Sebastian Vettel topped the second free practice of the European Grand Prix. He out-paced a surprisingly fast Nico Hülkenberg at the Valencia Street Circuit. Also, Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi set a great performance and came in third.
Early pace setter Romain Grosjean and FP1 leader Pastor Maldonado had a promising start to the session. They were quickly caught by Kobayashi and Lewis Hamilton. The McLaren driver, however, was still struggling with his pace. After a difficult FP1 where he finished eighth, it seemed he would do better in FP2 as he led the session for a while. Eventually, he dropped down the order and finished only fourteenth. Meanwhile, teammate Jenson Button’s problems seemed solved for the most part as he was able to lead the session for a while. But he was also struggling with the McLaren MP4-27’s pace and eventually finished twelfth.
As in FP1, in FP2 the drivers again seemed closely matched. Every now and then the top three changed and many of them had the chance to lead for a while. Amongst them was Michael Schumacher. However, just after setting the best time, he encountered some problems with his Mercedes and was forced to get back to the pits. His leading spot was then taken by Vettel who kept it for the remainder of the session.
There was one very unfortunate driver in the form of Pedro de la Rosa. He crashed his HRT into the wall at Turn 14 and his car was left with heavy damage to its front wing and suspension. The cause of the crash turned out to be the brakes as the HRT’s left-front brake caught fire.
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