There were overcast skies and a track temperature of just 25’C at the start of Friday’s second practice in Montreal as the drivers rapidly got down to their setting up laps underway when the track was green-lighted. Lucas di Grassi, who unsuccessful to set a time during the morning session after breaking down out on track, placed the afternoon’s first time, a 1:30.035. But he wasn’t the only driver setting times early and soon lost out to Nico Hulkenberg, Vitaly Petrov, Kamui Kobayashi, Rubens Barrichello and Bruno Senna.
Renault’s Petrov go up to the top of the timesheets while Lewis Hamilton took third place on his first attempt before he was dropped a position by his team-mate Jenson Button. Robert Kubica was the next to lead the way and then Hamilton with the Brit clocking a 1:18.421. In sharp contrast to the morning session where just eight drivers set times in the first 45 minutes, the afternoon had 15 drivers making their mark before the first ten minutes were even finished.
Button was the next to take the P1 slot, a 1:17.961. Felipe Massa went fourth quickest, ahead of Barrichello, Petrov and de la Rosa. Adrian Sutil, Tonio Liuzzi and Hulkenberg made up the early top ten. Nico Rosberg overhauled Button at the front with Hamilton and Liuzzi slotting in behind him. Michael Schumacher improved to third place as Massa took fourth and Sebastian Vettel fifth.
After the early rush it was back into the pits for most of the drivers to evaluate the data gathered with just a handful of cars, including the two Red Bulls, putting in the mileage. Vettel slotted into second place while Mark Webber took fourth before they too returned to the pits.
Back out on track, Rosberg lowered his benchmark time to a 1:17.151. Fernando Alonso improved to third place behind Vettel. Meanwhile Jarno Trulli remained stuck in his garage as Lotus continued to make repairs to his car. The Italian was the only driver not has set a lap time.
The two McLaren drivers were some of the first to switch to the softer option tyres but it did nothing to help their lap times with Hamilton remaining fourth and Button ninth. Vettel, though, didn’t have the same problem, taking first place with a 1:16.877. Massa was the next to try the softer rubber and he improved to third before being dropped as Webber took third place. Alonso climbed to second place, 0.086s off the pace.
Trulli finally set a time with 15 minutes on the clock, taking 22nd place while drivers who had been out on the soft tyres for a number of laps complained of graining. As such there were very few drivers who improved their lap times as the clock counted down, eventually ending with Vettel in the P1 slot ahead of Alonso.