Jenson Button posts fastest time during practice for Monaco Grand Prix

 

Jenson Button beat the showers that dogged second practice ahead of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix to record the fastest time of the day.

With rain forecast as the session began, it forced all drivers to hit the principality street circuit to get in dry running before the dangers increased on a potentially greasy track.

After just 25 minutes, with the gloom closing in, the first light shower did enough to send the cars scurrying back into the pits.

At that stage McLaren star Button held sway with a lap of one minute 15.746secs, a time that was never to be bettered as the rain drifted in and out, resulting in interspersed periods of activity and quiet.

At least there was the opportunity for the teams to try out the intermediate Pirelli tyres, designed for such damp conditions.

Depending on which website you believe, there is the prospect of further rain over the weekend, but then the weather in such a microclimate as this part of the world is as unpredictable as the racing we have so far seen.

Button is one of five different drivers to have won a race this year, with history beckoning on Sunday as a season has never started with six different winners of the first six races.

In truth, no team will have gathered too much useful data today to prepare them for the race, despite spending three hours out on track.

The rain played its part, but given there is no running on Friday in Monaco - a long-held tradition - the nature of the roads used for the race could alter considerably by qualifying on Saturday.

As in the first session, Lotus' Romain Grosjean was forced to settle for second best, initially to Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, and then Button, with the Frenchman 0.392secs adrift.

The Ferraris of Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso finished third and fourth, the Brazilian for once this season ahead of his team-mate on the timesheet and under pressure this weekend to improve on his poor performances to date.

Race winner in Spain last time out, Williams' Pastor Maldonado, was fifth quickest a second down, followed by Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes.

Red Bull duo Mark Webber and reigning champion Sebastian Vettel were in seventh and 10th, the latter 1.5secs down, with Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes sandwiched between the pair.

Lewis Hamilton trailed in 11th, 1.6secs off his team-mate, with Force India's Paul di Resta narrowly behind his fellow Briton in 12th.

Heikki Kovalainen had earlier brought a premature halt to first practice when the Renault engine in his Caterham blew nine minutes from the end of the session.

As the Finn was blasting through the tunnel at the time, white clouds of smoke billowed into the air, making visibility almost zero, forcing the stewards to red flag and eventually bring an early end to proceedings.

Back on track in FP2, Kovalainen finished down in 21st, 4.2secs behind Button.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project