Rosberg's Williams is fastest in Bahrain practice

Williams driver Nico Rosberg clocked the fastest time in the second practice session ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. The 23-year-old German finished just 0.0191 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso, with Italy's Jarno Trulli in third.


AFP - Nico Rosberg, the German-born son of orginal 'flying Finn' and former world champion Keke Rosberg, topped the times again for Williams in the second free practice ahead of Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old German clocked a best lap of one minute and 33.339 seconds to wind up just one-tenth of a second ahead of nearest rival, two-times drivers' champion Fernando Alonso of Spain in a Renault.

Alonso, who was on the front row of the starting grid in China last weekend, again promised much Friday as Renault maintained their improvement.

Italian Jarno Trulli was third fastest ahead of German Sebastian Vettel, last Sunday's winner for Red Bull in Shanghai, his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and Briton Jenson Button, the world championship leader in a Brawn GP car.

German Adrian Sutil was seventh for Force India ahead of German Timo Glock in the second Toyota and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello in the second Brawn as most of the teams used the session for data-gathering rather than outright performance.

Defending world champion Briton Lewis Hamilton was 11th for McLaren-Mercedes, six-tenths of a second off the pace, but his Finnish team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was down in 19th.

The two Ferraris of Brazilian Felipe Massa and Finn Kimi Raikkonen were 16th and 18th as they continued their struggle to recover from the team's worst start to a season since 1981.

Poland's Robert Kubica, in a BMW Sauber, was 17th and his German team-mate Nick Heidfeld 20th, but only 1.4 seconds covered the whole field.

In searing heat, the afternoon session began with a surprise as Italian Giancarlo Fisichella topped the times in his Force India, the car running with a new aerodyamics package including a revised interim 'double' diffuser.

It may have seemed like a mirage in the desert, as Force India are normally to be found running at the back of the field, but it was a genuine sighting that stood for several minutes before fellow-Italian Jarno Trulli, in a Toyota, took command.

Trulli, currently sixth in the drivers' championship, clocked the best time and stayed there until the last half hour when Rosberg replaced him.

Last weekend's victor in China, Vettel, was third fastest by then for Red Bull and it was clear that things were not going easily for the Brawn GP team, although it was not easy to see if his team were working with full tanks and testing tyres for Sunday's race instead of running for fast times.

This, clearly, is what Alonso was doing as he lapped with a heavy car, full of fuel, and tested different tyre compounds to gather data on performance and tyre-wear.

In the final flurry most ran on low fuel and super-soft tyres to see what they can do ahead of Saturday's qualifying session and this saw Alonso jump to second.

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