Chinese GP - Friday - Practice Session 2 Report

Pushed Back

Lewis Hamilton, Chinese GP 2014

Lewis Hamilton, Chinese GP 2014 

 © Active Pictures


Lewis Hamilton clocked the fastest lap time in his Mercedes during Free Practice 2 for the Chinese Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso, who had been quickest in FP1 in his Ferrari, was pushed back to second spot. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) rounded out the top four.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Centigrade.) There was a zero percent chance of rain.

Pastor Maldonado was the first out on the track in his Lotus. As the drivers began setting lap times it was Adrian Sutil at the fore with a time of 1:45.104 in his Sauber. That didn't last long as Daniil Kvyat turned a 1:41.279 in his Toro Rosso while his teammate Jean-Eric Vergne was second with a 1:41.661.

The drivers were running Pirelli's medium compound slicks.

8 minutes into the session, Jan Magnussen clocked a 1:41.383 in his McLaren to take over second place. His teammate Jenson Button moved into third.

14 minutes into the session, Sebastian Vettel posted a 1:41.087 in his Red Bull. Then Felipe Massa (Williams) beat that with a 1:40.788.

16 minutes into the session, Nico Rosberg grabbed the top spot after turning a 1:39.792 in his Mercedes. But then Fernando Alonso crossed the line with a 1:39.251 in his Ferrari. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) was third with a 1:40.220.

22 minutes into the session, Maldonado became the first driver to try out Pirelli's soft compound slicks with the yellow sidewalls. He turned the fourth fastest time of the day – 1:40.455.

27 minutes into the session, Lewis Hamilton, whose Mercedes had had suspension woes in FP1, was still in the pits and had yet to go out for a lap in FP2. But now he headed out.

The top six at the 30 minute mark were: Alonso, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Maldonado, Massa and Vettel.

31 minutes into the session, Maldonado crashed his Lotus into the wall coming into the pits. "I crash," he said, stating the obvious, over the radio.

More drivers were trying out the soft tire including Rosberg, who set the fastest times in Sectors 1, 2 and 3 and turned a 1:38.726.

38 minutes into the session, Kamui Kobayashi had a harmless off at Turn 6 in his Caterham. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez, with soft tires on his Force India, had moved up to third place.

40 minutes into the session, Alonso was out on the soft Pirellis. He went quickest with a 1:38.456. Vettel could only go fourth fastest on his soft tire run while his teammate Daniel Ricciardo slotted into the third spot behind Alonso and Rosberg.

Midway through FP2 the top six were: Alonso, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Vettel, Felipe Massa (Williams) and Romain Grosjean (Lotus.)

But now Hamilton was out there on softs. Where would he end up? First, with a time of 1:38.315.

Rosberg was now doing a long run – 12 laps – on the soft tires. His times were a good four seconds slower than his best lap.

With 33 minutes remaining in the session, Kimi Raikkonen tried a set of soft tires on his Ferrari. He turned a 1:38.283, which was seventh fastest. He had only done one lap in FP1, so was still sorting out his car

The other drivers were now doing longer runs to check out tire degradation.

At the one hour mark the top six were: Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Vettel and Massa.

With 22 minutes remaining in the session, 18 of the 22 drivers were out on track turning laps.

With 21 minutes remaining in the session, 20 drivers were out there. Only Raikkonen and Maldonado were missing the action.

With 15 minutes remaining in the session, it was the same with 20 drivers on track. Max Chilton spun his Marussia and continued at Turn 2.

With 14 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen joined the fray. Everybody was learning except Maldonado.

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Marcus Ericsson slid off at Turn 14 in his Caterham.

The top 10 at the end of FP2 were: Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Vettel, Massa, Raikkonen, Button, Grosjean and Kvyat.

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