
 1.  Alonso        Renault             (B)  1:45.654            30
 2.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:45.752  + 0.098   28
 3.  Massa         Ferrari             (B)  1:45.793  + 0.139   31
 4.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:45.797  + 0.143   31
 5.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:46.164  + 0.510   34
 6.  Kubica        BMW Sauber          (B)  1:46.384  + 0.730   36
 7.  Raikkonen     Ferrari             (B)  1:46.580  + 0.926   25
 8.  Button        Honda               (B)  1:46.901  + 1.247   32
 9.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:47.013  + 1.359   32
10.  Glock         Toyota              (B)  1:47.046  + 1.392   22
11.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:47.137  + 1.483   15
12.  Piquet        Renault             (B)  1:47.145  + 1.491   35
13.  Vettel        Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:47.300  + 1.646   33
14.  Bourdais      Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:47.487  + 1.833   24
15.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:47.640  + 1.986   31
16.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber          (B)  1:47.760  + 2.106   36
17.  Fisichella    Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:47.965  + 2.311   12
18.  Barrichello   Honda               (B)  1:48.009  + 2.355   25
19.  Trulli        Toyota              (B)  1:48.059  + 2.405   28
20.  Sutil         Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:48.311  + 2.657   36

All Timing Unofficial
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