Heikki Kovalainen showed massive signs of improvement in Turkey on Friday as the McLaren driver topped the timesheets, albeit by only 0.006s over Fernando Alonso.
Kovalainen hit the front of the timesheets prior to the halfway stage of the session and quickly set about extending his lead over the chasing pack. And although Alonso put in a late charge, the Spaniard found himself 0.006s off the pace.
Robert Kubica went someway towards putting his Monaco disaster behind him as the Polish driver finished in the third place.
However, it must be noted that all the drivers up and including Nick Heidfeld in 16th place were separated by just 0.7s.
Report: Friday's second practice got underway with the track temperature already sitting at a very warm 43'C and cloud cover building over the circuit. Seb Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Nico Rosberg were the first drivers out on track with Buemi and Rosberg both staying out for a second lap. Buemi crossed the line with a 1:38.417 which was easily beaten moments later by Rosberg, who took 7.8s off the Toro Rosso driver's time.
Nelson Piquet soon overhauled them both while Nakajima went third quickest ahead of Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock and Giancarlo Fisichella. Heikki Kovalainen was next into the P1 slot before Piquet returned to take it off him by 0.039s.
Rosberg became the first driver to take to the run-off area as he went wide at Turn 1. Kovalainen edged Piquet to hit the front of the pack but was soon beaten by his team-mate Lewis Hamilton while Robert Kubica went third ahead of Jenson Button. Fernando Alonso and Piquet slotted in second and third quickest while Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were eighth and 12th.
Jarno Trulli improved to second place, 0.033s off Hamilton's pace with Mark Webber taking P4. Kovalainen joins the list of those struggling to stay on track but goes on to take third place on his very next lap. Kovalainen was the next to go P1 with Nakajima slotting in behind him.
Sebastian Vettel's running was brought to an early end when the Red Bull racer's RB5 came to a halt on the side of the track at Turn 2. The German was third quickest when he stopped.
Hamilton put his car into an impressive slide as the McLaren driver lost control coming out of Turn 1. Three laps later, using the softer rubber, the Brit put his MP4-24 into a massive spin. He was, however, able to continue.
Kubica improved to second place as he Polish driver made good use of his new updates, which include a double-decker diffuser. Bourdais runs wide at Turn 1. The drivers appearing to be having a great deal of problems with that corner, with many taking to the run-off area.
Alonso moved up to second place behind Kovalainen, 0.201s off the McLaren driver's pace. Rosberg, Trulli and Glock tussled amongst themselves for the final top eight positions while Massa made his way into the top ten in 10th place.
Nakajima spun at Turn 1 but stayed out on track while Massa had to take to the run-off at Turn 12 after failing to slow his Ferrari down in time for the left-hander. He too was able to continue.
The session ended with Kovalainen in the P1 slot, just 0.006s ahead of Alonso. Kubica was third.
01 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:28.841 37 laps
02 F. Alonso Renault 1:28.847 35 laps
03 R. Kubica BMW 1:29.056 35 laps
04 K. Nakajima Williams 1:29.091 37 laps
05 S. Vettel Red Bull 1:29.202 4 laps
06 J. Trulli Toyota 1:29.207 41 laps
07 N. Rosberg Williams 1:29.257 40 laps
08 R. Barrichello Brawn GP 1:29.305 35 laps
09 M. Webber Red Bull 1:29.383 39 laps
10 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:29.401 38 laps
11 F. Massa Ferrari 1:29.416 38 laps
12 J. Button Brawn GP 1:29.430 33 laps
13 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:29.435 31 laps
14 T. Glock Toyota 1:29.518 40 laps
15 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:29.520 33 laps
16 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:29.550 40 laps
17 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:30.081 33 laps
18 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:30.091 38 laps
19 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:30.295 39 laps
20 S. Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:30.629 37 laps