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Alonso puts Ferrari on top in practice session

Fernando Alonso raised suffering Ferrari’s spirits with the fastest lap in Monaco Grand Prix practice on Thursday.
By HT Correspondent | Reuters, Monaco
UPDATED ON OCT 14, 2011 07:01 PM IST

Fernando Alonso raised suffering Ferrari’s spirits with the fastest lap in Monaco Grand Prix practice on Thursday.

The double world champion, also a double Monaco winner in his time at Renault and McLaren, lapped the metal-fenced street circuit with a best time of one minute 15.123 seconds in the afternoon session.

The Spaniard had been second fastest in the hot and sunny morning running, just 0.113 slower than Red Bull’s 23-year-old Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel who lapped in 1:16.619.

Vettel, winner of four of the five races so far, leads the championship with 118 points to Hamilton’s 77 and Webber’s 67. Alonso is fifth with 51 while Ferrari are third overall in the constructors’ standings.

Alonso’s lap was a boost for the sport’s most glamorous team ahead of the most evocative race on the calendar and coming after their humiliation in Spain last weekend where leaders Red Bull and McLaren lapped everyone else.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was second fastest in the afternoon, just 0.105 slower than Alonso at the 2008 champion's favourite street circuit.

Vettel, alone among the championship frontrunners in still seeking his first Monaco win, was fifth fastest after lunch.

The German’s Australian team mate Mark Webber, winner last year in the Mediterranean sunshine, failed to set a time in the first practice after being sidelined by a gear selection problem. He was eighth in the second stint.

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