Practice: Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren all in contention in Monza on Friday

Stephan Heublein



McLaren may be the hot favourites for victory this weekend in Monza, but Red Bull Racing go into day 2 here as the fastest team in the pitlane after the championship challenging team set the fastest time in second practice this afternoon. Sebastian Vettel set a time of 1m22.839s to beat Ferrari's Fernando Alonso by a mere seven hundredths of a second, posting the quickest time of the weekend in the process.

After a straightforward first practice session this morning, this afternoon saw numerous incidents and accidents, with plenty of off-course excursions and technical problems, the first coming just minutes into the session when Michael Schumacher tripped through the gravel at the famous Parabolica corner. Sebastien Buemi and Felipe Massa followed the German through the gravel later in the session, although all survived largely unscathed.

Having escaped Wednesday's team orders hearing without any major penalty, Ferrari enjoyed a competitive afternoon of action with Fernando Alonso (1m22.915s) posting the second-quickest time, followed by team-mate Felipe Massa (1m23.061s) in third. They just about snuck into the top ten this morning, but have now shown they are well in contention for the win this weekend.