German sets the pace but team-mate is close behind

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The Independent Online

The second practice session provided a pretty accurate snapshot of the performance pecking order in Formula One, as the world championship battle intensified in Interlagos yesterday.

Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber continued their morning form to dominate things and keep their title aspirations firmly on track for Red Bull Racing, whose Adrian Newey-designed RB6 remains the most efficient car aerodynamically. The Australian set the afternoon pace on Bridgestone's softer-compound tyre with a lap of 1min 12.072sec before Vettel trimmed that to 1m 11.968s in the final half hour before the track got slower.

Ferrari had a good and bad day. Points leader Fernando Alonso broke an engine in the morning (but doesn't receive a grid place penalty because it happened on a Friday and not a Saturday when penalties can be applied) and Felipe Massa appeared to have a similar problem in the afternoon, rolling to a halt immediately after setting what at the time was the third fastest lap. But Alonso was later able to lap only 0.360sec slower than Vettel in the second session to take that third place. Lewis Hamilton was fourth and Jenson Button seventh for McLaren.