Vettel leads FP2 in Monaco, Merc struggle for pace

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Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel led Free Practice 2 in Monaco ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix and he did so with very little threat from Mercedes as it turns out.

The Silver Arrows were working on nose changes and ran harder compounds after making no dent at the top on Ultra Soft tires leaving many scratching their heads as to what might be the issue.

Some suggested the long wheel-base around the tight streets of Monaco and a weight disadvantage but I tend to think, after leading FP1, that Mercedes may be struggling for pace but only in the sense that they may have been trying out multiple aero trim settings. While usually done in FP1, it is odd, however, to see them swapping aero bits a lot during FP2. I may be wrong here because Mercedes needs to break the 1:12s barrier to have a go at Ferrari. I still think it is in the car, they just need to find the right balance.

Red Bull also ran a T-Wing for the first time this year in FP1 and McLaren’s stand-in for Alonso, Jenson Button managed a respectable 12th. 

Results of FP2:

1Sebastian VettelFerrari1m12.720s38
2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull/Renault1m13.207s0.487s35
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1m13.283s0.563s46
4Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Renault1m13.331s0.611s41
5Carlos SainzToro Rosso/Renault1m13.400s0.680s43
6Max VerstappenRed Bull/Renault1m13.486s0.766s36
7Sergio PerezForce India/Mercedes1m13.799s1.079s45
8Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m13.873s1.153s31
9Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari1m13.890s1.170s46
10Valtteri BottasMercedes1m13.902s1.182s39
11Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren/Honda1m13.946s1.226s42
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Honda1m13.981s1.261s37
13Felipe MassaWilliams/Mercedes1m14.003s1.283s46
14Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari1m14.022s1.302s44
15Esteban OconForce India/Mercedes1m14.093s1.373s47
16Lance StrollWilliams/Mercedes1m14.474s1.754s27
17Nico HulkenbergRenault1m14.870s2.150s41
18Jolyon PalmerRenault1m15.616s2.896s8
19Marcus EricssonSauber/Ferrari1m15.691s2.971s32
20Pascal WehrleinSauber/Ferrari1m15.695s2.975s37
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Wow, Now I wish I’d recorded FP1 & 2. Some unusual results in FP2. Both customer Renault powered teams up the front, and the factory team way down the back.
And after coming to the conclusion that the Sauber must be quite a drivable car based on its decent performance with inexperienced drivers over the first five races, they’re right at the back of the field, hummmmm.
I’ll be tuned in for FP3 and Quali, to find out what’s going on!