Date: 25th March 2011 at 11:36am
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Despite predictions from some quarters that the MP4-26 should be put down before the season had even started, McLaren had cause for hope in a second free practice session that finished with a Button piping Hamilton to the fastest lap.

The pair were the only drivers to dip below the 1:26 mark with Alonso the closest driver in third.

While no one expects the Woking team to be leading the cars around on the opening lap on Sunday, it is a marked improvement on their pre season fortunes and shows that their design gamble may just be paying off.

Elsewhere Schumacher and Rosberg traded places between first and second practice as the Mercedes established itself just behind the big three.

Disappointment of the day came from the Hispania team with a solitary installation lap to their name and rumours that they might only have enough parts to run one car in qualifying tomorrow.

With the new regulations also getting their first run out it was clear some teams were still having issues with the moveable wing occasionally sticking, a problem that will cause problems in race conditions.

Redbull still look like the team to beat and all eyes now move to the first qualifying session of the season which starts at 06:00 UK time tomorrow morning.

It looks like it could be another classic year in Formula 1.