L&T Motorsport

Hamilton quickest again as Red Bull fade

Lewis Hamilton was fastest once again in FP2, but teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg bounced back to finish the day in 2nd.

After the first exchanges at the start of practice 2, Hamilton held a slight advantage at the top of the leaderboard ahead of his teammate, both drivers on the medium compound tyre.

Williams, to everyone’s surprise, stormed to the top of the leaderboard on the soft tyre, interestingly out-pacing both Red Bull’s. This advantage was short lived, however, as Mercedes put on the soft tyre and once again led the time sheets. Hamilton went P1 on a 1:12.271 with Rosberg close behind with a 1:12.301. Bottas and Massa followed ahead of the Red Bull’s, with Ferrari once again struggling in 7th and 8th respectively. Vettel had a problem late on in the session, pieces of his front wing falling off after going over one of the kerbs. Raikkonen is under investigation for swiping across Sainz earlier on.

This Williams pace was almost as much of a surprise as Red Bull’s drop off. After Verstappen split the Mercedes in FP1, they were half a second off the pace on the soft tyre. Down the order, Button and Alonso were 10th and 11th, although both were to experience problems.

Alonso had an ERS problem with around 30 minutes remaining in the session so had to pull over. He stayed track side and ended up watching the action through a FOM camera! Jenson had a brake issue which affected his running.

Onto the long runs, Hamilton stretched his advantage over Rosberg. He typically lapped 3 tenths of a second quicker than his teammate, in a race that Hamilton surely must win to keep his slim title hopes alive. Verstappen and Ricciardo were around 5 tenths off the pace of Hamilton. The Briton will surely be hoping that the Red Bull duo can get close enough to be able to beat Rosberg on Sunday, perhaps with the aid of rain.

The session then came to an end with no further improvements at the front. Hamilton ended the day quickest, ahead of Rosberg. Bottas and Massa then followed, with Ricciardo and Verstappen behind.

In the constructors battle between Williams and Force India, Williams will be very happy after Force India could only manage 9th and 14th. Toro Rosso were comfortably ahead of Haas, while Grosjean had a problem with his car. Meanwhile,  Esteban Ocon celebrated his 2017 Force India contract by easily out pacing Wehrlein, the German ending up in 22nd.

At the end of the session, Kevin Magnussen was confirmed alongside Grosjean at Haas for 2017, replacing Gutierrez.

Practice 2 Result:

  1. Hamilton 1:12.271
  2. Rosberg +0.030
  3. Bottas +0.490
  4. Massa +0.518
  5. Ricciardo +0.557
  6. Verstappen +0.657
  7. Vettel +0.731
  8. Raikkonen +0.776
  9. Hulkenburg +1.028
  10. Button +1.169
  11. Alonso +1.301
  12. Kvyat +1.418
  13. Sainz +1.530
  14. Perez +1.647
  15. Grosjean +1.803
  16. Magnussen +1.838
  17. Nasr +2.038
  18. Ocon +2.046
  19. Palmer +2.165
  20. Gutierrez +2.287
  21. Ericsson +2.424
  22. Wehrlein +2.687

Featured Image: http://eonsports.com.au/mercedes-customers-given-2016-f1-power-units/

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