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Hamilton controls practice 2 - Monaco

Lewis Hamilton at MonacoLewis Hamilton controlled the second Thursday practice session in Monte Carlo, leading the way for the majority of the hour.

The McLaren driver topped the times early on, then was briefly usurped by Nico Rosberg when the Williams switched to soft tyres halfway through the session.

But Rosberg only stayed at the head of the pack for ten minutes before Hamilton too went for the softer Bridgestones and improved to 1:15.140, beating the Williams' time by just under four tenths of a second.

Rosberg was able to hang on to second place however, ahead of Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, with Heikki Kovalainen fifth in the second McLaren.

Both Renaults were damaged in almost identical crashes at Sainte Devote. First the struggling Nelson Piquet spun into the barriers and deranged his rear wing, then his teammate Fernando Alonso lost control at the same spot 12 minutes later.

Unlike Piquet, Alonso managed to keep the car moving, but as he slid wildly sideways, his left-rear corner tagged the barriers, damaging the suspension and wing.

Although he successfully hauled the Renault back around to the pits, Alonso deposited plenty of debris along the way, forcing a four-minute red flag so the marshals could tidy up behind him.

While several other drivers had to short-cut the chicane, the only other men to actually strike the barriers were Jarno Trulli and Adrian Sutil. Trulli scraped his Toyota down the wall after a rough flight over the kerbs on the exit of the Swimming Pool, while Sutil lost his front wing on the Rascasse guard rail in the final minutes.

Despite his accident, Alonso managed to repeat his seventh place from the morning, just behind BMW's Robert Kubica.

The two Hondas took eighth and tenth - with Jenson Button a scant 0.067 seconds faster than Rubens Barrichello - as Kazuki Nakajima edged the second Williams between them.

Pos  Driver        Team                     Time              Laps
 1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:15.140            40
 2.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:15.533  + 0.393   39
 3.  Raikkonen     Ferrari             (B)  1:15.572  + 0.432   42
 4.  Massa         Ferrari             (B)  1:15.869  + 0.729   37
 5.  Kovalainen    McLaren-Mercedes    (B)  1:15.881  + 0.741   39
 6.  Kubica        BMW Sauber          (B)  1:16.296  + 1.156   34
 7.  Alonso        Renault             (B)  1:16.310  + 1.170   27
 8.  Button        Honda               (B)  1:16.351  + 1.211   45
 9.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota     (B)  1:16.372  + 1.232   40
10.  Barrichello   Honda               (B)  1:16.418  + 1.278   32
11.  Heidfeld      BMW Sauber          (B)  1:16.426  + 1.286   44
12.  Glock         Toyota              (B)  1:16.688  + 1.548   46
13.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:17.094  + 1.954   39
14.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Renault    (B)  1:17.131  + 1.991   39
15.  Piquet        Renault             (B)  1:17.246  + 2.106   35
16.  Fisichella    Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:17.251  + 2.111   33
17.  Trulli        Toyota              (B)  1:17.379  + 2.239   28
18.  Bourdais      Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:17.581  + 2.441   38
19.  Sutil         Force India-Ferrari (B)  1:18.176  + 3.036   31
20.  Vettel        Toro Rosso-Ferrari  (B)  1:18.225  + 3.085   38

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Hamilton delighted with early progress
Raikkonen fastest in practice 1 - Monaco