While Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg suffered from mechanical gremlins kept his car in the garage for most of FP2, his teammate, Lewis Hamilton, set the fastest time during the session adding to his time-leading work in FP1.

A track that’s been kind to Red Bull in the past saw Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finish second and third respectively in the second practice session besting the two Ferrari’s of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in fourth and fifth.

Perhaps the pace of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button is a good sign that the engine tokens they spent this weekend are paying dividends although it took Button some time to get a decent lap in as he was struggling quite a bit for grip and balance.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m31.660s 36
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m32.051s 0.391s 30
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m32.286s 0.626s 36
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m32.570s 0.910s 40
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m32.736s 1.076s 38
6 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m33.040s 1.380s 31
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m33.493s 1.833s 38
8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m33.614s 1.954s 32
9 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m33.763s 2.103s 20
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m33.801s 2.141s 29
11 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m33.840s 2.180s 27
12 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m34.000s 2.340s 32
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m34.139s 2.479s 35
14 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m34.154s 2.494s 25
15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m34.321s 2.661s 35
16 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m34.356s 2.696s 37
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m34.549s 2.889s 40
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m34.610s 2.950s 41
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m34.722s 3.062s 36
20 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m34.959s 3.299s 41
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m35.841s 4.181s 36

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In the long runs later in the session Hamilton and Vettel were circulating close together, while the Mercedes pulled away initially, after a few laps the Ferrari was gaining. It looked quite encouraging for the race, but then Vettel pitted while Hamilton continued until the end of the session.

jiji the cat
jiji the cat

The long pace of the red bulls looks good.


So Vettel ran the new “halo” in FP1 – this time apparently a more serious mock-up made from titanium with a carbon wrap, rather than the all carbon fibre one they showed earlier. Aesthetics aside, take a look at the onboard from the Räikkönen/Alonso crash in Austria last year and look carefully at that sharp front edge of the floor of Alonso’s car. Wouldn’t there be a distinct risk of that bit getting peeled off by the halo, and directed right at the driver’s head?

jiji the cat
jiji the cat

Hope Mclaren can have a strong race pace as well.