Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets in FP2 with Vettel 2nd and Rosberg 3rd as the track and air temperature was significantly higher for FP1, which more accurately represented race conditions for Sunday afternoons race. This meant almost all teams sent their drivers out on long runs. The session was Red Flagged at one point, this was due to Romain Grosjean’s engine cover coming loose, appearing to explode and detach itself from the Lotus on the start/finish straight, leaving debris all over the track.
Although fastest in the session Lewis Hamilton driving for Mercedes was unable to match or improve on Nico Rosberg’s fastest lap set in FP1 earlier today but he was only 0.028s away with a 1:26.852. Rosberg posted a 1:27.626 putting him in third in classification. Mercedes completed fairly long runs with both drivers, the only problem of the session was Hamilton receiving a warning for bottoming the car out on the main straight.
Both Ferraris have closed the gap to Mercedes and completed 12 more laps in total than the two Mercedes cars. Sebastian Vettel split the two Mercedes drivers up to place his fastest lap second in the classification, completing a 1:27.260 lap time ahead of team mate Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen who was five tenths slower than Vettel but only a tenth slower than Rosberg with a 1:27.780, was heard at one point over team radio saying “Do you want me to come in? I am getting nothing from this, we are wasting engine time.”
The biggest surprise of FP1 and FP2 is the pace and consistency of the Torro Rosso again in the top six with Max Verstappen (1:28.017) although Carlos Sainz was further down the classification in ninth with a 1:28.674.
Daniil Kvyat improved for Red Bull, setting the fifth fastest lap time 1:27.943, only 2 tenths off of Kimi Raikkonen’s best time of the session. A recurring theme sadly for Red Bull this year, is that if one driver has a good session it usually reflects a poor session dogged with engine reliability issues for the other driver. In this case, that driver is Daniel Ricciardo who again, had very limited running due to an engine change during practice. This puts Ricciardo on his 4th and final engine from his allowance for this season suggesting he could face a grid drop at the next race in Monaco. Ricciardo has only been able to complete 13 laps today which doesn't bode well for car setup come Sunday.
McLaren’s session was fairly positive, Jenson Button was as high as sixth (1:28.494) in the session at one point. Ultimately the Briton came 7th overall, which is very impressive for McLaren considering their start to the year. During the session Jenson did complain of a vibration when downshifting saying over team radio “I've got a big vibration around third gear when downshifting”. Fernando Alonso who is suffering with an eye infection was just over two tenths slower than Button posting a 1:28.723. The Spaniard complained at one point of a lack of ERS charge which could be a worry for the race on Sunday although it is believe the issue was resolved as he soon continued his running.
After Practice it emerged that Force India driver, Sergio Perez, has been handed a €1000 fine for speeding in the pit lane.
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 26.852s 26 laps
2. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 27.260s 37 laps
3. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 27.616s 35 laps
4. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 27.780s 36 laps
5. Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 27.943s 25 laps
6. Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 28.017s 32 laps
7. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m 28.494s 31 laps
8. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m 28.525s # 39 laps
9. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 28.674s 31 laps
10. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes 1m 28.712s 36 laps
11. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 1m 28.723s 28 laps
12. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes 1m 29.086s # 14 laps
13. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 29.098s 4 laps
14. Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus-Mercedes 1m 29.217s 34 laps
15. Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari 1m 29.333s 37 laps
16. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m 29.361s 34 laps
17. Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m 29.601s 38 laps
18. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 29.707s 35 laps
19. Will Stevens GBR Manor Marussia-Ferrari 1m 31.929s 30 laps
20. Roberto Merhi ESP Manor Marussia-Ferrari 1m 32.751s 23 laps
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