Rosberg doubles up at Monaco

Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg turns in another dominant performance to top the FP2 timesheet in Monaco.

After being quickest on the soft tyre in the morning, Mercedes reinforced their qualifying credentials on the supersoft tyre in Thursday afternoon’s second free practice session.

Nico Rosberg was once again fastest, his time of 1:14.759 being three-tenths quicker than that of team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Behind Hamilton came the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso, third, and Felipe Massa. Mark Webber was fifth for Red Bull with the Lotus pair Kimi Räikkönen and Romain Grosjean behind him. Jenson Button was eighth for McLaren, Sebastian Vettel finished the day in ninth position in the second Red Bull and Paul di Resta rounded out the top ten for Force India.

It was a session that featured heavy mileage from most drivers. Hamilton managed 51 laps with most others in the 40s. Grosjean was the exception, his afternoon ended with just ten laps on the board. The French driver slammed into the barriers at Ste Devote, ripping the front-left corner off his Lotus. As the the Frenchman walked back to the pitlane, the session was briefly halted. The Lotus was winched off the track, while unrelated damage to the kerbs in the swimming pool section was also repaired. At that point Rosberg had already set his fastest time.

The session had started on soft tyres. Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne, fifteen minutes into the session, was the first to switch to the supersofts. When the session was halted he was one of a handful using the red-banded rubber – though after the short hiatus it become the tyre of choice for the majority.

The field then concentrated on long runs, many of which lasted until the chequered flag and, as drivers concentrated on evaluating their tyres, no-one challenged Rosberg’s time. The upshot of the session was the discovery that Pirelli’s 2013 supersoft is capable of completing over thirty laps of the Circuit de Monaco.

2013 Monaco Grand Prix free practice 2 times

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:14.759
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:15.077 +0.318
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:15.196 +0.437
4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:15.278 +0.519
5 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1:15.404 +0.645
6 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus 1:15.511 +0.752
7 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:15.718 +0.959
8 Jenson Button McLaren1:15.959 +1.200
9 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 1:16.014 +1.255
10 Paul di Resta Force India 1:16.046 +1.287
11 Adrian Sutil Force India 1:16.349 +1.590
12 Sergio Pérez McLaren 1:16.434 +1.675
13 Nico Hülkenberg Sauber 1:16.823 +2.064
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:16.857 +2.098
15 Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber 1:16.935 +2.176
16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:17.145 +2.386
17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:17.184 +2.425
18 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:17.264 +2.505
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:17.892 +3.133
20 Charles Pic Caterham 1:18.212 +3.453
21 Max Chilton Marussia 1:18.784 +4.025
22 Giedo van der Garde Caterham 1:19.031 +4.272