After an excellent start to the weekend, Lewis Hamilton managed to top yet another free practice session keeping Nico Rosberg behind him.
The session started with Romain Grosjean posting the fastest time at 1m45.724s. Alonso immediately improved the time but only to hand the position to Vettel. Vettel posted a time of 1m43.233s on the soft tyres. Kimi Raikkonen had other plans as he couldn’t resist Ferrar’s power and went 0.4s faster than teammate. Meanwhile, Daniil Kvyat spun off Toro Rosso in sector 3, resulting in multiple fractures on the car tyres. The first stint of the race ended with a below average performance from the Mercedes duo in 6th(ROS) and 21st(HAM). Before the teams could start on the 2nd stint, Vettel improved his time with a 1m41.130s.
Nico Rosberg started the 2nd stint of the session on the purple ultrasoft tyres with a time of 1m40.940s, this put him in the top position of the sheet. The quiet cars of Red Bull Racing started roaring in this stint when Verstappen went 3rd fastest behind Rosberg and Vettel. This was the time for Hamilton to make his move and he didn’t deny it. First time on the ultrasofts, HAM went fastest overall by posting the best time of the session with a 1m40.861s. Jenson Button on probably his last race in F1 couldn’t finish the second lap of the stint and went into the pits securing 12th spot.
The top 3 constructors then decided to test the Pirelli tyres on their endurance performance as they switched to the soft tyres. This wasn’t easy for everyone as Vettel faced a gearbox failure and had to retire from the session with 15 remaining alongside Grosjean who suffered water pressure problem. Rosberg lost 5 secs on his laps on the softs and Verstappen reported on ‘destroying the right front’ tyre. A lot of drivers reported loss of power in the start/finish straight and left the team engineers with problems to tackle before the Saturday sessions.
The final classification of FP2 (Top 10):
1 HAM – 1:40.831
2 ROS – +0.079
3 VET – +0.269
4 VES – +0.528
5 RIC – +0.529
6 RAI – +0.603
7 BOT – +1.098
8 PER – +1.180
9 HUL – +1.403
10 MAS – +1.407