Interlagos FP2: Rosberg retaliates
After being eclipsed by Lewis Hamilton in the opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg this afternoon responded to beat the Briton by a similar margin to that which Hamilton had held in the morning.
The Mercedes drivers pace at the top of the order was good enough to establish a clear advantage over their rivals, with Rosberg’s lap being almost a second ahead of nearest challenger, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
The session began with drops of rain falling in the pit lane but it was never enough to prompt teams to move away from slick tyres and in the early running on the medium tyres it was Hamilton who held sway, the Briton taking P1 with a lap of 1:13.947, 0.159s faster than Rosberg, with Vettel third ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat.
With half an hour on the clock, Fernando Alonso was the first to take on the soft tyre, but the McLaren driver’s time on the option tyre was short. He quickly reported that he was suffering with “power problems” and with smoke coming from the back of his car he was told to pull over and stop.
With the stricken McLaren stopped at the edge of the circuit the red flags appeared and the session halted.
When the action resumed the Mercedes drivers were swiftly out on track on the soft tyre and Hamilton jumped to the top of the order with a time of 1:12.843s. His lap was quickly bettered by Rosberg, however, whose lap of 1:12.385 served as the afternoon’s best.
Vettel followed by could only get to a time 0.960s behind Rosberg, with Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen fourth. The Finn had finished well behind Vettel in the morning following a spin, but in the afternoon he closed to within two tenths of a second.
Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull Racing ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, with Romain Grosjean seventh for Lotus. Eighth place went to Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and the final top ten slots were taken by Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat and the second Williams of Felipe Massa.
While Mercedes enjoyed a solids gap to their rivals, the times were a lot tighter elsewhere across the order and on the short 4.3km Interlagos circuit just over four tenths of a second separated Vettel in third from tenth-placed Massa.
Brazilian Grand Prix, Autodromo Carlos Pace – Free Practice 2
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:13.585||+1.200s||39|
|8||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:13.710||+1.325s||43|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing||1:13.848||+1.463s||40|
|11||11||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:14.056||+1.671s||34|
|14||33||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:14.226||+1.841s||35|
|15||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:14.326||+1.941s||45|